High School Boys Put On Their Dancing Shoes
Hellesdon High School, part of The Wensum Trust, were extremely fortunate to be able to offer a group of Year 9 boys the opportunity to participate in a series of dance workshops that were held both in school and at the Norwich Theatre Royal. The workshops were run by a london-based professional dance company ‘Boy Blue’ over the course of two days, as part of the Norfolk and Norwich Festival.
The workshops, which were led by highly qualified instructors, involved intense activity as well as power and strength training. The boys soon discovered just how much strength and ability is required of professional dancers, as they worked hard to learn various grooves and choreographed footwork. There was some healthy competition and a few team-building exercises which focused on building self-esteem and boosting confidence ahead of a performance.
Science teacher, Matt Gardiner, who accompanied the students said “the boys have gained so much confidence and rapport with each other. I think this experience will help break some of the negative stereotypes formed of boys dancing and will encourage them to get involved in something like this in the future. I have been inspired myself to try and take my dancing skills further, even if it’s just to show off some gnarly shapes at prom!”
On day 2 the boys had the opportunity to train in a private dance studio and were granted behind-the-scenes access to meet the Boy Blue dance crew and to actually dance on the main stage of the Theatre. The group received VIP treatment during their tour of the rehearsals before tucking into an evening meal, courtesy of the Theatre Royal.
“It was great to see the boys so engrossed in the workshops from start to finish. I really hope that their confidence has developed across the two days and that any stigma that may have been applied to boys in dance has been well and truly dispelled,” said Vaughan Stevenson, teacher of PE.
Hellesdon High School would like to thank the Theatre Royal and the Umbrella Trust partnership for offering the students this extraordinary experience.
Photography by Max Hilton (Theatre Royal Norwich)