Dancing Books – a new scheme teaching children to love literature

World Book Day was marked last week with the launch of a new project aiming to add a bit more fun to reading for young children.

Dancing Books, which receives support from H&F Council, uses children's literature as an inspiration for creative dance classes aimed at pre-school children and their families.

It was launched last Thursday with a book swap in Lyric Square, Hammersmith – the home of DanceWest, the community dance organisation for west London, who are behind the sessions.

Rosie Whitney-Fish, Director and Founder of DanceWest said: “We, at DanceWest, are absolutely thrilled that high quality dance is happening in our local libraries.

“Dancing Books encourages everyone to get on their feet and get inspired about reading.

“Our pilot showed this is a great way to get young children excited about books and get them onto the reading ladder in a fun and creative way.” 

The April 2016 pilot, in partnership with Hammersmith and Fulham Council, won significant funding from the Arts Council England Libraries Fund to expand the programme, and make Dancing Books available to more libraries in Hammersmith and Fulham.

At the World Book Day event, people were asked to vote for their favourite children's book – and you can take part in the poll by emailing admin@dancewest.co.uk

The results of the vote will be used as inspiration for a series of free Dancing Books classes starting in Hammersmith and Fulham libraries this April. 

The Dancing Books sessions are interactive, involving both children and carers, and are led by an experienced and talented team of dance artists in the selected libraries.

Cllr Wesley Harcourt, Cabinet Member for Environment, Transport & Residents Services, said: “This is a great initiative, aimed at making reading fun, and supporting creativity through dance.

"I'll be voting for Mystery at Witchend by Malcolm Saville as my favourite children's book, but whatever the results of the poll I look forward to the DanceWest team rolling out their sessions to engage more children in the borough."