The Creative and Performing Arts Faculty at Winifred Holtby Academy were proud to announce the start of their year-long partnership with Phoenix Dance Theatre yesterday. A group of 20 Dance pupils visited Phoenix Dance Theatre’s headquarters in Leeds, taking part in a morning Dance workshop with a professional dance practitioner which was followed in the afternoon by watching the Dress Rehearsal of the World Premier of ‘Wind Rush: Movement of the People’ by Phoenix Dance Theatre. The pupils experienced what it’s like to be a professional dancer, understanding the process from workshop and rehearsal to performance.
They were put through their paces in the morning during the Dance workshop which gave them a firmer understanding of the sheer hard work, focus and determination which is required in the Dance profession. All of the pupils engaged in warm-ups followed by sections of choreography which were quite challenging and demanding but all pupils stepped up to the challenge; leaving the session much more knowledgeable and experienced than when they came in.
In the afternoon, the pupils made the short walk across to the West Yorkshire Playhouse to be an audience for the Dress Rehearsal of Phoenix’s opening night. The performance included three dance pieces:
- Maybe Yes Maybe, Maybe No Maybe- choreographed by Aletta Collins
- Shadows- choreographed by Christopher Bruce
- Wind Rush: Movement of the People
The pupils were able to see a professional Dance company work in professional spaces, producing professional dance performances- and the pupils really got an idea of what’s required in the profession.
The partnership will continue with careers talks, visiting workshops as well as an end of year performance back at Phoenix Dance Theatre later on in the Academic year- which the pupils are really looking forward to.
The partnership with Phoenix Dance Theatre is through our Dance Scholarship Programme which is part of our wider CPA Scholarship Programme at Winifred Holtby Academy which is designed to give pupils across all four disciplines: Art, Dance, Drama and Music, the chance to work with professional companies/arts organisations, giving them a taste of what life in the profession is actually like. It is also designed to raise the aspirations of our pupils, making the routes into the profession seem more accessible and achievable- and our work with Phoenix Dance Theatre certainly did that.
We thank Phoenix Dance Theatre for the support in raising the aspirations of our pupils in the Arts, and supporting them to make their dreams a reality.