TEN presented by ACE Dance and Music

Thursday 12 April 7.30pm £12 (£10)

Isobel's Journey as a START Dance Teacher

Working with the Start project has been a wonderful, creative journey that I have been able to take with five different schools and eight different Key Stage 1 & 2 classes. As the only dance artist working with all eight groups I have had the opportunity to witness young people from various backgrounds as they actively engaged with dance, which in some cases has been them engaging with dance for the very first time. This has been an inspiring experience for me as I have been able to see the value of giving young people arts experiences and the skills, confidence and creativity in which the project can offer them.

Back in October 2017 myself and the Start project team took each of the eight groups on a tour of Déda and its galleries to observe the ‘Bridge the Gap’ art Exhibition.  Each group was given a guided tour where we discussed the art work and gave the pupils time to explore and reflect. Each child from each school gave a different reflection of the art work they had seen.  Some commented on what the work reminded them of, some on what they could see and others questioned the art work.  It was fantastic to see each individual investing their time in the art work. The children were beginning to interpret what they could see and also share their ideas and interpretations with me. This also gave me more than one pair of eyes to see the art work and allowed me to generate their ideas which I would later use to help each group create their own choreographies. I decided to use this experience and the selected responses from each school to create different stimuli for each group’s choreographies. Some would use Victoria Brown’s paintings on yoga mats to create a piece using yoga and nature as stimuli and others might use Nikki Dennett’s wood block prints to create a piece inspired by symmetry, reflections and repetitions.

Using the children’s responses helped me to keep the participants at the forefront of the choreographic process and gave the groups a real sense of creative ownership over their choreographies. With this in mind I would often let the participant’s ideas lead or re-mould my own planning. When planning sessions I would have to constantly think about each group and the individuals in each group. This would also sometimes mean I had to change my session plans or make a diversion in my own creative process to allow the participants to continue on their own creative journeys.   I remember one particular session where I led a yoga-inspired warm up to complement their stimuli (Victoria Browns paintings on yoga mats). It was a structured warm up where they completed a sequence of stretches in a set pattern. The sequence was completed four times in a variety of ways (slower, faster, in a different direction).  When we had completed the warm up which lasted approximately 5-6 minutes one of the children explained that it would be ‘cool’ to look at how we could do these movements using a ‘flower formation’. Formations was a key word we used and explored in a previous session, which this particular child had obviously remembered, and was showing an interest in developing. Before I knew it we were creating a huge flower formation using the whole class. We were practicing these warm up movements in the formation and exploring how this could be done most effectively. My whole session plan had been over written by this idea. However, this moment gave the children a real sense of working collaboratively and gave them even more ownership of the session and their choreography. These were often also the moments that the children remembered most when reflecting on the project.

Going into each group was a completely different experience. Each group had a different way of working and different view of dance and art. Whenever I go into a new group I always try to find out a bit about my participants. I like to know who dances, who has never danced, who likes to dance and who really doesn’t like to dance. I usually find that there will be a small group who haven’t danced and a small group who are disengaged with dance and who often have misconceptions of what they are about to do. It amazed me to see the changes made in these individuals throughout the creative process. During this project I have managed to re-engage any disengaged children by using various tasks and themes that they were interested in -some of whom had made it very clear that they didn’t want to dance - but they all did! All the children created and performed dance movements and all were engaged at some stage within the process. I do feel the creative nature of making choreographies has a big part to play in engaging children in learning as they are given the freedom to explore dance through creative movement and their own interpretations. One participant explained that the project gave them ‘creative freedom’ explaining that he had not been able to move like this before. He and his classmates later reiterated that they now understand that dance isn’t just about being able to stand on your toes, and that creativity has no boundaries. This was a very significant moment for me as I was able to see how much the young people value this project and how this had changed their opinion of dance and the arts.

Overall I’m so thrilled to be part of this wonderful journey, seeing smiles on children’s faces as they perform for the first time, watch as they delve into their own creative process and work together to choreograph a group piece. Witnessing multiple groups get stuck into creating and dancing, seeing individuals blossom in confidence and watching as movements are built from small ideas into set choreographic phrases. I have seen first-hand how dance can really create a spark in a child, put a smile on their faces and a spring in their steps. In the next step of the project I will oversee each child complete their Discover Arts Award. The groups are also coming back to Déda this week to see a performance of TEN by professional company ACE Dance and Music which is super-exciting, and will hopefully allow the young people to continue on their journey of discovery of dance.

Rehearsals for TEN presented by ACE Dance and Music. Image credit Graeme Braidwod.

ACE Dance and Music will perform TEN at Déda on Thursday 12 April at 7.30pm. Tickets are available at Box Office on 01332 370911 or online here.



