LCB’s Dance Inspire programme gives free weekly ballet classes to children at two primary schools in South East London. Through these classes, children are given their first taste of a world that is entirely new to them – one of classical music, storytelling without words, physicality, grace and coordination, costumes and stage craft. Schools who benefit from these classes have observed the remarkable transformation in many of their pupils; those who started out with a surly attitude finished the year as some of the most committed dancers, shy children and some who struggle with classroom work come alive as they work on performance ability and how to communicate with their bodies, and in some cases parents have fed back that there has been an improvement to the health and weight of their child.
LCB is also monitoring the impact of these regular dance classes on the performance of children in their academic classes, observing improvements to concentration, focus and behaviour.
"The partnership between LCB and South Rise Primary School has been tremendously successful. Every aspect of the programme has been designed to engage and enthral our students with the world of dance. Some of our students were reluctant to try ballet, but all of their prejudices were tossed to the side within a few minutes when they found themselves in a heated competition to see who could jump the highest (the winner was one of our shortest students!). From that moment on, they were hooked. To strengthen the connections between ballet and our curriculum, the LCB have organised printed activities. These link beautifully with our unit of study and our work in ballet. The children moved in large orbits to Gustav Holst's The Planets on a Monday and visited the planetarium in Greenwich on Thursday. The links the children spontaneously made between the two were poignant and inspirational. Best of all has been the development of the children's physical confidence. Many girls have become bolder with their movements, more confident. Boys have become more disciplined and graceful. All three teachers dress for the occasion and thoroughly enjoy the opportunity to get involved. Staff and students at South Rise agree the LCB partnership has been an incredibly enriching experience, which has become integral to the Year Four curriculum. We look forward to many more fantastic experiences."
Regan Gambier, South Rise Primary School