DANCING in the streets - hoofers were strutting their stuff in the centre of York today to launch a week-long extravaganza of music and movement.

City of York Council is encouraging would-be dancers to put on their dancing

shoes as part of the city's annual Dance Week York festival.

The week will involve a series of events, which are designed to get everyone

involved in dance, either through participation, or watching others perform.

It kicked off today with an open-air showcase in St Sampson's Square from 11am to 4pm. It featured circle dance, tap, ballet and hip-hop, as well as a breakdance jam from local dancers.

Breakdancers from across the region will also be on show in Parliament Street

when they battle it out in the Breakdance Battle on Thursday, from

6pm to 9pm.

Budding dancers will also get the chance to try some new dance styles during the week, with a day of workshops of dances from around the world.

The workshops will run from 11am to 3pm, on Saturday, June 21, at York St

John College.

Dancers should call YORtime on 01904 553440 to book a place.

In a bid to involve everyone in Dance Week, a professional dance group - the

Keep Moving Crew - are in York to provide a range of movement exercise classes to hospitals, playgroups, day-care centres, scout and guide groups throughout the city.

The sessions are free and cater for all ages and abilities. Groups can book a session with the crew by telephoning YORtime on 01904 553440.

Janetta Maxwell, the council's arts service dance consultant, said: "Dance Week York aims to encourage dancers to display their talents and coax and inspire budding dancers.

"It will let people know about the dance opportunities available locally and get more people involved."

Updated: 09:37 Saturday, June 14, 2003