STUDENTS from a well-established dance school in Kendal spread some Christmas cheer at the care and residential homes.

The Dance Atikk, owned by Lucy Everett, has just under 300 members with age groups ranging from 18 months to 16 and above classes.

Around 170 local children from the age of four upwards took part in performances in care homes across the region including Summer Hill Care Home, Cartmel and Grange Home and Black Hall Croft.

The dance troupe has been visiting Heron Hill Care home on Esthwaite Avenue, Kendal for over ten years and returned for another special performance.

Sandra Lawrence, deputy manager at Heron Hill Care home, said: "Throughout December we have plenty of events such as singers coming in, pantomime performances, Christmas fairs and parties which keeps the residents busy.

"We always know it's the start of Christmas when The Dance Atikk come in, however. They have been coming here for many years and the residents love any interactions with kids but especially when they come in with the music and dancing, it's really lovely."

The Westmorland Gazette had a chat with Dougan Shanks, 15, Jolie Hayton, 14, Martha Wilson, 14 and Evelyn Sanders, 14.

They said: "We started learning this dance in particular in September just for the care homes. We have classes every week and the day the class is on is the dance we do at the care home.

"We've been coming here a few years and it's always nice to perform here."

Dougan added: "Especially around Christmas time, it feels like it's our present to them. We're set to perform at Blackhall Croft tomorrow. We go there every year too and that's always quite special."

Speaking after the children's week of care home performances, principal Lucy said: "The next day after we visited Heron Hill, we received so many emails from the family members  of residents to say how much they loved it.

"It's just gorgeous to see them light up and if they're suffering with something like dementia, the music really taps into something nice. It's always really special."