More than 300 pupils from Castilion Primary School in Thamesmead have been celebrating the different cultures represented in the local community through dance thanks to support from us.
The project formed part of an annual joint Trust Thamesmead/primary schools initiative called ‘T’riffic Thamesmead’ which is designed to demonstrate something ‘t’riffic’ about Thamesmead and its young people.
Each class in the school suggested a range of dance styles and local freelance dance teacher Marie McGonigle spent a week in school working with the children to teach them their moves. Marie said: “It was an amazing experience. I often get to go into a school for a day but to be able to spend the whole week with them was wonderful. I can’t praise the children enough for their commitment and enthusiasm. Not only that, we all had so much fun!”
The classes each learned a different style: Line Dancing, African Dance, Bollywood, Irish Dancing, Salsa, Rhythm/Tap and Street Dance. Then all children from all the classes created a finale dance that ‘mashed’ together all of the different styles.
The project was led by teacher Mrs Shaw who said: “The School Council was very keen to show what ‘T’riffic’ Thamesmead is all about and to celebrate the range of cultures we have in our school and our local area. All the children worked really hard to learn their dance and thoroughly enjoyed their performances. All the staff were very proud of their efforts. It was lovely to see so many parents join us for the celebration as well.”
Spokesman for Trust Thamesmead, Elaine Johnson, said: “The performance was exhilarating. It’s what the ‘T’riffic Thamesmead project is all about; young people in Thamesmead celebrating who they are and where they live. So often they are subjected to negative opinions of their neighbourhood and for them to challenge them in such a positive way was really heart-warming.”