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Hendon dancers shine at “Speak Out” Challenge! Final
Our dancers from Hendon School rocked the stage yesterday at Jack Petchey’s “Speak Out” Challenge! The group was invited to perform a special performance at the event dedicated to improve the skills, confidence and desire of young people to speak in public.
Hendon School has been with Step into Dance for over five years and has been heavily involved in the programme. This year, they performed at the Spring Sharings and also won two categories of Step into Battle: breaking 2on2 and breaking crew battle. Their next appearance will be at Step LIVE! at Southbank Centre on Monday 17 July. They will battle in the breaking competition at 12pm on the Festival Terrace and showcase their piece at 4.30pm on the Clore Ballroom.
We have to give a massive thank you to the Hendon teachers, Ms Choolun and Ms Goodman, for being so supportive. And also to our teacher Mahdi who does such a great job in his dance classes and in our Inclusive Youth Company projects.
Charles Darwin School qualifies for the London Youth Games final
X-Tol, the Step into Dance group from Charles Darwin School, has been selected to represent Bromley at the final of the London Youth Games. As explained in this article, the contemporary piece "The River Returns with the Rains", choreographed by our teacher Amy Robinson, was judged overall winner at the borough qualifier. The final will take place on 8 March at the former Olympic Park in Stratford and will see selected groups from the 33 London boroughs compete against each other in over 30 different sports.
We wish Amy and her dancers the best of luck for the competition finals. X-Tol will also perform the piece at our Bromley Spring Sharings alongside 11 other schools from the borough at Ravens Wood on 24 April.
Focus on... Camden School for Girls
Camden School for Girls in North London have been on the Step into Dance programme right from the start. Dance in the school has gone from strength to strength, with over 100 year 7 students taking part each year and the development of a hugely popular Dance Company who train each week with their teacher Rebecca Carter. The school have hosted the Camden Borough Event on numerous occasions and have been regulars at Step LIVE! Last year, due to popular demand they held their very own Spring Sharing and this year they will do the same.
Ruby Reich, year 8 student says, “When I first came to CSG in year 7, I was most excited about the possibility of performing for the Lord Mayor’s Show and with the Camden Dance Company. I auditioned for both and got in. Rehearsing for the Lord Mayor’s Show was quite difficult at first, but performing was AMAZING! Dancing along the streets with everybody watching us, wearing the Jack Petchey hoodies was an incredible experience and I hope that I get to do it again!"
"The first dance I took part in with Camden Dance Company was to ‘Shake it off’ by Taylor Swift, and we performed it at our school’s Christmas assembly. Then we started to learn another dance to ‘Salute’ by Little Mix to audition for Step LIVE! 2015, at Sadler’s Wells. Meanwhile, in P.E. we were preparing a dance to ‘Revolting Children’ from Matilda, also to audition for the Sadler’s Wells show. Practicing both of these dances was really fun, and when we got into Step LIVE!, with both pieces we were all really excited to perform in front of so many people!"
"I am in my second year of being involved with the dance company, and I love the weekly rehearsals! I think that the Step into Dance programme has boosted my confidence when performing in front of others and made me feel like I can put myself forward for things such as solos."
Photo: Mark Lees
Focus on... Central Foundation Girls' School
Central Foundation Girls’ School, in Tower Hamlets, are now in their fifth year on the Step into Dance programme. The school have an after-school club and have been involved in many of our events. Recently they hosted a Step Together contemporary dance workshop with Mulberry School for Girls and Haggerston School. They also regularly perform in the Spring Sharings.
Tammy Seager, dance teacher at Central Foundation, says, “It has been almost 5 years of working with Step into Dance and I am never disappointed, always impressed.”
Speaking to some of the girls involved in the weekly, contemporary dance classes, one student says, “Taking part in Ellie’s dance classes I have the chance to improve my technique and create complex phrases. I find this beneficial in creating my own choreography and think it will help me with my GCSE Dance course.”
Photo: Foteni Christofilopoulou
Focus on... Kingsdale Foundation School
Kingsdale Foundation School are now in their fourth year on the programme. During this time, they have hosted a Spring Sharing and performed at Step LIVE!
A member of the after-school street dance club says, "I was shy when I first started secondary school, but then I saw a poster for Step into Dance classes. At first I was very nervous and not sure if this was for me, then I met my teacher who has helped me a lot. When we came second in the London Youth Games Dance Competition it was a great feeling!"
It is so exciting to hear from schools about their experiences and to spread the joy that Step into Dance can bring through its diverse classes! There are still spaces for SEN and mainstream secondary schools across London and Essex to sign up for 2015/16.
Photo: Foteini Christofiloupoulou
Over 6,000 involved in Step into Dance 14/15
The Step into Dance team have been hard at work looking at what has been achieved this year on the Step into Dance programme and reminiscing about all the great experiences that we've had in schools and on stage.
We have been doing some sums and over 6,000 young dancers have taken part in the programme during 2014/15 and as we all begin to enjoy the summer holidays why don't you tell us your favourite moments from this year on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Vine using the hashtag - #stepmoments
Photo: Mark Lees
Heartlands dancer goes from strength to strength
Heartlands School were one of four SEN groups to perform at Step LIVE! 2015. After the event, one of the young dancer’s parents got in touch to tell us what an impact the performance and the classes which led up to it have had on his son.
“Llewellyn usually finds crowds and performing in front of people very difficult to manage. At events like birthday parties and weddings he usually asks to leave early and has never managed to stay for a whole event. Since joining the Step into Dance programme he is gaining so much confidence when performing and interacting with others.”
After taking part in the Enfield Borough Event in April this year, Llewellyn’s Dad was amazed by his performance and participation:
"It’s the first time Llewellyn has ever taken part in an event with so many people where he didn't have to leave early and looked like he had the best time of his life. He is a changed boy!"
Soon after the Borough Event, the family attended a wedding. They were expecting to have to leave early as usual; however Llewellyn surprised them by asking if he could stay and dance. Llewellyn had a great time, interacting with others on the dance floor and performing his routine from the Borough Event. His Dad was ecstatic!
“Llewellyn was very proud to take part in Step LIVE! 2015 at Sadler’s Wells, and we can’t believe how much he has achieved as a result of his dance classes. ”
Photo: Mark Lees
Mulberry School for Girls perform for Michelle Obama
Last week, First Lady Michelle Obama visited the UK as part of the ‘Let Girls Learn’ campaign, visiting Mulberry School for Girls in Tower Hamlets, as part of this visit. Dancers from the Step into Dance programme at Mulberry School had the opportunity to perform for Mrs Obama in what was a truly unforgettable experience.
In a speech, Mrs Obama said: "With an education from this amazing school you all have everything, everything you need to rise above all of the noise and fulfill every last one of your dreams. And it is so important that you do that, not just for yourselves but for all of us. Because you all have a unique perspective, you have a unique voice to add to the conversation."