Hundreds of youngsters put on their dancing shoes for an enchanting performance that explored the art of ballet. Fledgling ballerinas aged six to 18, who gathered at the Tsuen Wan Town Hall, brought the curtain down on a scheme which was aimed at promoting dance in the New Territories. The climax of Making Dances 1998, organised by Hong Kong Ballet and the Provisional Regional Council, featured 21 exquisite dance pieces choreographed by teachers and students. Dancers' costumes and movements, modelled on ani mal and other species such as penguins and butterflies, carried different messages. Ivy Law Pui-yin, a Primary Two student from Mui Woo, said she felt quite nervous although this was not her first stage performance. The seven-year-old, who played a mouse in the show, was nominated as one of the outstanding students in the training programme. 'Dancing is funny and has helped me make many new friends. I promise I'll do better at my next performance,' she said. Ho Yan-tung, nine, who was dressed as a butterfly, said: 'The costume was amazing. I needed to put a pair of wings on my back. It made me feel as if I was flying around in a world of flowers and grasslands.' Doris Li Chui, education and outreach co-ordinator of Hong Kong Ballet, said more than 400 children who had joined the summer training course took part in the performance. The talent-spotting project has paved the way for about 80 outstanding students to enrol in a continuing course to improve their dancing techniques.