Categotry Archives: Testimonials and Feedback

Magic Moments! Sept 2018

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This year we have had so many Magic Moments from all our classes we thought we’d share them altogether for you to see. Whether it’s a small toe tap from an older adult participant who usually struggles or a standing ovation from a performance at the end of term, TRS have so many magic moments and we love to share them!

“I just wanted to say how lovely it was at Lulworth House today. Aga (the activities coordinator) was there and encouraging everyone to join in. She had made a point of encouraging people who wanted to take part to come into the room and so many people joined in, it was fantastic. What a difference. I thanked her for being so helpful.”
Clare

“I have just done my first taster at Friston house and it was amazing!! Rebecca and I both stood back and had a moment when they were all doing “it’s raining men” with their pompoms swinging them around their head. They were all having the best time and smiles all round. I have come out feeling buzzing!”
Shanice

“Year 5 at Singlewell Primary School have been learning Bhangra Dance this term and will be showing some of their moves in their assembly this week. They were looking fantastic in their dance class earlier in the week and we can’t wait to hear how it went!”
Steph

“I was so proud of my class at Burham last term. When it came to the performance they did so well that they even got a standing ovation from the audience!”
Georgia

“I went along to St William of Perth to cover a class. They had been learning a dance with Abi and couldn’t wait to show me! I was so Impressed they managed to remember the whole thing! I gave them a huge round of applause.”
Georgie

“A lady, Rose looked a little emotional at one point when we were dancing to “You are my sunshine” she said ‘My dad taught me this song… such happy memories. Thank you!”
Clare

“I played wonderful world last week at Gillingham Age UK and one lady in front of me was really expressing the words with her face. She was singing the words and doing the movements with so much emotion, closing her eyes singing and shaking her head. It was clear she must have been remembering a special moment, was lovely to watch and made me smile!”
Alix

“I just had my last class at Burham Primary School before the summer holidays and they had their performance. They went full out with make-up and costumes and the parents loved it! It was bittersweet as 6 of these as moving up to secondary school next year, so I had to get a photo!”
Shanice

“Singing in the rain is my tune of the day today!! We had a great sing along at Fort Horsted and reminisced about the great Gene Kelly and his wonderful dancing in the rain and swinging around the lamppost!”
Steph

“I was doing an around the world theme in my Active Armchairs classes recently. One lady is normally tired when I come in to do my sessions, but when I played ‘Tell me ma’ for my Irish Jig her feet went crazy! It looked like she was doing traditional Irish dancing, and everyone was so impressed!”
Georgie

“I heard a lady talk to another lady at Gillingham Age UK, and all I heard was ” if you’re happy, you have everything” and that just made me really smile today!”
Alix

“I was at Victory Care Home on Friday. There was a lady at the back occasionally joining in. My next part was doing a bit of one to one with egg shakers and the participants. When I come around and got to her she asked me if she could stand up and dance with me. I said yes and we had a lovely dance together.”
Becca G

“Last time I was at The Grove, we were talking about different dance styles that we enjoyed and perhaps did or wanted to do when we were younger. One was ballet and I mentioned about teaching and still taking lessons in ballet. This week I brought in my pointe shoes to show them all and we had a discussion about how you go on them, what age you should be before starting and where your weight is. I also gave them a cheeky little demo and they loved it and were very impressed and full of praise! Happy dancers and happy teacher (with a slightly Inflated ego).”
Alice

“When I was at Stoke on the last day of term, the school said that this was the busiest the clubs have ever been! It made me feel really proud and each term almost every child returns!”
Shanice

“I was at the Gillingham Age UK dementia class and this lovely lady Marie and I ended up having a one to one dance, as she said she felt comfortable being around me and loved dancing with me! Which was lovely!”
Abi

“I heard a lady talk to another lady at Gillingham Age UK, and all I heard was ” if you’re happy, you have everything” and that just made me really smile today!”
Alix

“We had a new lady Reenie, who initially seemed very distressed and kept calling out. However, I found that all she wanted was for someone to hold her hand or engage her visually. She literally stopped every time I held her hand and seemed to relax… if I caught her eye she also stopped calling out in distress too and would try to copy whatever I was doing.”
Clare

“Hi mini magic moment today, I covered Lulworth this morning and the residents were so welcoming, one even danced with me, full jive moves! He was impressed I could keep up! Another (who had been glaring at me the whole time but still joined in) made sure I had everything before I left and was telling me to make sure I stayed safe on my way to my next care home!”
Alice

Hearing about the TRS Teachers’ Magic Moments is one of the best things about our job so I’m sure we’ll have more to share soon!

