Our Wiltshire Virtual Schools Dance Project 2022

What happens when five young people who’d never danced before and three dance artists take over an empty studio for a week? 

In February half term three of our fabulous dance practitioners Alex, Natalie and Ollie were excited to work with Wiltshire Virtual Schools to deliver a dance project for five young people who do not attend mainstream education. 

The project was structured around dance and movement sessions, working towards a final performance, as well as the completion of their Discover Arts Award.

At ZoieLogic Dance Theatre we have seen, time and time again, the impact that taking part in dance can have on multiple areas of a person’s life – far beyond the enjoyment of the artform in the moment. It can help to improve physical skills and abilities, increase self-esteem and help people to build relationships within and outside of the dance zone.

How did the project meet its aims?

Improving skills and abilities

The group focused on building technical skills and movement repertoire, before learning how to use choreographic tools. Practitioners soon handed over the reins to the young people to make their own fantastic performance piece. This was shared with an invited audience at the end of the week. The majority of the group identified personal improvement in technical dance skills – we love this! Alongside their physical skills, they also developed skills in communication, team work, teaching others and even designed their own invitations to the event.

The young people’s invitations

Increasing self-esteem

On the final day of the week, the five participants filled the studio with over 30 friends, family and supporters to share what they’d created and celebrate their achievements. We were delighted to notice an increase in confidence and self-esteem from all participants as the project progressed. “Making new friends”, “creating and making” and “sharing their own ideas with the group” are just some of the highlights the participants reported. How great that the group were able to notice this change within themselves?

Building relationships

There were positive social interactions from everybody throughout the project, even though as commented by Wiltshire Virtual Schools lead Paula Page:

“…None of them knew each other before the start of the week – the team work was impressive”

Three out of the five young people had set themselves a goal of making new friends throughout the week – they certainly achieved that and are still in touch.

We were thrilled that the participants were able to reflect positively on the goals they set themselves at the start of the week – well done to all! We’re happy to have kept in touch with the group beyond the original project, and have since reconnected for other activities, including a tour of University of Southampton and a trip to see our touring production of RIDE in Southampton, April 2022.

If you would like to bring a similar project to a group of young people you know, please contact Lizanne – lizanne@zoielogic.co.uk

Find out more about Arts Award

Find out more about Wiltshire Virtual Schools

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