Dance Together 2018
Dance Together is the BalletBoyz partnership project with Strathmore School - our local school for learners with complex learning needs. Our work with Strathmore began in 2016 when BalletBoyz danced with Strathmore students to celebrate the opening of Strathmore’s new building. Since then, the partnership has gone from strength to strength, and in the Spring term of 2018, we completed the third year of this wonderful project.
Dance Together 2018 kickstarted at the very end of 2017, when BalletBoyz dancers reunited with the Strathmore students by joining their weekly school disco, and the students coming to Richmond Theatre to watch a dress rehearsal of BalletBoyz’ latest show, Fourteen Days. Then, during the Spring term this year we ran the six-week intensive project. In February, specialists from icandance led Makaton and Communication training which equipped our dancers with the skills to better communicate with the students at Strathmore, particularly learners who may be non-verbal.
Following this, our dancers began the regular visits to the school. This year we were thrilled to bring live music into the sessions. Musician, George Crossland, who has in-depth experience working with young people with special needs, worked with all of the students to create the music tracks used during each class. Also new this year, the students visited BalletBoyz for the first time, dancing in our studios, followed by a special in-studio performance by the company!
Throughout the project all dancers were paired with a fellow student, enabling each child to have 1 to 1 interaction, gradually building confidence and gaining trust. Each session focused on sharing with and learning from each other, creating movement and having fun together. At the end of the intensive, we invited parents, family and friends to come and join us to see what we had been up to.
It's been another wonderful year on the project, a real journey for everyone, and we can’t wait to get back to Strathmore School and dance with the students again soon.
Dance Together was generously funded by a crowd funding campaign, Richmond Parish Lands Charity, Clore Duffield Foundation and The Hobson Charity.