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Magic Moments!

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We recently held our All Hands Meeting, a chance for the TRS Teachers to get together, talk about the company and the direction it’s taking. As part of the meeting, the TRS Teachers shared the best things that have happened to them this year. We’ve been gradually sharing them on Facebook for the past month, but thought you might like to read them in one go.

 

I had a magic moment today at Gillingham Age UK. It was only brief and fleeting, but magic all the same.
I don’t know if this lady is there other days, but on one of the middle tables near the window there is usually sat a lady who sits and doesn’t appear to join the exercises as much. Well, on this particular day, during a Doris Day song… I caught her eye, and actually caught her singing along to the song!!! She didn’t join in with any other songs, nor did she dance, but to see just a little twinkle in her eye and joining in just a tiny bit was fantastic. Sadly she did then return to her word search when the next song started. But I am definitely going to use “Whatever Will be Will Be” again.
Clare

 

One of the children I teach at Wrotham Road Primary has been struggling to skip for some time, but the other week he finally learnt how to! I was so proud! We started with hopping and turned it into skipping.
Alice

 

At Warren wood where I teach street dance, the girls in the class come in saying ‘’I’ve practiced the dance!’’ It’s so sweet to hear!
Katie

 

In Active Armchairs I have recently been using a tambourine. I tap a rhythm and the participants clap it back to me. They then all get a turn! It works really well, and they really like it!
Alix

 

At Lulworth House there is a lady who always joins in active armchairs and is usually really enthusiastic. One week, however, she wasn’t feeling herself sadly. So I wondered what I could do to get her more engaged. As the lady is from Spain, I decided to put some Ricky Martin on and she loved it!
Clare

 

At World Book Week this year I was at St Mary’s Primary School. With one class my theme was ‘space’. I asked the children to become planets and create their own solar system with movements. For example I used words like orbit for turns. It was fantastic. They were so involved and imaginative. It was really lovely to see all of the boys and girls working together!
Becca T

 

At Hoo Primary School recently I had a really good day there! I was so impressed to see as I walked into the school the girls were there ready and practising their dance. It was lovely to see how excited they were!
Steph

 

Active Armchairs amazes me everytime. Even when it’s a harder session, you just see them move the slightest bit and it’s just beautiful to see them come alive with the music and movments.
Steph

 

At Byron Primary School, I have been doing a carnival theme. I use feather props and everyone takes turns in being the leader. However, usually there is one girl who is a bit too shy to be a leader, but she still joins in and follows. Well, last week I couldn’t believe it, she was so excited and enthusiastic to be the leader of the group! It was so lovely to see, and her mother was asking how she had been, and she was surprised to see her confidence grow too!
Becca G

 

I went along to watch Steph’s active armchairs class at Mayflower Care Home. There was a lady there, and all of I sudden I noticed her standing up. She was dancing and boogieing all the way over to the window. Then she danced with all the other participants on her way back to her seat!
Hayley

 

The other week I was covering a class for Steph at Abbotsleigh Care Home. Then the care worker asked me if we could do the ‘Cha Cha Slide’. I was a bit surprised to be asked this! And in honesty I never would have thought to do that song in Active Armchairs, but I gave it a go, and it was fantastic. The residents really loved the beat and all of the care workers came in and did the dance for them. It was lovely to see everyone smiling and having fun altogether!
Georgie

 

I go to Valley View on a regular basis and so I have made some lovely relationships with the residents there. One lady, sadly has quite a bad memory but this never stops her joining in. And what I love most, is that she remembers every single song I play and sings along to them all! Most of which bring back lots of lovely memories for her!
Georgie

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Magic Moments

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On Monday the TRS team met for November’s All Hands Meeting. We have two a year and use them as an opportunity for the team to get together and discuss the company and ideas for its future. We always go around the table to introduce ourselves because there’s often a new teacher or two and not everyone knows each other well. This time we each shared a Magic Moment from or thought about TRS classes. Here are just a few (the ones I could write down quick enough!)…

Steph
When at Fort Horsted I was talking to Edith about my honeymoon and she asked me to smuggle her in my suitcase and take her with me. When I went back again after honeymoon she had a giggle fit. She thought it was so funny that she had asked to be smuggled in a suitcase!

