At Sandringham, our Director of Learning for Dance, Clare Meeking is keen to ensure her students keep up their dance throughout the school closures. I got in touch with Clare to see how she has made this work for her Key Stage 3 dance company.

Clare, you were able to host the Triple Edge dance practice this week. Why was this important to you?

It is extremely important for me to continue sharing the love of dance even from our living rooms, bedrooms, or kitchens. Dance to a number of students at Sandringham has always been part of their weekly routine and it has been fantastic to see their lovely smiley faces and for some of the students to also see their dance friends, which quite often is different to their normal class friends. Moving to music and continuing to build upon a dancer’s technique is important, alongside staying physically and mentally fit, particularly during this unique moment in time. Hopefully the classes will bring joy to the dancers and for me to keep in contact with the students who I love to teach.

How did you do it and how did it go?

TripleEdge was our first online session. This was carried out through Google Meet via a link shared on the group’s Google Classroom. I was recovering from COVID19 so this lesson was taught all through verbal cues, giving instructions, motivation and feedback as the students carried out a warm-up. This proved a little tricky and felt quite obscure. I found myself bobbing along, trying to find the correct words to illustrate my intention for movement. Not having interaction and instant feedback from students took a little getting used to but the warm-up was carried out successfully. I then shared an online dance choreography piece with the students and tasked them with learning it for 15mins and come back and perform in groups of four, as we would in normal carry out in company rehearsals. At the end we all turned our microphones on so say hi to one another and catch up briefly, as well as giving news and notices for the following week.

Do you think you’ll carry on?

It isn’t quite the same as being in the studio but it is the next best thing and we love it! We have since carried out other clubs and company rehearsals this week and have launched a Dance at home Google Classroom for dance activities to continue over the Easter holiday if students, families and teachers want to get involved. We all have to keeeeeeep dancing!!!

To keep in touch with Clare and the Sandringham Dance Faculty, you can follow them on Twitter here.