In our experience, schools that embrace the arts are confident, lively, engaging and creative places. At The Place we offer tailor-made dance and cross-curricular projects that can introduce lesson or topic material, or revise, extend and enrich it in exciting ways. We work closely with partner organisations and school staff to design and plan projects – big or small – that answer the needs of children and the school, bringing our dance and teaching expertise to inspire teachers and enrich learning.
Projects can be developed from any starting point and can include inspiring professional development for staff, and often lead to performance or informal sharings of work by children. The Camden Schools Dance Festival is one example of this and is funded by London Sport and delivered by Camden Dance Development Group, which includes Akademi, B-Better, English Folk Dance & Song Society, icandance, Camden Council, The Place and The Surma Centre.
On Monday 8 February our building was packed full of 375 excited young people who were performing the dance pieces they had created in a series of workshops over several months of working with professional dance artists using South Asian, contemporary, folk and street dance styles. ‘The standard of performance was high and reflects the huge amount of work put in. It was wonderful to see so many young people enjoying the physical, social and emotional benefits of taking part in dance. The smiles on their faces as they come into the theatre says it all' said Maria Ryan, Children & Youth Dance Manager at The Place.
Councillor Larraine Revah, Mayor of Camden said ‘It was a real pleasure to attend the Camden Schools Dance Festival to see the talented performances by Camden’s schools. Congratulations to our dance partners Akademi, Bbetter, The Place, EDSS, icandance, The Surma Centre and our Camden teachers who always work so hard to make this annual event such a success each year, and lastly thanks to The Place for hosting the event.’
Thank you to all the teachers, dancers, choreographers, organisers and most importantly, the young people and their families for making this such a successful project.