Exercise  Planning  Acrobatics   vlog  September  Regional  expansion  carnival  DYDC  disabled  office  Tutor  Derby Festé  facilities  Performers  Heritage  New Year's Resolutions   Wendy  Book Club  offer  inclusive  Back pain  Deda  Community  relaxed performance  Festivals  Midlands  isolation,   outreach   Northern Soul  veganism, acro, nikki&jd, dance, Déda, Derby  variety  Déda,   Website Development  dyslexia  Fitness  ballet,   Strictly  SNOW  An Evening with the Siddiquis   Stress  free  DJ  Stopgap  Journalism  Circ Bizerk  Illuminos  Students  Print  Alice Vale  story  City centre  Marilyn Monroe  birds  Inspiring  Udancebythesea  Poetry  learning  Website  50s  ACE Dance and Music   photo  Path  apprentice  funding  Southbank  Shakespeare  class   Arts  contemporary  event  mood,  Graphic Design  Coordinator  dancer  Déda Refurb  actor  New Year New You   acting  All Dance  study  New Dimensions  interview  professional  Competition  Night at the Theatre,  party  Déda Board  Aakash  Youth  Graphic Designer  Developer  Meditation  Charity  Productions  cabaret  AGM  Ashtanga  Writing  National Lottery  Candoco  Bounceback  Nikki and JD  Vale  Dance Development  East Midlands    Fifties  Routine  art  disability   update  PSI   Hydra  celebration  ballroom  group  Juliet and Romeo  flamenco   Wellbeing  Salsa  accessibility  Children and the Arts  Course  BA Dance  mindfulness   Dancing  2019  dance, dancers, Joss Arnott, Derby, Déda, Triple Bill   Lydia Atkinson   Choice  U.Dance  Blog  Udance  salsa,   accessible  Performace  Projects   drawing  New Art Club  Photography  Leah   Creative Living,   comedy  Social  Foxtrot  depression,   social media  Hen Party  Music  Derby Theatre  Arts Council  Soul  Degree  Derby,  Poetry Performance  Relaxation  visual art  University  club  Victoria Brown   jive  Career  diversity  projection  Zumba  Participation  Cha Cha  Circus  development  Fresher  Discusssion  choreography  artcore,   meeting  NCCA  FORMAT  disco  marketing  University of Derby  Cultural Vision  START  Derbyshire   Brochure  Fundraising   social dancing,   food  Building work  Christmas  Knot  sara brighty  Outdoor Performance  student, work experience   lor bird  placement  history  feedback  Artists  refurbishment  Déda  Summer  training  Workshops  wedding  Ballroom & Latin  partner  BA Hons Journalism,   New Year  health,   anxiety,   ArtCore  Dance Active  Derby  Audience  Studio  Sleep  CUBE  Simon Armitage  RnB  Emma  Dance4  dance,   New Website  Higher Education  Dance  performance  The Siddiquis   Derby University  Hires  student  Déda Bloggers  Greek  STEAM   volunteer, Deda, dance, arts, Derby, Derbyshire, marketing, 20 years  Hercules  Plus One  words  Goals  BSL interpreted  reading  InCompany  Derby Dancing | Déda | Derby Dance | Dance | Heritage Lottery Fund | HLF | HeritageLotteryFund | Rendezvous de Dance | Victor Sylvester | Stork Club | Italian Club | Polish Club | Locarno | Locarno's | New Penny | Blue Orchid | Bell Hotel | The Clouds |   NCCA  business  T42 Residency  BBC  ACE Midlands  December   News  Creativity  Classes  Postural Stability Instruction   corporate  Danish+  Circa Tsuica  Clare Brooksbank  National Youth Circus Event  Danni Chell   Derby Book Festival  café  Dancing,   Children and young people  STEM   Lost Dog  Stompers  dance, placement  celebrating age  Holly Noble Company   hula hoop  Kathak  Waltz  Residences   Stephen Munn  Studying  Shows  Website Design  young people  vintage  Arts Award  family  books  Clare Limb  flamenco express  Web Developer  Tour  Derby Arts  digital  hubbub  Poet  artist  Rock 'n' Roll  network  Performances  Outdoor Events  john mcdonald  Ballet  Michaela Butter  Just Imagine Working Here  volunteer  education  Contemporary Dance  storytelling  fun  mythology  Culture  socialise  QUAD  India Festival  Tender  National Centre for Circus Arts  Rolls-Royce  Nightclub  commercial  Dance Development and Learning  research  Unviersity of Derby  regular  work experience  Déda Theatre  review  Autumn  management  Jasmin Vardimon  Plymouth  Celebrate  Dance Career  Schools  Hertiage Lottery Fund  Icarus  Sky Academy  siteline  Casson and Friends  Ben Spiller  Yoga  Theatre  retro  Adaire To Dance  Baby Shower