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Chatham's Dance Alley celebrate Chinese New Year with authentic performance

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Dancers from Chatham's Dance Alley were on hand at the Pentagon Shopping Centre on Saturday, February 17 to celebrate the Chinese New Year, which began on Thursday February 15.

In the absence of Medway's usual parade to mark the event due to funding issues, the dance school teamed up to deliver a celebration of its own.

Chinese Association Kut-O and the Shi-Kon martials arts group, both based in Chatham, were also part of the festivities, which the Pentagon Shopping Centre broadcast live on Facebook.

Routines from the groups included a display of physical and mental discipline from Shi-Kon and a Dragon dance to ward of evil spirits from Kut-O.

Alison Plummer, owner of Dance Alley, said: "Everyone enjoyed it - we got a really big crowd."

The groups are continuing their festive celebrations today in London for the Year of the Dog, where they are part of the London Parade - the biggest outside of China.

Children from the Kut-O Chinese Assocation ward off evil spirits with a Dragon dance.
Children from the Kut-O Chinese Assocation ward off evil spirits with a Dragon dance.

Hempstead Valley shopping centre also celebrated the Chinese New Year with card-making and craft activities to keep children entertained during half-term shopping trips.

There were treasure hunts, lantern-making and Chinese dragons to colour in for kids to get creative with in a festive way.

The Royal Engineers were also celebrating the Year of the Dog with their half-term activities, with visitors able to decorate trinket boxes, beautify a fabric shoulder bag and make a non-sew sock dog to keep.

The muesum's mascot, Snob the Dog, was also on hand to hand to join in the festivities, and on Friday, February 16, visitors to the museum made hats like those of Chinese Officials with feathers, tassels and gemstones.

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