THE dance family came together in the Wee County once again as Alloa Ballet Company returned to the stage live for the first time since Covid.

More than 700 people attended three show-stopper performances over the weekend as the Clacks ballet company and its 150 performers took over Alva Academy.

There were fine displays of ballet, tap, modern, contemporary, commercial and jazz dances by pupils current and former.

The second half of the show was a magical full-length ballet organised by principal Heather Shrimpton, titled Alice in Wonderland.

It was a weekend full of successes with parents praising the effort that went into not just the routines but also the costumes, hair, lighting and everything else needed to transport audiences into magical realms.

The academy itself also turned out to be the perfect venue and closer to home, the company previously having held shows at the Macrobert in Stirling.

Heather told the Advertiser: “It was fabulous, the comments have been just so lovely – it was brilliant.

“One mum said it was a magical experience – it was just lovely.”

It takes considerable effort to put on each show and Heather was full of praise, issuing a nod of thanks to pupils, parents and everybody who helped out.

She said: “It's the whole extended dance family: the parents and the support they gave – helping with costumes, backstage, make-up, they practised the hair with their kids first.

“The dancers – without them there wouldn't be anything.

“But also the extended dance family, what was so nice was that in the audience there were so many ex-pupils who just came along to support and that's just really special.

“It is truly a dance family and once you are part of Alloa Ballet Company you are always part of it and you are always welcome – and that's what everyone was saying, that's what made it feel like it was a big supportive family altogether, it was just lovely.”

Heather believes Alva Academy worked as a venue beyond expectations, adding: “My goodness, we've found a home for Alloa Ballet Company performances, it was just a totally brilliant experience there.”

The weekend was also a brilliant social experience for the pupils, something many missed out on during the pandemic.

Next up, Heather and the pupils will begin preparations for a show at the Wimpy Park in Alloa this June.