Alix
Going to Victory House on a Friday afternoons makes my week complete. I have such a good time. One lady comes in to visit her brother at the time I’m there every week and joins in too.

Bex
When I first started at TRS I visited Byron Lodge with Rebecca and Steph. I met Rose. Every time I went in she remembered me and said ‘Oh, you’re back’ and made me feel welcome. More recently, at Mersham Primary, where I’ve been teaching cross-curricular Samba and carnival dance classes, one of the dancers said ‘I don’t want you to go, I want you to stay forever!’

Georgia
At Warren Wood Academy we played a name game about what we did at the weekend and I told them about shopping for my sister’s wedding dress. After our break, the children had collected some leaves and threw them over me like confetti. I didn’t have the heart to explain it wasn’t my wedding, they were so sweet!

Abi
Last week I went to Winchester House with Steph. It was the first Active Armchairs session I’d seen and I’ve never been in a care home in my life. I was nervous and stood next to a nice lady most of the time. When Steph put on the song ‘Time of your life’, a resident, Mark, put his things aside and danced. He was so happy and it made my day.

Clare
Once I went to Montgomery Court and only Doff and Mary came to class. It was disappointing at first, they are such big characters that we giggled throughout the whole class. ‘Wonderful World’ is our signature song for cool down. I can’t get away without doing it. Doff now has a toy frog that sings the song. She brought it and it sung as we danced!

Georgie
I went for a taster session at The Vale. The first session was amazing so I looked forward to the second. Gwen always sits up straight and proper, but when she dances she really shows her character and enjoys herself. There are always residents walking in and out of the room there. By the end there were a lot of people in the room, but instead of sitting down, they stood in the middle and danced! It was like a big party in the end.

We enjoyed hearing the Magic Moments so much that we’ve decided to make a big thing of it. There will be lots of Magic Moments going out on our Facebook page and we hope to make them a permanent addition! Check them out here… https://www.facebook.com/therightstepdc/

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Christmas Newsletter 2015!

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We’ve had a fantastic year and couldn’t fit it all in, but we’ve had a good go. So here’s our Christmas newsletter! Try Ctrl scroll to be able to read it better. If that doesn’t work we’re happy to email or post you a copy.

Christmas Newsletter 2015

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Why is The Right Step Good for Medway?

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Last month I was inspired to ask some of the people we work with this question and I was amazed by the responses. I’d like to thank everyone who answered as they all took time in their busy schedules to think about their reply. They really are fantastic.

The Right Step Dance Company provide many dance opportunities for people in Medway reaching all ages and abilities.  Through their different programmes they can adapt their teaching to any environment.  Whether it is with children and young people in schools to vulnerable older people in day and residential care settings.

Through provision of education and training they are up-skilling the dance workforce in Medway and increasing employment opportunities for not only their teachers, but for dance artists within the region.

They are capable of working in partnership on many levels, with schools, day and residential care centres, stakeholders and not forgetting the public, successfully.

Their outlook is far-reaching and inclusive, providing benefits within the community, contributing to dance education both formally and informally and dance to help increase health and well being.

Luci Napleton, Dance Development, Arts Team, Medway Council, August 2014

The Right Step Dance Company is committed to driving throughout the community an awareness of, and participation in, the enjoyment and benefits of dance.  Right Step provides a very wide range of different dance styles as Princess Anne said to Rebecca Ashton “so you can teach everything from the Waltz to the Military Two Step!’ The Right Step’s approach is summarised in its own statement of “Dance at Any Age, for Any Ability” – this includes in-school dance lessons and dance clubs, training of teachers in dance and assisting schools with cross-curriculum support on specific topics as well as its proprietary form of chair based exercise for the older market called “Active Armchairs”.

In addition to its longer term activities with schools, care homes and Age UK, Right Step is especially talented at creating individual events for schools such as end of term concerts or events highlighting a particular topic of interest to the school.

