Rebecca Ashton

Big Dance 2014



This year Medway celebrates Big Dance with not one, but two big celebration days! One on July 6th at Medway Park in Gillingham, the second on July 12th on Sun Pier in Chatham. Of course, we couldn’t miss either event and this blog post (to be updated as the events progress) will tell you all about it.


IMAG3384Today was Big Dance at Medway Park. There was a fantastic mix of dance performances and workshops from new companies such as Vez Dance to the more experienced Loop Dance Company who were, this year, commissioned to create a new piece with Boy Blue Entertainment. We especially liked that there were dancers of all ages. From little Pop Dancers with AMG Dance to the ladies from Moving Memory Dance Company, showing that just because you look older doesn’t mean you dance like it.


As well as things on the main stage there were lots of stalls. We shared The Right Step’s stall with Alix, one of the TRS Teachers, and her dance company, AMG Dance. We had a great time meeting the dancers who take part in her classes in various venues in Rainham/Gillingham. The stall next to us was another TRS Teacher, Gemma Quinnell, with her dance and fitness company. Just along the way was Georgia, our Adult Dance Coordinator and TRS Teacher. Georgia manned Loop Dance Company’s stall. What a good bunch!

IMAG3426The day was a great show of how integrated in the local dance and general community The Right Step has become in the past few years. I was proud to see so many of the TRS Teachers there as well as people we’ve worked with on various projects and in our regular work. They included Luci Napleton (organiser of the whole fantastic event) who works for Medway Council’s arts team and who also organised edna, an inspiring dance, arts and health project I was involved with last year.


Heather Burgess from Sun Pier House had a stall all about Medway Open Studios and two artists were with her. I took a few minutes away from the stall and ‘Made a Face’ out of paper with them. Next week we will be on Sun Pier for Big Dance, right next to Sun Pier House. We are very thankful to them that we can use some space there as our Green Room, especially as Sun Pier House is playing host to Medway Open Studios at the moment!

As with many of these events, we made an Auto-Awesome, a clever app that takes a random selection of photos and video footage from the day and mixes it altogether. remember, it’s random so it doesn’t always make sense, but it is a fantastic overview of the day and we hope you enjoy watching it. Can you pick out all of the TRS Teachers!


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18 dancers, 12 minute dance, 3 shows, proud TRS


Balfour Infants School’s Year 2 Dance Club have worked spectacularly hard this year to choreograph, tie together and rehearse for their Year 2 performance, a tradition at the school. The dancers have all been a pleasure to work with. They all performed beautifully and should be very proud of themselves.

The dance was choreographed by the dancers and myself over the past two years. They are a creative bunch, full of energy and ideas! The dancers chose their favourite bits and I mixed the songs together for them so we could perform them all! Four of the dancers joined us part way through this year and so didn’t know a lot of the material. They set their mind to it and, by the performance, you couldn’t tell the difference between them and any of the others so well done them!

This was the group’s second performance. The first was at The Rats Bay Shindig in April 2014. They performed ‘The Upside Down Dance’. Some of that dance was included in the final performance. The dancers were fantastic at the shindig as well. You can read more about that HERE.

I also teach a Year 1 Dance Club at Balfour Infants School. I asked the group what they thought of the performance and here are some comments I received from them.

‘The show was fantastic because the year 2s kept practising and they were really good at it.’

‘I liked the Happy dance that they did in it and they mixed it all together.’

‘It was fantastic because it just was. My favourite bit was probably the bit when they looked like an egg at the start and then they grew into something.’

So, what you’ve been waiting for! Here’s the video…

‘The Upside Down Dance’, ‘Storm Vs. Sun’, ‘Lion King’, ‘The Oompa Loompa Dance’, ‘James Bond Warm Up’, ‘Happy!!’

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Maths and Dance and Such a lot of Feedback!


Lorraine went to St Nicholas Infants School today to lead some cross-curricular dance workshops with a Maths and Dance theme! Here are some of the things the participants and their teachers said about the classes.

Comments from Class 1 (Year 2) after their Maths and Dance class
‘I liked my group doing the turn.’
‘Liked it all, was a good thinking game and fun as well.’
‘Liked going round circle saying names and going fast.’
‘Liked group balancing and turning.’
‘Great warm-up [think they mean the games as we didn’t do a normal warm-up’

‘That was brilliant! The children loved it. Was great to see how easily they could learn a sequence in a group, without pressure. We will use the station idea in our next session [country dancing].’
Year 2 Teacher, St Nicholas Infants School, June 2014


Comments from Class 2 (Year 1/2) after their Maths and Dance class
‘Enjoyed the jumps.’
‘Liked all of it. Liked watching group doing the snake move.’
‘Liked making shaped and ‘can you’ game.’
‘Wonderful. It was really fun. Especially spaghetti and meat balls [from the ‘can you’ game]’
‘I liked the station moves.’

