We have done two afternoon workshops at Joseph Clarke School in Walthemstow, and have enjoyed the challenge.
It is a school for pupils with visual impairment and some additional complex needs, so in terms of our dance workshops we needed to make sure they were inclusive for everyone to join in. We play lots of great music and always bring extra props or costumes to feel or wear, to make it very sensory for those children who want to join in but find the dance a bit tricky.
The first session we did there was Bollywood dance style, for a sports day they were having in a massive hall. It was a one hour session with all the children in the school dropping in and out with parents and teachers all having a go. It was a bit crazy and noisy but loads of fun. We bought belly scarves and bindis for everyone to dress up in which they loved.
The second workshop was a year later for their Centenary celebrations. They had loads of activities on that week including a visit from Princess Michael of Kent. They also had a town crier in on our day, and all the children took to him with his booming voice, and kept calling him a pirate!
We taught Brazilian dance outside in the sunshine which bought an extra mood of carnival. Our Zest teacher bought in lots of Carnival style masks with feathers, and gold costume necklaces for the children to look at and wear for the workshops.
It was fantastic to see the children working closely with their teachers to master moves which is really hard to do with little or no eyesight. They really are an inspiration and it’s a fantastic school for us to visit. We hope to go back again soon.