CROWDS gathered to watch as a flashmob of dancers brought a touch of panto excitement to a shopping centre in Wrexham.
The fleet-footed troupe of 26 young girls gave their impromptu performance at Eagles Meadow to showcase their upcoming production of Sleeping Beauty by Wrexham and District Pantomime Society.
The panto will be staged at William Aston Hall in the town’s Glyndwr University from February 13-19.
The bustling shopping centre came to a standstill as they went through a trio of high-energy numbers specially created by their choreographer, Rob Stevens, to be featured in the show.
Amongst those enjoying the show were a host of the dancers’ family and friends.
Society publicity secretary Soo Moulton-Wilde said: “We’re very grateful to the centre management team for letting us come along here to let people know what a fantastic panto we have lined up for them.
“Ours is Wales’s longest running pantomime company founded in 1906 and we put on shows every year at half term.
“All the proceeds from our shows go to local charities and this time Nightingale House Hospice will benefit.
“Sleeping Beauty will have all the elements of as good, traditional panto, including a beautiful princess awoken from her enchanted sleep of 100 years by a handsome prince and lots of marvellous songs and dances.
“There’s a cast of 38, including a dozen main characters and the supporting dancers, and they range in age from six to 60-odd.
“Many people are involved year after year and, in fact, this will be the 44th panto that Frank Jones, who is in his sixties, will be appearing in – this time playing one of the main roles of King William.”
Soo added: “The dancers doing the flashmob at Eagles Meadow were girls aged five to 18 and just loved every minute of taking part.
“We’ve been busy rehearsing Sleeping Beauty since last September and with all the effort that’s gone into it we know it’s going to be another fantastic show.
“I think people who saw the dancers at Eagles Meadow appreciated the performance and we’d encourage as many as possible to come along to see the full show at William Aston Hall.”
Amongst those cheering on the young dancers was Gill Roberts of Wrexham whose grand-daughter, nine-year-old Mia Lamb, from Rhosddu, was part of the line-up.
Gill said: “This is the second panto she’s been in with the society and she absolutely loves everything about it – from the dancing and the costumes to the other girls she makes friends with.
“I know she’s really excited about being in Sleeping Beauty and I’m very proud of her for taking part.”
Proud dad Richard Carter, from Wrexham, said: “My daughter, Madison Parry-Carter, who is 11, will be dancing in the show and she’s really looking forward to it starting.
“This will be the fourth panto she’s been and she gets a lot of enjoyment out of it. It’s great to see her and the other girls performing at Eagles Meadow today.”
With the applause from the performance still ringing in her ears, a member of the flashmob, 16-year-old Megan Tattum, from Wrexham, said: “I’ve been in the panto since I was five years old, so Sleeping Beauty this will be my 11th show.
“It was great to be here in the shopping centre showing off some of the dances we will do. I think the shoppers were a bit surprised to see us but you could tell they were enjoying it from their cheers.
“I can’t wait for the show to start and I hope lots of people come along to see it.”
Another panto veteran involved in the dancing was 18-year-old Holly, also from Wrexham, whose 13th show Sleeping Beauty will be.
She said: “I think coming along to dance at Eagles Meadow was a good idea because it will let people know about our show and I really enjoyed myself.
“Anyone who comes along to see is definitely going to have a lot of fun.”
Sleeping Beauty has evenings performances at William Aston Hall from Monday-Friday, February 13-19 at 7.15pm and matinees on Saturday and Sunday, February 13 and 14 at 2.15pm
Tickets are available on the door before the performance, or in advance via the box office on 0844 888999, or online at: Glyndwr.ticketline.co.uk