PEOPLE from all ages and backgrounds are being called forward to take part in a mass dance to challenge inequality.

The Darlington Dance Festival will take place in the town centre on Saturday, May 18 and Sunday, May 19.

The annual summer event showcases the work of local dance schools who will perform in Joseph Pease place to a crowd of spectators.

Sunday will celebrate all dancers and non-dancers, as over 800 people will come together in the market place to perform a routine following this year's theme 'This is me'.

Organisers of the festival want more people than ever to get involved and, in particular, are urging those who don't dance to come along and to give it a try.

Volunteers for the mass dance will be taught choreography created by students of Red Hall Dance.

Those who wish to take part have the option of being taught the dance through a visit from organisers or by going along to a weekly open session held on Tuesday evenings from 7.30pm at Redhall Community Centre during April and May.

Joanne Scott, Chair of the Dance Festival Association, said: “Darlington is so lucky to have an event like this that brings everyone together as one community.

"The market place is brought to life with such a buzz that the mass dance creates and this always amazes me.

“This year is a chance to do something special. We can showcase how dancing can bring people together from all walks of life to celebrate our differences by championing equality.

"We want to promote how dancing can bring everyone together regardless of background, age, gender, race, disability, or sexual orientation - dancing can be enjoyed by all.

"We want to use dance as a way to celebrate our differences and challenge inequality, we are all different but equal."

The mass dance will take part at 1pm on Sunday May 19 in Darlington's Market Place and all groups and individuals can take part.

Organisers will also be holding information stalls for charities which support marginalised groups and want to promote their services.

For more information about stalls, the festival or taking part in the mass dance, contact the Dance Festival Association on or visit