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Head’s blog

Dancing and ‘The Arts’ at Grimsdell and beyond

This week we had a Bollywood Dance workshop within the school, working with all our different year groups with the purpose of integrating PE and Dance into our Theme on India.

I had the pleasure of visiting two of these sessions and wish that I had been able to stay for the entire time, as the children were so enthralled, and I very much wanted to join in! The story telling aspect of the workshop involved small gestures and hand movements which then led to larger and more complex dance routines. The children were fully engaged and I was impressed with how quickly they picked up the moves and found themselves immersed in the story. Mostly though, I loved seeing the expressive nature of their dancing – both within their physical rendition of the moves and their facial expressions.

Dance is an art form that is often under-valued and certainly does not really receive the recognition within schools and the education system that it does culturally or within The Arts. Usually dance as a discipline is taught outside of schools and is seen a luxury rather than a serious form of study. When you see the ability to express ideas and stories, emotions and concepts through dance and the physical form in young children it brings to light how important The Arts are in our learning journey and the value of these alongside academic subjects.

Our PE teacher at Grimsdell is passionate about physical literacy and the importance of dance as a medium of exercise and expression. The Bollywood workshop is just one example of dance but we integrate it into our PE curriculum, giving it the status it deserves.

As a mother of three children (one boy and two girls), all of whom dance for fun and pleasure, I cannot underestimate the confidence it has given them to be comfortable in their own skin and when presenting in front of others. As a Head I see the same impact on children, along with the joy it brings them.

I was introduced to a gentleman last week who is a not a dancer but the creative director for a design company and he started out as a jewellery designer. As a child and through his senior education he always loved art and would devote much of his time to creating, drawing and designing. He said to me that never at any point during his time at school did it occur to him or was it suggested that he could do this as a career. I hope that our children at Grimsdell and throughout the Foundation can develop hobbies and aspirations that lie in any direction and that The Arts holds as many possibilities for them as their academic learning.