Coming up with ideas for a dance project or show concept can be time-consuming, but the rewards for putting in the effort are huge! Whilst it’s great to teach one-off dance classes to children, it’s amazing working towards the goal of a performance. Children thrive under the pressure and it makes rehearsals that bit more meaningful. And after all, dance is a performing art which should be watched and appreciated too.
One of the best performance projects I’ve worked on was at Church Hill Infant School, where I deliver dance classes for PPA cover. For the first half of the term, I taught dance topics that linked in with the children’s curriculum.
Inspired by a Secondary School Ballroom project I had heard about at an NDTA conference, I decided to try out a similar idea, but for key stage 1. Six classes were each taught a different style of Ballroom as a starting point for creative dance:
- Jive (big kicks, hand jive, partner moves)
- Quickstep (fast footwork, the children created their own duets)
- Samba (big celebration dance with scarves)
- Charleston (funky hat dance with funny facial expressions)
- Line Dancing (unison cowboys / cowgirls dance)
- Paso Doble (red capes and matador actions)
We spent 6 weeks choreographing and rehearsing each dance and the project concluded with a huge performance involving the whole school. In the style of Ashley Banjo’s secret street dance crew, I secretly taught the teachers a Ceroc dance. The children had no idea their teachers were going to perform and were absolutely delighted to watch them having a go too! The school was buzzing afterwards and the children were so pleased that they’d had the confidence to perform in front of their peers. The whole event was an amazing experience and I was so proud of everyone taking part (it even brought a tear to my eye!). In fact it was so successful, I am about to embark on our third performance project at the same school.
What dance projects have you worked on that have been a success? What themes / topics have you used to inspire the children in your school? Add your comments below…
And if you’d like to run a similar project in your school, give me a call on 07738042089 or email me [email protected]