Dance in SchoolsMy First Term

December 21, 2021by R.Ashton

I recently joined The Right Step Dance Company a few months ago and have loved my time there so far. From the moment I attended the summer picnic I felt welcomed and very much part of the team. Rebecca and the team have been wonderful to work with, always full of encouragement and support. In the short few months of being a part of TRS I feel valued as a team member and delighted to be doing the thing I am most passionate about, dancing. 

TRS have worked hard to find me regular work in schools to support my skill set, as well as equip me with further training. I have completed Educating Dance training and Active Armchairs which have both been thoroughly enjoyable. Being a primary school teacher, it has been refreshing and liberating to see the difference that dance brings to children and their education. It has always been a passion of mine and it is wonderful to put that into practice more frequently now.

Active Armchairs was a new venture for me that I have wanted to embark on for a while. Dancing in care homes is the most rewarding, beautiful experience where you cannot help but be filled with joy and the knowing that you are bringing joy to others. I look forward to teaching more Active Armchair sessions.

It has been a privilege to teach at many different schools, with pupils of all ages. I have wanted to have variety in my teaching and TRS have definitely given me that! Below are some snippets from each school:

St John Fisher

I have loved my time at St.John Fisher, working with secondary pupils ranging from Y8-Y11. We have explored street dance, street dance techniques and choreographed a few dances together. Over the term it has been wonderful to see students express themselves and feel confident to try new choreography with their peers. It has become a safe and fun environment full of joy and laughter. It has been wonderful to break down barriers of what dance should look like and who can dance. Pupils have embraced street dance and grown tremendously in confidence.

“I am so glad that the school invested into clubs. It is so much fun!”

One participant was a little unsure on his first session and by the end of it he said “I never knew I could dance before I came to the lesson. I really enjoyed it, thank you so much”

“I can’t really dance but I’ll give it a try” This girl completely changed her mindset about dancing by the end of the term and was always willing to give it a go.

Greenvale Infants School

It has been a pleasure to do Educating Dance at Greenvale this term. Children have explored and developed their knowledge of seasons and weather through dance which has been wonderful. We started by exploring senses using seasonal objects which gave children a stimulus to work with when creating movements. Children loved learning a motif, inspired by the stimulus. Over the weeks, children learnt how to develop a motif and choreograph their own dances. They loved working together to explore movements and thoroughly enjoyed using seasonal props in their dances. For example, rolling like a pumpkin and doing sharp prickly movements like a pine cone. Another highlight was using coloured scarves in relation to weather. Children thought about which colours symbolised different types of weather which then initiated their movement. They then worked towards doing a performance for the rest of the class and thoroughly enjoyed sharing their dance. 

“Dancing is so much fun every week” 

“I love the special stickers we get!”

The Holmesdale School

It has been a joy to work with secondary students at Holmesdale this term. We have explored street dance techniques and choreography as well as contemporary. It has been lovely to get to know the girls over the weeks and to see their confidence and dance ability grow. They have loved being a part of the choreography process and enjoyed working together to create their own dances. A highlight from the term was choreographing a beautiful dance to ‘Easy on me’ by Adele. I look forward to continuing to dance with these girls in the New Year.

“I love contemporary dance and the dance we have made” 

“I’m glad we are carrying on after Christmas”

The Marlborough Centre

It has been a lovely experience to work with children with autism at The Marlborough Centre. Children have enjoyed exploring many sensory objects over the term related to seasons and celebrations such as Christmas. They loved dancing with coloured scarves and using their scarves to pretend to wrap presents and decorate the Christmas tree. Another highlight was dancing with pom poms. We dimmed the lights and the pom poms sparkled beautifully which gave the children a lovely sensory moment. They explored their senses and enjoyed 1:1 dancing with adults. The staff were also very engaged and thoroughly enjoyed sharing magic moments with the children. Some children would have a complete change in emotions throughout the session. If they came in upset and crying, by the end of the session they were smiling and laughing. It was wonderful to witness these moments.

“Wow, wow, wow” said one dancer who didn’t communicate verbally for the first few weeks, but grew to love dance.

Hoo St Werburg Primary School

It has been great fun doing cheer dance at Hoo Primary this term. I have worked with a large group of over twenty students with varying ages ranging from year one to year six. Every week children have been excited, ready and eager to dance. We have learnt many different cheer positions and stances which have  been incorporated into dances. A highlight was choreographing a dance together to ‘cheerleader’. This was great fun, filled with many creative ideas and group work.

“Cheer dance is so much fun. I love our dances” 

“I’m so excited for next term”

Palace Wood Primary School

Palace Wood Primary has been great fun this term. We have been doing street dance and learning many different techniques. Children have explored dance actions and how to develop movements. They have been very enthusiastic each week, always bursting with new ideas. During the Christmas period, children enjoyed choreographing a dance to ‘Joy to the World’ by the Pentatonix. They are a lovely group of pupils who are eager to continue dancing in the New Year.

“I really like our street dance. It’s cool”

“I love dancing on Fridays, it’s always fun”