Dance is vital to our health and wellbeing. Through our workshops young people develop their kinaesthetic sense, their sense of themselves in the world, and the power of community and celebration!
Dance also develops skills in physical interaction, team working, problem solving, communication of ideas and emotions, and in making connections, design in space, musicality and creativity. Dance can improve self-esteem and confidence; it can widen aspiration and ignite a passion for life!
Pan-African Dance - Working with traditional dances, songs and rhythms from western, central and southern Africa our creative dance workshops connect to the history, cultural context and contemporary relevance of the dances. The sessions include rhythmic warm up games and excercises, techniques, dances, songs, rhythms, discussions and creative explorations. The students get to design their own dances, and a great spirit of teamwork is generated.
We suggest working with live music for dance workshops but can also work with recorded music.
Body Percussion - Rhythm lies at the heart of our work and is a powerful way of connecting to each other. Body percussion is an excellent way into dance and movement, especially for Key Stage 2 and above.
South African Gumboots - This dance form is a language of body percussion that began as a means of communication in the mines in Apartheid South Africa and evolved into a dynamic form of Street dance, now popularised with perfoming companies such as STOMP. The workshops include an introduction to rhythm and creating rhythms together, learning the Gumboots dances and creating our own rhythmic patterns.
Creative Dance - Dance is a powerful vehicle for creative self expression. Our bodies are our first instrument and way of expressing ourselves. These sessions work with a theme and use rhythmic games and movement tasks to explore and expand the theme through movement.
Dance in the Landscape - We are moving breathing beings, part of the rich tapestry of the living cosmos. Our lives are affected by all that is within and without us. When we dance in the landscape our bodies remember their instinctive nature. These sessions focus on movement in response to the world around us.
Earth Dances - Earth Dances arises from a fertile meeting ground between traditional and neo-traditional pan-African dance and non-stylised and environmental movement, drawing also on threads from Shiatsu, Aikido and Shamanic traditions.
The benefits of dance are beginning to be recognised.
Health and well-being
• Co-ordination, control, posture, strength, stamina, flexibility and mobility
• Physical confidence, enjoyment in moving
• Making connections between feelings, values, ideas
• Learning through spatial, kinaesthetic, visual and verbal modes
• Enhanced memory through physical patterning and repetition
• Observation, analysis and developing strategies to improve performance
• Exploring and experimenting
• Attention, focus and bringing whole self to the moment
• Enjoyment, motivation, inspiration, aspiration and achievement
Life and employability
• Confidence and self-esteem
• Communication and negotiation skills; experience in giving and taking feedback
• Skills in working with others and in building consensus to achieve goals
• Problem-solving and the ability to respond to chgallenges and generate innovative ideas
• Leadership skills
Artistic and aesthetic understanding
• Understanding a unique means of translating ideas, expressing meaning and communicating
• Kinaesthetic, physical, spatial and visual awareness
• Integrating the processes of performing, making, observing and appreciating
• Collaborating with other art forms
• Making informed and critical judgements
• Developing creative thought and action
• Appreciation of diversity in cultures, cultural values and traditions
• Understanding the signifiers of identity
• Physical empathy and understanding of difference
• Reading and expressing meaning in signs, spatial design, gesture, posture, bodily tension
• Appreciation of linear and non-linear narrative and abstract structures
• Speaking and listening through discussion, evaluation, appreciation
• Developing vocabulary to describe, analyse and interpret