Of particular importance to the company is its involvement in other community activities, For instance, its warm up routine “dancing santas” as precursor to the Rotary fun run is rapidly becoming institutionalised. The company was commissioned in both 2012 and 2013 to create, choreograph and participate in events as part of the FUSE Medway Festivals, in 2012 the theme was to create “Changes in the Current” a visual memory bank about the Medway Esplanade at  Rochester. The programme for 2013 lead to the creation of The Sirens of Cetham, which was featured again in 2014 and is likely to be a recurring theme in the future.

Rebecca regularly leads her colleagues through programmes of training in new styles but especially in continuous professional development in order to ensure that the company delivers its services and meets its customers’ expectations at the highest possible level.

Ian Goodwin, Mentor for The Prince’s Trust, August 2014

    

The Right Step Dance Company are a professional company who place community values at the heart of their organisation. With a dedicated and trustworthy practice, you can rely on them to deliver high quality arts to those who require them within the Medway Towns. With a wide repertoire under their belts, classes range from Active Armchairs for older citizens, to school friendly curriculum based classes. They deliver a professional and friendly service every time.

Since The Right Step Dance Company have moved to Sun Pier House they have been actively involved with community events. They contributed to The Big Dance and Medway River Festival with their Sirens performance, which involved creating a site specific piece, fusing modern dance with mythology. They have also held a series of dance training events for teachers, and raised community awareness for Dementia Friends.

Since their time at Sun Pier House their connections have widened, networking with arts based practitioners to commission new work and enrol new teachers.

Keely Augustus, Sun Pier House, August 2014

As someone who has only recently located to the Medway area, The Right Step gave me work. As a self-employed dance teacher I had been concerned about my prospects in a new area, and The Right Step have used my services on a regular basis, thus enabling me to establish my business.

As far as benefitting the Arts, The Right Step are up there at every Medway dance event championing the genre, with their teachers providing free dance workshops for people of all ages and abilities. They have also collaborated with professional dancers and choreographers to produce live dance performances at these events (Medway River Festival and The Big Dance for example) for all to enjoy. As well as this they bring the art of dance into primary schools and care homes with their Cross Curricular and Active Armchair programs.

They have also provided relevant training for all Medway residents with their Social Media Strategies and Assertiveness and Behavioural Management workshops, as well as providing continuing professional development specifically for teachers in the area with their Active Armchairs and Cross Curricular teacher training programs.

As a dance teacher, they have also helped improve my own business by enabling me to broaden my network simply by being open and sharing of their knowledge, contacts and expertise.

Being a part of the TRS team is not just about teaching a bit of dance, it is about being a fundamental part of Medway’s Creative Community and opening that creativity to all the residents, not just an elite few.

Clare Wilders, Dance Teacher, Rochester, August 2014

     

I have been fortunate to work with Right Step Dance Company as a collaborating artist, and also to witness some of their performances and workshops as an audience member and the parent of an involved child.

Across all these activities I have been struck by the personal energy exuded from these activities, whether in presenting the concepts and stories of performance dance works, or involving and instructing others. With Encouragement and education through these activities, The Right Step proves this is a medium that can be enjoyed, regardless of ability and able-bodiedness.

There is currently an Arts explosion within Medway, and Becky and her team seem to be fully ‘in-step’ with this. Working collaboratively with a multitude of other arts forms and media. Incorporating fine arts, musicians, textiles etc. Into astounding and above all enjoyable works. Which can only add to and encourage by example others to venture into these areas whereas before they might have been reticent? Making arts, especially performance arts; which at a minimum increase health and personal wellbeing through movement and involvement, accessible.

Richard Jeferies, Artist, July 2014

 

It’s to do with stimulating people isn’t it. Whether old, young or what, it’s about giving them the opportunity they need to release energy through exercise.

The Right Step offers the right, trained staff to do that. It’s a service that the schools and care homes of Medway find invaluable. The Right Step offers added value, a service that enriches people’s lives.

Tim Dawson, Zoo Design, July 2014

The Right Step is an important part of Medway. It offers work and professional development for dancers and dance teachers and encourages all ages and abilities to dance – everyone has the opportunity to innovate, build confidence, focus their thoughts and allow expression of their feelings while promoting physical and healthy well being.

Gemma Quinnell, TRS Teacher and Dance, Health and Fitness Professional, July 2014

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