Coppélia Creative Dance Project for Years 1-3, Salford and Birmingham

During the 2011 summer term, we delivered a series of workshops, based on Birmingham Royal Ballet's Coppélia. The workshops for Year 1-3 pupils were structured around the schools timetable, usually three practical dance workshops per day with a maximum of 30 pupils in each.

Delivered by Jenny Murphy, accompanied by Helen Watkinson, or by Colin Sangster, accompanied by Andrew Kristy, each workshop gave an insight into the ballets themes, familiarising the groups with the ballet's story, steps and mime, as well as the performance skills needed by professional dancers.

Additional learning outcomes included

  • challenging stereotypical ideas of ballet
  • developing concentration and focus
  • application to learning new skills
  • raising aspirations
  • increasing confidence and raising self esteem
  • Teachers were also invited to attend twilight teacher training workshops, giving them the opportunity to meet the artists, experience the workshop, discuss the objectives of the workshops, so they can be tailored to the needs of the school and pupils, and receive practical ideas on how to develop the work further.

    Schools were encouraged to bring the pupils to see a performance. Schools ticket deals are available for matinee performances. Attendance at a performance is an important learning experience, enabling the pupils to see what they have learnt performed by professional dancers to a full orchestra. A once in a lifetime opportunity for many children.

    'I had been to a previous training session at Birmingham Royal Ballet and found it very useful indeed. I learned a huge amount and had fun. It helped me to prepare the children for the workshop and to understand how to use the experience to feed into other parts of the curriculum.' Teacher's experience of the twilight training

    'One boy said this morning that he didn't want to take part. Not only did he take part, he was the star performer in the class which was nice to see.' Deputy Head Teacher

    'Movement is important in every day life. It's good to get fit and raise the heartbeat, it is also great for control.' Teaching Assistant

    'They learnt some good disciplines, listening, watching, which allowed them to express themselves in a new way. There was also the element of team work.' Teacher

    'I was worried in case I got something wrong, but I didn't because I was concentrating.' Pupil

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