Enthusiastic young dancers spent two days practising movement and creativity based on the story of The Hungry Caterpillar at Swindon Dance this week.

Four members of the Salto! Juniors group joined with four new students, aged seven to 12, for an intensive course.

The youngsters, all of whom have learning or cognitive difficulties, enjoyed a busy programme of dance and creative activities – a mix of arts and crafts, movement games and creative dance.

Sarah Fletcher, education and development assistant co-ordinator, led the sessions on Monday and Tuesday.

“We worked on different exercises, developing balance and coordination,” she said.

“The activities were based around the story of The Hungry Caterpillar. They practised balancing bean bags on their head, which was linked to balancing the caterpillar egg on the leaf. We did team exercises with the parachute, and mirroring movement with a partner.”

Parents, family and friends came to watch at the end of the Tuesday sessions.

“We decorated the studio with the art and crafts and coloured-in foods that the caterpillar eats. Then we performed the journey from the egg to caterpillar before becoming the beautiful butterfly,” Sarah said.

“The children engaged really well with the project. They all know the story and could name all the foods.”

The half term group was made up of four boys and four girls.

Salto! Juniors is an inclusive dance company that meets weekly in term time and welcomes youngsters with and without learning difficulties – though potential new members will go on a waiting list as the group is very popular.

Salto means ‘leap’ in Spanish and the juniors group was set up following the success of the adult inclusive dance company at Swindon Dance.

The half term event was supported by BBC Children in Need. Representative Richard King came to Swindon to watch the Salto! Juniors show, and to meet participants and their families.

“BBC Children in Need has played a big part in us being able to run this project,” Sarah said.