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