News: Dance becomes part of The London Curriculum

Thursday 9 July 2015 by Carmel Smith

Choreographer Wayne McGregor & Deputy Mayor for Education and Culture Munira Mirza (centre) with dancer & drummers from ADAD (The Association of Dance of the African Diaspora) and pupils from Little Ilford School, Newham at City Hall, Fri 10 July, 2015. Photo: Kois Miah.

The Mayor of London Boris Johnson has announced the addition of a new Dance Unit to the London Curriculum, which was launched in 2013 as part of his commitment to driving up standards in education and raising attainment for London’s schoolchildren, regardless of their background and where they live. The London Curriculum already includes modules in english, art, music, geography and history – with another on science also about to be launched – and is designed to help pupils to experience and learn from the capital’s rich variety of cultural assets and historical treasures.

The Dance Unit is aimed at Key Stage 3 pupils aged 11 – 14. It has been produced by Sadler’s Wells in partnership with the Greater London Authority and schools who sign up will be able to work with some 30 organisations who are members of the Pan-London Dance Partnership, including Wayne McGregor | Random Dance, English National Ballet, East London Dance, Greenwich Dance, Rambert, Royal Ballet, Siobhan Davies Dance, The Place, Trinity Laban and Youth Dance England. Performances and dance workshops with professional artists and choreographers will be on offer at a wide variety of venues across the capital – including the Royal Opera House, Sadler’s Wells, Stratford Circus, artsdepot and Rich Mix.

A range of free resources and workshops to support teachers in the classroom will also be available – including practical guidance in five key dance forms: street, African, ballet, contemporary and South-Asian dance. The module will also give tips on how to engage pupils in other parts of the curriculum – and ‘TeachMeet’ networking events, offering teachers the chance to share ideas and best practice.

Announcing this new addition to the London Curriculum Boris Johnson said: “London is the dance capital of the world, with a thriving and extremely diverse dance scene and more higher education institutes for performing arts than any other city in the world. Our hugely successful Big Dance festival is testament to Londoners’ enthusiasm for this popular artform, getting millions involved for the best part of the last decade. As well as helping young people to become more active and confident, the new dance unit provides a wonderful platform for students to learn about the people, places and events that have not only shaped our city, but also had an impact on the world stage and that is what The London Curriculum is all about.”

Choregrapher Wayne McGregor was also at the launch. “Opening up opportunities for children to learn about dance is incredibly important in education as it nurtures creativity, helps with self-expression and boosts confidence and self-esteem,” he said. “Dance inspires young people to work in the creative industries. People who study dance become more focused, motivated and disciplined and it’s fantastic to see London leading the way in making sure that opportunities to take part in dance are open to everybody from all backgrounds, especially schoolchildren.”

Sadler’s Wells’ Artistic Director and Chief Executive Alistair Spalding said: “Among today’s children and young people is the next generation of performers, choreographers, teachers and audiences for dance. Nurturing as wide a pool of talent as possible must be a key priority and is an aim that is very close to our heart at Sadler’s Wells.. It’s vital that, collectively, we connect more young Londoners to the fantastic range of performances, workshops and training opportunities in the capital. The new dance unit as part of the London Curriculum is a great way to inspire pupils and help them explore a wealth of dance opportunities.”

More on the London Curriculum

Photo: choreographer Wayne McGregor & Deputy Mayor for Education and Culture Munira Mirza (centre) with Akosua Boakye & drummers from ADAD (The Association of Dance of the African Diaspora) and pupils from Little Ilford School, Newham. Photo: Kois Miah.

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