Allysha, an Alumni from FES, and a peer from BBO Dance School conducted a wonderful workshop with Year 7 students from Fulham Cross Girls’ School earlier this month.
The workshop began with a short introduction to the overall theme. This consisted of a brief discussion with the students explaining the theme of the set material, why this was chosen and some clips of the piece they will be learning as well as a professional piece of dance to link it to and hopefully inspire the students.
After this, the students had a warm-up session that was a fun and energetic pulse raiser – getting the girls to move around the room and get ready to work. They were then guided through 4 short technique exercises to prepare their bodies, and minds for the set material. This consisted of bends, leg/toe stretches, small and large jump sequence. Once this was completed, students began learning the set material. This dance was based upon the story of ‘The Ugly Duckling’, it is a familiar story that students knew and they related to in terms of having a sense of belonging, especially in this transitional stage in their lives. We think that this relatability made portraying the character and the story much easier for the students.
To finish the workshop, we filmed the Ugly Duckling material and watched the clip back with the students, allowing them time to reflect on their work. This particular programme supports students physically, socially and emotionally. The workshop gave them the opportunity to take part in physical activity that was not only enjoyable, but also created some physical challenge for the participants — pushing them to be their best in a controlled and nurturing environment.
Additionally, the reflection aspect of the programme allowed students to evaluate and feel proud of the work they had learnt and created. We hope that this will inspire students not only within dance, but will also give them the confidence, determination and problem-solving skills that they can transfer to different aspects of their lives as young people.