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London dance hub The Place is dancing with primary school children in lockdown

14 May 2020

A three year old Partner Schools Programme to expose primary school children to dance experiences continues with remote teaching and learning

At The Place, London’s hub for contemporary dance training, performance and development, we believe that every child deserves access to exciting dance experiences and that dance plays an important part in all education. In our experience, schools and colleges that embrace the arts are confident, lively, engaging and creative places. For three years now, we have partnered up with primary schools around our local borough of Camden to offer a unique programme of dance to local primary school children as well as development opportunities for their teachers, resulting in exciting and diverse ways for learners of all ages to develop their skills and confidence through movement.

In 2020, The Place is working with 14 Partner Schools around Camden reaching around 810 children.

“Our partnership with The Place ignites a special spark of creativity in our children through using movement and dance to build confidence, to tell stories and to communicate their learning. Together we have nurtured talent, challenged thinking and removed barriers. Children and staff alike have been privileged to experience and explore the joys of dance!” –Bavaani Nanthabalan, Executive Headteacher, Netley Primary School

While the government act to close schools due to the Covid-19 crisis has put an end to us physically dancing together with the children, the Partner Schools Programme has nevertheless found new and innovative ways to continue their relationship with the Partner Schools remotely. The Dance Artists teaching the creative sessions at the schools – some of them alumni of The Place’s very own London Contemporary Dance School – have produced over 50 videos for the Partner School children to dance to at home and continue their dance experience with The Place.

23 videos have been made of general material to be enjoyed by all of the Partner Schools and 27 videos have been made class-specifically for every individual Partner School by one of the artists that was working with the children at their school’s Creative Sessions and the work they had been doing together before the lockdown.

Reactions from our Partner Schools:

“We love our partnership with The Place London who DANCE with us regularly. They have kindly shared videos to keep children active and dancing at home. THANK YOU The Place” (Rhyl on Twitter)

“Thank you for sending these over! I’m sure the y5 team will appreciate these videos as it offers something different and new for the children to learn from/ enjoy.” (Brookfield)

“Thank you SO much for this – wow! What a thoughtful idea and a lot of work for you to put together. I’m sure the children will absolutely love the videos. Really personal and it will definitely help them to feel connected.” (Eleanor Palmer)

“These videos are fantastic! What a thoughtful idea. Thank you so much. We will definitely set them as home learning and I will share them with our colleagues, including those who are looking after the small number of pupils in school at the moment.” (Rhyl)

“That is great. I will post the links up for the children straight away. It will be a nice link back to school times. much appreciated.” (Argyle)

Current partner schools are:

Torriano Primary School, St George The Martyr, Brookfield Primary School, Netley Primary School, Fitzjohn’s Primary School, Beckford Primary School, St. Paul’s CE Primary School, Kentish Town CofE Primary School, Rhyl Primary School, Holy Trinity CE Primary School, Eleanor Palmer Primary School, Christ Church NW1, Gospel Oak Primary School, Argyle Primary School

More information about the Partner Schools Programme at The Place can be found here: https://www.theplace.org.uk/camden-partner-schools-programme