3 April 2013 at 5.17pm | Comment on this article
Each Season, the Royal Opera House runs Chance to Dance, a creative introduction to ballet for primary school students in South London and Thurrock.
This year, the scheme is supported by ballet shoe manufacturers Freed. The company supplies over 150,000 pairs of pointe shoes to dancers worldwide, including several Artists of The Royal Ballet.
This year Freed have donated 150 pairs of ballet shoes and 45 pairs of cycling shorts to students involved with Chance to Dance. The company will also be supporting Dance Dynamic, a scheme run alongside Chance to Dance, which empowers teachers to lead creative dance projects in their schools. Dance Dynamic runs in the form of an INSET programme, a day away from the classroom, in which participating teachers learn techniques and creative tools to help their students create a short piece of choreography.
One teacher commented:
We’ve been so impressed by the children’s response. At the end of term, the children were asked to think about their greatest achievement and many of them chose the dance project. Their sense of pride was wonderful to watch. They were so proud of their creation’
Dance is now part of the national curriculum but there is a noted shortage of teachers that feel able to lead dance activities in the classroom. Those teachers and students who took part returned to their schools to work on their own ten minute pieces of choreography. In March 2012, nearly 800 children from the 27 schools who took part in Dance Dynamic and the 28 schools who took part in Chance to Dance came together to share their work in the Royal Opera House’s Paul Hamlyn Hall.
Mark Redhead, Managing Director of Freed said:
‘We are passionate about enhancing involvement in dance and creating new opportunities. It’s so rewarding for us to come to events like Chance to Dance and see how teachers and children have worked so hard, and how their efforts have paid off.’
We’d like to thank Freed for their vision for dance and their support of the Royal Opera House’s education outreach work.
Find out more about our annual Pointe Shoes Appeal, which helps with the huge cost of keeping the artists of The Royal Ballet in shoes each Season.