Dance

Dance is enjoyed by Ballard pupils through the School from Kindergarten to GCSE Dance. Our specialist Dance teacher provides high quality lessons within the PE curriculum, which covers the four main strands of Dance; performance, composition, fitness and appreciation.

At Ballard we not only engage pupils as performers but develop them as choreographers and dancers who can analyse their work.

Dance develops physical, creative, imaginative, emotional and intellectual capacities. It also requires social skills. Dance provides opportunities for artistic and aesthetic education as well as opportunities for children to explore and express moods and ideas symbolically through movement.

Children develop a range of technical skills and the ability to improve their performance. Through experiencing dance, children can also develop their cultural and historical knowledge and understanding.

In addition to dance in the curriculum, pupils are able to enjoy being a member of a number of different dance clubs, which are open to all, with an emphasis on fun and participation. There is also an established school dance company called Visions, which is aimed at those who wish to develop their dance skills further and perform in a number of opportunities within school and the wider community throughout the year. This is open to Year 6-8 Junior Company and Year 9-11 Senior Company and is through audition or invitation.

To build on our own dance expertise we have seen a variety of highly acclaimed dance companies and had workshops with many of these in School too. These include Rambert Dance, Richard Alston, BalletBoyz, Matthew Bourne, Alvin Ailey Dance Company, the English National Ballet and Birmingham Royal Ballet.

Dance also plays a key part in many School productions and our dance scholars take part in the ‘Performing Arts Scholars Showcase’. We also run a through-school dance production for pupils in Years 1-11 in alternate years where everyone is welcome to participate and perform. Dance scholars from the senior school often support our younger pupils in their dance clubs and the opportunity for these pupils to work and perform alongside older dancers provides both inspiration and challenge.

The Senior Visions Dance company has also been into the community to a number of feeder schools to perform and lead workshops. They have also participated in the National ISA Dance competition.

The school has a spacious, dedicated dance studio, which is equipped with full-length mirrors, ballet barres and the provision of IT to facilitate teaching & learning.

 

Pre-Prep

Dance is timetabled in the Ballard Pre-Prep schedule each week. Wherever possible we work with other departments on cross-curricular topics, emphasising what they are learning in the classroom. For example, by exploring the words and phrases in movement to bring a poem to life in a literacy lesson. Pupils develop fundamental movement skills, become increasingly competent and confident and access a broad range of opportunities to extend their agility, balance and coordination, individually and with others. They have a lot of fun learning, creating and performing dances together.

We get involved in World Book Day, which includes a dance down our catwalk for all our fabulously dressed pupils!

All children participate in performances, including the annual Nativity and Summer Showcase. This year’s Magical Mystery showcased a variety of dances from Nursery’s ‘Teddy Bears’ Picnic’ to a beautiful dance to the music from ‘Moana’ using colourful scarves.

For those who are keen to do more, there is a dance club open to all boys and girls in Years 1 and 2. They are offered opportunities to perform at various events in school and also within the whole-school dance production that takes place every two years. The last production ‘Eureka’ was a fantastic experience and performance for all involved based on ‘Eureka’ moments throughout history. Dance scholars from the senior school often support our younger pupils in their dance club and the opportunity for these pupils to work and perform alongside older dancers provides both inspiration and challenge.

Lower Prep

Lower prep pupils receive a course in dance from our specialist dance teacher in our well-equipped dance studio. They continue to apply and develop a broad range of skills, learning how to use them in different ways and to link them to make actions and sequences of movement. They enjoy communicating, collaborating and creating movement vocabulary with each other. Pupils develop an understanding of how to improve their performance and learn how to evaluate their work. They grow in confidence and recognise their own success.

In addition to the dance programme, Lower prep pupils also enjoy an ‘Expressive Arts’ programme, working across dance, drama and music to prepare a range of performances including an annual production. Recent opportunities have included a colourful production of ‘Suessical’ and a range of related workshops on a Mayflower Theatre Day. Pupils complete their ‘Explore Arts Award’ through the ‘Expressive Arts’ programme.

We also run a through-school dance production for pupils in Years 1-11 in alternate years, where everyone is welcome to participate and perform. The last production ‘Eureka’ was a fantastic experience and performance for all involved based on ‘Eureka’ moments throughout history. Dance scholars from the senior school often support our younger pupils in their dance club and the opportunity for these pupils to work and perform alongside older dancers provides both inspiration and challenge.

Upper Prep

All pupils receive half a term of dance teaching in their PE programme. This continues to develop their skills and knowledge in performance, composition and appreciation. Pupils work with each other around a theme and develop key skills such as; communication, teamwork, problem solving and self-improvement. Pupils develop self-confidence and self-esteem and an ability to respond creatively to challenge throughout the dance lessons.

We also run a through-school dance production for pupils in Years 1-11 in alternate years, where everyone is welcome to participate and perform. The last production ‘Eureka’ was a fantastic experience and performance for all involved based on ‘Eureka’ moments throughout history.

Our established Visions Junior Dance Company, which is open to those who wish to develop their Dance skills further, perform in a number of opportunities within school and the wider community throughout the year. This is open to Year 6-8 through audition or invitation.

Senior

Pupils in the Senior School have a wide range of opportunities on offer to them in the Dance department. Our Pre-GCSE dance course prepares our pupils to develop new skills in dance alongside analytical skills, leadership skills, knowledge and understanding of the art of Dance as pupils’ plan, work and do. Within this course in Year 9, all pupils are offered the opportunity to take their Bronze Arts Award.

They work as a group to create a group dance, which this year was performed in the Scholars’ Evening performance. They had a fantastic trip to the Mayflower Theatre for a dance workshop on stage with an English National Ballet teacher and dancer from the Nutcracker. This was followed by a private back stage tour, looking at the costumes, watching a company class and finishing with a Q&A session with the dancers. This gave an incredible insight into the life of a professional ballet dancer. Finally, we watched the matinee performance of the Nutcracker, which inspired them all to achieve their Bronze Arts award.

Additionally, each year all Year 9 pupils are challenged by a visiting professional dance artist in a workshop environment. This year we had a Rambert artist who taught repertoire from ‘A Linha Curva’, which is a GCSE Dance prescribed work.

It is this variety of opportunities which leads not only to great success at Arts Awards but also at GCSE and beyond. We have had a 100% pass rate at GCSE Dance A*- C for several years.

We also run a through-school dance production for pupils in Years 1-11 in alternate years, where everyone is welcome to participate and perform. The last production ‘Eureka’ was a fantastic experience and performance for all involved based on ‘Eureka’ moments throughout history. Dance scholars from the senior school often support our younger pupils in their dance club and the opportunity for these pupils to work and perform alongside older dancers provides both inspiration and challenge.

Our established Visions Senior Dance Company, which is open to those who wish to develop their dance skills further, perform in a number of opportunities within school and the wider community throughout the year. This is open to Year 6-8 through audition or invitation.

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Ballard School

Fernhill Lane, New Milton, BH25 5SU

Tel: 01425 626900 Email: admissions@ballardschool.co.uk