The Duets Scholarship programme focusses on nurturing the talent of children and young people from challenged backgrounds, and to broaden skills and knowledge through new life experiences surrounding dance and the arts. The young dancers meet on a weekly basis at their school, after their school day is completed. The time is split into separate Ballet and Street Dance sessions and young dancers learn the basic technique of each style and develop their skills as dancers.
“As one of the head teachers of the primary schools where a number of our pupils have benefited from this innovative approach, I cannot praise the dedication and commitment of the staff from both companies highly enough. It has been fantastic to see the progress the pupils involved have made, not only in terms of their dance skills but also in the development of their self-confidence and academic performance.
Jane Jenkins – Head Teacher, Moorland Primary School
Louise Lloyd – Ballet Sophie Batey – Street Dance
Moorland Primary School – DUETS Scholarship Programme!!
We are getting super excited about performing our curtain raiser at the Riverfront Theatre in Newport on Thursday 30th and Friday 31st May 2019!!! It’s the premier of ‘Romeo A Juliet’ by Ballet Cymru and the Moorland Duets Scholars are opening the show with their dance titled ‘Romeo & Duets’. Look out for photo’s and the film of the performance that will be on here in June!!!
The Scholars have had some exciting visitors to their sessions this term. Robbie Moorcroft and Krystal Lowe are Ballet Cymru Company members and they came along to join in the ballet session with us!! Also, Rubicon Dance, full-time learners attended a street dance session and performed one of their dance pieces for the scholars, followed by a workshop led by Paul Davies! What lucky children!
The Duets Scholars have really developed their skills in ballet and street dance! We shared the dance pieces this term with family, friends, teachers and invited guests to celebrate the work that the Scholars have achieved this term!
Dance performance at Moorland Primary School……
The Scholars were awarded their certificates for successfully completing the Discover Arts Award!! Well done all!!
Some of the DUETS Scholars gave there feedback on how they feel about being part of such an exciting dance programme………
DUETS Scholars visited Ballet Cymru Studios in Newport!
The dancers had a wonderful time exploring Ballet Cymru Studios and having their dance session there. The whole of the professional company joined in the session and the energy and enthusiasm from everyone was amazing!! The children worked very hard rehearsing their new dance pieces and they created some beautiful work with guidance from Sophie, Louise and company members.
DUETS Scholars at the Riverfront to watch Ballet Cymru ‘Cinderella’!
Some of the DUETS Scholars had a wonderful time at the Riverfront Theatre and watched the dress rehearsal of ‘Cinderella’ by Ballet Cymru!! They said that they all felt like V.I.P.’s as they were allowed to go into the Theatre first, had front row seats and were given a programme……..and……..they met the dancers after the performance!!! They loved every minute and what a brilliant opportunity for these young people.
Ballet Cymru Company Dancers join in the Scholars session!!
We all had a wonderful time this week with members of Ballet Cymru who came along to join in the dance session and showed us a beautiful ‘par de deux’ from the production “Cinderella”. We even had a go of lifting and being lifted!!!
“Being selected for something is great – it makes them feel special and work harder at it because it is only for them, not for everyone.” – Parent
“I couldn’t afford this, so it is really special that someone is offering it to him for free – it is so good to have that opportunity.” – Parent
Already halfway through the programme based at Moorland Primary School and the young dancers had their first opportunity to show off what they’ve learnt so far! Parents, family and friends were invited to watch the children in their street dance and ballet sessions to see what they do each week and how they are encouraged to improve, learn and create for themselves.
We started with the street dance showing all the strength and dynamics needed for this style of dance, finishing with a sequence that was a combination of moves taught by Sophie and moves the children had created themselves. A quick change of shoes and the children were ready for ballet with Louise, demonstrating the discipline needed to switch between the two styles of dance. The children showed some of the technical skills we’ve been working on over the last few weeks such as pliés, tendus, and jumps on the spot before travelling across the space showing the more powerful and energetic moves of ballet.
“I love that they were all given black ballet shoes – it means there is no difference and that boys and girls are treated the same.” – Parent
“It is good to say that ballet is for boys – he loves it and is not embarrassed at all.” – Parent
To finish off the children showed short sequences that they had choreographed in small groups using the moves we’ve learnt so far to follow a pattern of starting position, arm moves on the spot, leg moves on the spot, travelling moves and ending position.
“She was so proud when she was selected – it really boosted her confidence.” – Parent
It was clear from the feedback from the children that they have learnt a lot over the last few weeks and it was wonderful for them to have this chance to show their families and friends what they’ve been working hard to achieve. Everyone watching was so proud of those dancing and could really see how this programme with such a clear focus can benefit the children.
“I see it links to physical activities like rugby, martial arts and jujitsu – he comes home and show me things and I say ‘that looks like kung fu!'” – Parent
We’re looking to push technique, creativity and execution of movement even further next term with the aim of combining the two styles and merging the movements, creating more possibilities in how we choose to dance