SSLP Day of Dance - pushing the boundaries of creativity (Forest Hill School)

Partner: Forest Hill School, Forest Hill, London
Partner type: Maintained School
Project category: Academic

Forty Year 9 dancers from six different schools, both state and independent, joined forces in March in a day of dance, designed to increase choreographic understanding and methods in preparation for GCSE level. This initiative was organised as part of the SSLP, The Southwark Schools Learning Partnership, and was led collaboratively by two teaching staff, one from Alleyn’s and the other from Forest Hill.

After a warm-up, dancers learned three motifs from the professional dance work ‘Rosas Danst Rosas’ which involved using a chair as a prop and explored the themes of human behaviour and institutionalism. Dancers were then placed into mixed trios and engaged in a variety of choreographic tasks designed to manipulate the movement material in order to create their own original and creative piece of choreography.

Dancers were a pleasure to work with and astounded everybody with their creativity, commitment and ideas. The finished pieces were a joy to watch, with every trio exploring a slightly different perspective, resulting in twelve very different pieces of choreography. In addition to the pupils’ experiences, five dance teachers were also able to join us and remarked unanimously about what excellent CPD this day provided.  

Some of the dancers remarked:

“Today was amazing! I loved using a prop and understanding how to have a more experimental approach to choreography. I really enjoyed working with other dancers from different schools and how to learn from my fellow dancers within the choreographic process.”

"The choreographic methods were different to anything that I have done before and I loved it! I learned how dynamics change the audience’s understanding of dance and we experimented with many different techniques such as canon, accumulation and climax. I think this will really help in my dance future. It was great to work with so many new people too.” 

Aims of the project

To improve the choreographic understanding of Year 9 pupils in order to prepare them more readily for the demands of GCSE.

To provide CPD to local dance teachers from other schools.