We woke up on Bank Holiday Monday with the sun shining down on us and a great day of dance ahead of us. Our two coaches were filled with laughter, nerves and a lot of stress. With the hair braiding, make-up, nail varnishing and final adjustments done we arrived at the Leeds 50th Anniversary Carnival at around 12 noon with our 120 performers, family supporters and ACE dance and music artists in tow.
Before long we were ready to march to the park, led by our expert drummers from the Amsterdam Eternity Group. Not trying to be biased, but as the two stilt walkers from Pyroproductionz arrived we were a wondrous sight.
Our orange troupe of ACE Dance and Music which involved young children, young people, adults and our infamous truck lined up alongside the other 35 troupes who were entering the parade and after what seemed like an eternity of standing around, we started on our way.
After a rousing dance warm up on route (which was well received by the crowd) we were pumped and ready to go for the five hour procession through Chapeltown, Leeds. It was finally time to show off our dazzling handcrafted outfits that were creatively designed by Imagineer Productions and lovingly hand-stitched by the ACE team, participants and volunteers.
We found the RJC Dance group among the various troupes before starting out. The Light it Up troupe looked similar to ours as we shared the same designs and had a similar choreography, but as with all things creative and arty, they made everything their own. Where the ACE Dance team had more fire and fire crackle, RJC Dance had more sunshine. They danced their way around Leeds behind us demonstrating their exceptional choreography and showing that they could cartwheel and star jump better than anyone – which we cannot wait to see again in the Birmingham Weekender Festival in September.
Finally, after five fun filled but exhausting hours of partying on the streets of Chapeltown they announced the winners.
ACE Dance and Music took the crown for Best Troupe of the Leeds Carnival for 2017! Amazing – a memory we shall treasure in our first year of working together as Moving Souls Dance.