Getting their dance on
A free dance workshop offered by Dances for Schools, a face-to-face dance programme for schools, at the end of last year was enough for Nelson Park School to give the organisation the nod.
“The response from the teachers and students was so positive and buzzy that we booked them,” says principal Sue Bewley.
Dances for Schools offers two weeks of teaching, where every child dances every day, culminating with a show. The children dance daily for two weeks from 30 minutes for younger students to 45 minutes for older students. They praise participation, perseverance, persistence and effort — not intelligence, natural abilities, best dancers or fast learning.
“This means everyone grows in confidence. The programme is differentiated — the ones who need extending get that and the ones who need encouragement get that,” Sue says. The dance extravaganza gave 425 children aged five to 11 the opportunity to show their parents and caregivers just what they’d be up to. Deputy principal Rose Gilmour led the organisation of the programme and show.
“There was parent Nelson Park School Year 1 and 2 pupils showed their moves at the Dance Extravaganza held a couple of weeks ago. participation so everyone danced and everyone was a stand out performer. They all shifted in their confidence and understanding of what they were capable of.”
Sue says although it was a challenge fitting everyone in, there was a positive response from the community.
“Ezra, the dance instructor, emphasised a growth mindset and that if mistakes are being made, that means we are learning rich.”
Costumes were devised by the different teams and they all looked “ready to rock”. “We have booked Dances for Schools for 2020. They are a stunning organisation and it has made the last two weeks of term what school should be — fun.”
Ezra from Dance in Schools talks Nelson Park year 1 and 2 pupils through their dance moves.