Impressive Coseley

Coseley – 11th Feb 2014

Two really fantastic and productive days! Working with boys from Years 7 and 8, all of whom have danced before, Coseley School has Dance as an obligatory subject for Years 7 to 9, with students able to opt in to dance all they way through to Year 11 and the strength of the Dance Department became clear as we began working.

Still thinking about individuality, at Coseley, I wanted to examine how groups of individuals band together, whether for friendship or for safety and how this affects their unique identities. The ideas came thick and fast. The boys were not afraid to get stuck in and started to produce some really interesting solo, duet and group work. As we moved into the second half of the first day, we began to learn basic contact improvisation techniques, which were quickly incorporated into the material that had already been devised.

Having developed a good understanding of the boys’ abilities on Day 1, I began Day 2 by working with the group of Year 8 boys to create some intricate group contact work, whilst the Year 7 boys worked on a different task with their teacher. In both cases, the work that was devised and the lads’ execution of said work was impressive. The whole group demonstrated a passion and enthusiasm for dance, which really got me thinking about how positive an influence the school’s subject delivery has.

I still find when I work in schools with boys that there is a stigma attached to men in dance. The strength and athleticism required is often overshadowed by images of pink tutus and tights. While at the school I discussed how the enthusiasm for dance the boys demonstrated would make them the ‘individuals’ at many other schools, but that here it was the norm. We also considered whether some of the current attitudes to men in dance that persist are generational and will eventually change due to a lack of people holding the opinion. We’ll see!

Suffice to say – I’m looking forward to the end result at Coseley. It’s going to be spectacular!