Dance House 2017 celebrated the hard work, commitment and skill of young people within our vibrant community.
The arts-driven initiative, The House of Dance, is dedicated to supporting and encouraging the development of innovative and exciting dance.
Among those given a chance to experience the workings of a professional theatre were students from Ormiston Six Villages Academy and Felpham Community College.
Performances were at the Alexandra Theatre, Bognor Regis, over a series of seven evenings in April and May, with Ormiston and Felpham both performing on May 2.
They put on a stunning display in front of a full house.
An original dance, called Upon Prey, was performed by 14 Ormiston students. The piece, a contemporary reimagining of the Gary Ross directed film trilogy The Hunger Games, was choreographed by Miss Aimee Ware, who leads the after-school dance enrichment club at the academy.
She said: “Not only did our students use their creativity and imagination to develop their piece, but they also gained a huge amount of confidence by performing it to a packed audience in a professional theatre environment.
“We look forward to providing more opportunities for our dancers through our exciting and innovative enrichment sessions and partnerships with other dance groups.”
The students had the opportunity to add their own sections of choreography, working in partners to develop ideas and creative responses to fit with the theme.
Year-ten student Ella Stead said: “The dance enrichment activity runs weekly and welcomes students from across the academy. Some of us have never done dance before, others have attended dance classes outside of school.
“What I love about it is that we all learn from each other when creating our choreography – it’s a very supportive atmosphere and I love the feeling of escapism that dancing gives me.”
Year-seven student Nicky Stubbs added: “I really enjoy the club and performing our piece at the theatre. Dancing makes me feel happy.”
The Felpham performance included students from years nine, ten and 12 who are part of an extra-curricular dance group.
The students, led by year-12 students Charlotte Walters and Shannon Noble, produced and choreographed a piece of dance about domestic violence.
Nicole Matthews, curriculum leader music, said: “Charlotte and Shannon took control of everything. The ideas the group came up with were brilliant and they put huge effort and time into rehearsals.
“The group worked really well together and they were excellent at editing and progressing their piece to get it as good as possible.”
The full cast was Mia Evans, Dionne Harrison, Alex Holland, Shannon Noble, Ellie Pacey, Emily Paige-Rayner, Ed Searle, Ellie Shimmell and Charlotte Walters.
Charlotte and Shannon said in a joint statement: “We were inspired by the Rock Challenge dance competition held nationally earlier this year, which we attended with FCC, in particular how some of the entries portrayed emotional stages.
“We developed our piece around domestic violence, using a number of female dancers to portray the different emotions of one woman going through domestic violence and showing different endings to what could happen to her.
“We had full control of the piece which was really motivational and a great experience. We both plan to study drama at university after our A-levels so this was a great experience to be part of.”