Contemporary dance workshops

We were invited back to Berrow Primary school in Somerset, to teach some contemporary dance workshops with a fire and ice theme – with a big performance by the whole school.

They had been planning a festival for months to happen on Friday the 14th of June after school. They were running loads of stalls and invited local people as well as all the parents who were coming along to support the school.

All the classes were doing individual performances (music, songs or dance) which they had been working hard at during the term. But they wanted one dance for the school school to take part in – that’s where we came in.

The theme they had all been working towards was Fire and Ice, and our contemporary dance workshops were perfect to fit in with this! All the teachers dress up for their festival day, so we couldn’t let the side down. So we got crafty and created a costume to fit the theme, sewing symbols onto a dress we already had. See the pics below from creation, to the final dress…

We had around an hour with each group of 60 children, with two year groups joining in learning the same dance. It was intense getting everything taught and remembered so they could perform it later in the day.

We got our thinking caps on to come up with some music to fit the theme… and we came up with these ideas:

  • Nursery + Reception ‘Le Carnival Des Animaux’ by Nicholas Walker

This was an instrumental track which sounds really twinkly and atmospheric. We created a dance based on animals which live in icy environments. We had Penguins and Polar Bears and it was really sweet watching the youngest ones in the school getting into the movement of the animals.

  • Years 1 + 2 ‘Call of the Champions’ by John Williams

This was a classical track used for the Winter Olympics a few years back. We did a dance based on sports like Ice Skating and Bobsleighs. There was a section of the children being the excited audience watching it. We even had a medal ceremony at the end where three children were awarded medals of bronze, silver and gold.

  • Years 3 + 4 ‘Great Balls of Fire’ by Jerry lee Lewis

This was a really upbeat and fun 50’s inspired dance to the popular song, with lots of partner work!

  • Years 5 + 6 ‘Firestarter’ by The Prodigy

This was more of a Contemporary dance. Each student had a scarf to use in it, in a bright red, orange or yellow, to represent fire. It was a really fast and physical dance and pretty technical, which the oldest years did really well with.

  • Whole School ‘Ice Ice Baby’ by Vanilla Ice

The whole school ran onto the stage at the end of the dance to do the finale all together. They danced to this very familiar pop song from the 90’s which was more of a Street dance, and we kept the choreography simple for all years. All the parents in the audience were singing along and it was a great ending to the dance!

We had a fantastic day and look forward to going back next year for a different theme…..