Local dancers sought for prized places in Welcoming Ceremony!

Dancers from all over Shetland are being sought to perform live as part of the official Welcoming Ceremony for The Tall Ships Races 2011 – Lerwick when it reaches Shetland on Thursday 21st July.

Erin SandisonA celebration of Shetland's diverse culture, the official ceremony has been directed by McLellan Award winning playwright Jacqueline Clark and promises to set the scene for a weekend packed full of activities welcoming crew, participants and visitors to Lerwick.

Dancers aged from 10 to 17 years can apply to take part in a specially choreographed piece by Matthew Lawrence and accompanied by a new Shetland fiddle tune composed by Lerwick born musician Cathy Geldard.

Local singing talent, Erin Sandison from Scalloway, will perform a specially penned song from Aith musical director and composer Philip Taylor who is behind the musical score for the entire performance. Three actors, who were born in Shetland and are now living on the mainland, will return to perform including Anthony Okill from Edinburgh, Jordanna O'Neil from Edinburgh and Max Thornton from London.

Local film group, Maddrim Media, will also showcase their Shetland's Culture footage on the big screen in front of a packed audience.

Jacqueline Clark said: "It is an honour to be working alongside so many talented artists from Shetland. It was also very important to me to include young people in our team and not to make it essential that participants had to be skilled dancers. I hope lots of young people enter so that they have the chance not only to learn new skills, but also take part in one of the biggest performances of their lives."

Interested dancers can ask at their local youth club for more information. The deadline for applications is 5pm on Friday 22nd April.