‘I loved watching my class working as a team, and without speaking!’
Year 1/2 Teacher, St Nicholas Infants School, June 2014

Comments from Class 3 (Year R/1) after their Maths and Dance class
‘Liked balancing and low shapes.’
‘Liked turning.’
‘I liked everything. I liked the spinning.’
‘I liked balancing.’ 

Class 4 (Reception) after their Maths and Dance class
‘Liked the balances’
‘The lying on the floor, and spiderman picture’
‘Liked picture of girl balancing’
‘Liked picture and move for spiderman’
‘Liked the spin’
‘Liked the jump. Really high.’

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Mighty Metals!


Last term I worked with Year 3 at Miers Court Primary School on a cross-curricular dance project designed to enhance the pupils’ learning.

The Plan
Each year group in the school has a different theme to focus on each term. Last term, the theme for Year 3 was Mighty Metals so, using a cross-curricular approach, we explored magnets, metals, forces and movement.

Miers Court Mighty Metals


The Process
We began by watching Honda Cog, a fantastic video that shows how parts of a car come together in an unusual way to make a car start. From this we got lots of ideas for words that describe movements. There were six groups and they each created their own production line, passing their group’s chosen object down the line of people in an unusual and interesting way. After a few sessions we ended up joining all the groups together to make one, very long production line. It was very impressive and all the dancers did so well to keep going throughout the long dance. One class even came up with a plan to make a robot!


The Performance
There were four weeks to get ready, on the fifth week was the performance! The year 3 classes performed to each other, to the year 5 classes and to staff who included the Deputy Headteacher!

The rehearsal on the day was tense and very busy. At the last-minute a robot dance, choreographed by everyone in each class together, was added for a spectacular ending.

The audience arrived and were asked to sit right in the middle of the hall, very unusual some said. It worked perfectly for the performance though, the audience were surrounded by the robot production line and then, towards the end, the robots came towards them, dancing, before collapsing to the floor, all tired from the hard work!

The Video
We were very lucky because Clare, The Right Step’s Social Media Guru was able to join us to film and take photos. You can find the photos in our gallery or on Pinterest,

Here’s the video…

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The Rats Bay Shindig



A cross a curricular dance workshop with Clare at The Rights Bay Shindig

A cross a curricular dance workshop with Clare at The Rats Bay Shindig

Dance yourself Dizzy!

Yes, the long awaited Rats Bay Shindig was held last weekend, launching the re-opening of the Sun Pier on the banks of the Medway. We teamed up with AMG Freedom Dance, to provide a complete melange of workshops with dance styles, taking us from one side of the globe to the other.With a gloriously sunny start to the event, children from both The Right Step and AMG Dance performed on the pier itself, taking us from balletic Mary Poppins through to funky jazz with “Upside Down”. The audience and The TRS Teachers then joined in and learned the routines. It was a fun dance by the water.
This set an eclectic tone for the entire weekend’s workshops where we travelled the globe from the bouncing pom poms of US cheerleading and fun Charleston dancing, to a tropical “Where the Wild Things Are” from the fabulous Bollywood dancing of India to the stomping, wellie-slapping Gumboot dancing from South Africa.We also enjoyed some live dance performances including the delightful “Ginny and Maude go to the Seaside” and a funky fusion from three of our TRS Teachers. One of our most lively workshops turned out to be the Active Armchairs session, where we had a huge circle of seated dancers, and Pete the security guard gave us an inspired Dick Van Dyke impression.By dusk on Sunday we had tried them all, zig-zagged the world, and our most prolific workshop participant Isabella had declared “It was
Supercalifragilisticexpealidocious!!!” …fantastic!
Richard painting Ginny and Maude at The Rats Bay Shindig

Richard painting Ginny and Maude at The Rats Bay Shindig

Artistic Flare

As well as dance, many other art forms and interests were represented at the Shindig. These included everything from, drawing and painting to T-shirt printing and Mini art. There was also some incredible edibles in the form of crepes from Crepe In Your Face and game burgers. The  Sun Pier Gallery and Tea Room was open, we really liked the cardboard piano and there were other displays as well. WOW Magazine, LV21, The KAB Coconut Shy to name a few. Every stall brought a new thing to talk and think about.
On the Sunday we were excited to see Sun Pier House artist, Richard Jeferies, set up a huge canvas a begin to paint Ginny and Maude who had performed that day!
Thank You!

It took a lot of work to bring dance to The Rats Bay Shindig and we have these people for their wonderful help…
Alix Godden (from AMG Dance)
Clare Wilders (Social Media Whizz)
Emma Perry
Georgia Smith
Lawrence Hoar
Lorraine Smith (Instantly Theatrical)
Sophie Fuller
Sophie Williams (Instantly Theatrical)
Steph Vezmar
Taigh Giles
Vicky Branton

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