DANCE crews got shoppers moving to the beat at the Westgate on Saturday as part of a dance summer festival.

Break dance, contemporary, African and Zumba styles were showcased at the Oxford shopping centre as part of the Dancin in the Square event staged by arts group Dancin’ Oxford.

Groups called Company Chameleon, Messy Jam Dance Co and Step2Dance performed alongside Mickael Marso Riviere X MDK and T-Break performed a variety of styles including street and break-dance in a celebration of cultural diversity.

An interactive performance by the Oxford Infuse Dance Bodyguards saw dancers dressed as bouncers moving around the centre, weaving between bemused shoppers.

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The audience were encouraged to get involved later in the day by joining a mass Zumba party led by Zumba instructor, George Martini . They were also taught African and street dance moves.

Claire Thompson, organiser and festival director, said: “We hold these kinds of events to take dance out of the theatre and into public spaces. Not all people see dance often or get to see it live in the theatre – especially contemporary – so this gives them a chance to see it.

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“Dancin’ Oxford is all about celebrating dance in the public arena as well as just giving people a good time and a good experience with dance. It also gives people the opportunity to come and try out different types of dance.”

A 17-minute contemporary duet also performed at the event on Saturday. Ms Thompson said onlookers were enthralled.

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She said: “Lots of people have seen street dance before but not contemporary.

“They find it fascinating because it’s a strong style.

“In Oxford, there’s a range of different dance varieties so it’s important to present them all.”

The organisation tries to improve the cultural ecology in the city and raise the profile and visibility of dance while establishing Oxford as a recognised hub for vibrant dance activity.

Dancin’ Oxford has partnerships with organisations in Oxfordshire such as Pegasus Theatre, Oxford Playhouse, North Wall Arts Centre and Oxford City Council.

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The next event will be held in Castle Quay Shopping Centre in Banbury this weekend.