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Posted on December 10th 2018
'Avant Garde' Lead Professional Dance Workshop for Year 9
Professional dance company Avant Garde led a workshop for our Year 9 BTEC Performing Arts students recently.
Dani Harris Walters (pictured), a member of the company, led the workshop. Dani is currently playing one of the lead characters, Bill, in the UK touring show Fagins Twist, which reimagines the classic tale, Oliver Twist.
The students took part in a physically demanding workshop where they learnt the Hip-Hop style Krumping, a new form of Hip-Hop dance which gives dancers the opportunity to express themselves and their feelings through a series of rapid, exaggerated leg and arm movements.
The students learnt the basic steps to begin with, taking this in their stride and giving full commitment to showing the high level of energy and strength that is expected within this style.
Once the students had quickly grasped the fundamental technique they were challenged to learn choreography that is performed by professional dancers in Fagins Twist. The students were not fazed by the difficulty of this choreography and instead rose to the challenge showing Dani how talented and eager they are to learn and explore new dance styles and choreography. They performed this choreography with passion and an abundance of energy, starting to create and express their own stories through this style, using gestures which highlighted their personalities.
As the students had worked incredibly hard to perform this choreography to a very high standard they were given the opportunity to join in a ‘cypher’ at the end of the lesson, a dance circle where students are encouraged to enter and express themselves.
The students supported one another with enthusiasm as they entered the circle. This takes a lot of confidence and courage to perform on your own in front of your peers. Each student showed how talented they are by improvising on the spot but creating some exceptional work. The students were even treated to a performance by Dani much to their delight as they watched in awe.
After the workshop Dani said he was extremely impressed with the students’ efforts, dedication and, most importantly, talent - adding that he was inspired by their passion for dance.
Each student should be so proud of themselves for representing the academy in such a professional manner and giving all their energy and enthusiasm to creating a brilliant workshop and atmosphere. It was brilliant to see so much talent and creativity in one room.
Ms Haywood, RAD PGCE, Teacher of Dance