Take 300 Thamesmead primary school children, a great dance teacher, a heap of enthusiasm and imagination and a little pot of funding from the Trust and what do you get? A massive dance mash up!
Thamesmead’s Castilion primary school really embraced the Trust’s T’riffic Thamesmead schools project recently when the entire school celebrated some of the different cultures represented in their local community through dance.
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 and all the staff are very proud of their efforts. It was lovely to see so many parents join us for the celebration as well.”
The Trust’s Head of Communications, Elaine Johnson, who runs the ‘T’riffic Thamesmead’ project, said: “The performance was exhilarating. It’s what the 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 special.”