Dancing for Social Action

Written by Amy – Birmingham Ormiston Academy

My name is Amy Jones, and I have been lucky enough to have the opportunity to choreograph and work with Firs Primary School, Birmingham, on a dance piece which they will be taking to The Great Big Dance Off.

Along with two of my peers, we have successfully choreographed a nearly three-minute routine, to an energetic and upbeat piece of music, called Freak the Freak Out. In preparation for going into Firs Primary School and teaching the students who are in the extra-curricular dance group, we felt that this piece of music appealed to the age category.

So far, we have taught the students in person, however, this was such a fantastic opportunity for me and the other ambassadors to gain skills in communication, leadership and teamwork and we cannot wait to return to the school and continue to develop theirs and our skills. As an added experience, I have had the opportunity to work on my ability to edit music successfully, as I have been tasked to do this for the song, we are using for the competition routine.

When we were at the rehearsal with the students, we had to find ways to engage the class. Keeping the students enthusiastic and motivated about what we were doing, helped us when teaching them the dance routine.

I found new ways of doing this and will take these through to my teaching career within the performing arts in the future. Together with being clear and comprehensible with the younger students, we were also tasked with the challenge of being clear with the teachers at the school, ensuring we have the same vision as when we aren’t there to practice with them, the teachers will be rehearsing with them.

BOA Social Ambassador’s mentoring pupils at Firs Primary School, in Castle Bromwich in Birmingham.

Before going to the primary school in person, we were asked to create tutorial videos for the dancers to use in the weeks when we weren’t there to teach them the routine ourselves. This experience alone added to our skills of being concise and clear, as I believe it is harder to teach through a screen than it is to teach a person, or group of people, when in the room with them.

Although I gained my skills set with my communication and leadership, I feel as though the experience of teaching at Firs Primary School has given me further self-confidence and truly developed my sense of self-assurance because of how much the students loved what we had produced for them. They were genuinely excited to perform something we have created. This was such a rewarding thing to hear, and we even had an email from one of the activities teachers at the school stating how the students were practising in the playground!

I cannot thank my teachers enough for putting me forward for this opportunity and I, along with the other ambassadors cannot wait to return to the wonderful students at Firs Primary School.



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