Blog

Dudley lads done good

I’ve missed the last couple of weeks blogging for Boys Dancing, but with all the activity going on, I hope I can be forgiven! Since my last update, I’ve spent several days in all three schools and had the opportunity to go into Holly Hall Academy to run the lads through their final rehearsals.

I was really pleased with arrangements and rehearsals in all the schools. With groups finalised, we were able to spend time running the pieces and making final tweaks to each piece making sure the performances ran without any hitch. All the groups were well rehearsed and looking forward to the performance on the 27th. My last day in schools was split between Coseley and Holly Hall. Coseley were quietly confident and had really worked to smooth out any snags in their piece. With all the boys fighting fit (some of the lads had been carrying injuries meaning they could only mark certain parts), we ensured that the lads were happy with all the contact work we had put in. I was particularly pleased to be able to go into Holly Hall, who, up to their last rehearsal with myself, had been working with my colleague Ben Morley. Their piece was at a really high standard – unison was tight and together, intention was clear and the piece as a whole had a great flow.

And so came the 27th. Arriving at Dudley Town Hall at 9am, we began preparing the space for the boys’ rehearsals. We were not without snags however. One school had seen works taking place in their school hall since my last visit, meaning they had only had minimal rehearsal opportunity and another had been informed that they would be visited by Ofsted on the day of the performance, limiting their day at the venue to the afternoon only. Fortunately, the groups were all ready to work and the majority had rehearsed to the point where their stage time requirements were minimal, freeing up the space for groups who needed that extra bit of time. When Coseley (who were receiving their Ofsted visit) arrived, they jumped straight into the dress run and, admirably, performed to the high standard I had come to expect from them. We just had time to run through their section of the work in time to run the whole performance a second time.

In what seemed like no time at all, the entire day had passed and the groups and their supporters started to arrive for the final performance. With everyone in their seats, the evening began with performances from two other groups involved in the Black Country Dance Hub, setting the atmosphere for the Boys Dancing groups. And what a performance! The boys really excelled themselves. I always find, even in my professional work, that you can try to give full performance quality to the best of your ability in rehearsal and can still be left wanting, but once that audience arrives and the lights go on, nothing compares with the energy and commitment that becomes apparent. All the hard work, all the commitment, all the rehearsal really paid off – the show was spectacular and both Ben and I agreed that the boys should be incredibly proud of themselves.

All that remains to say from myself and from Ben is a massive thank you to all the boys, their teachers, their families and everyone who supported Dudley Boys Dancing 2014. The whole process has been absolutely fantastic and I look forward to seeing the video footage from the performance and to the next outing for Boys Dancing! Until next time!