Sustainability and wellbeing is a top priority for us all – whether we’re in education, the arts or dance! So it was great to be able to lead three very different dance performances and projects with these important messages to Dorset schools Stoborough Primary School, Mudeford Infants School and Cornerstone Academy, Poole.

Sustainability at Stoborough Primary School

Lady standing and man crouching side by side

As part of Spirituality Week at Stoborough Primary School, Pavilion Dance and Arts University artist Claire Benson with producer, Matt Hawksworth led dance performances inspired by her show, Plastic Paradiso. Each year group from reception to Year 6 performed a routine with a focus on using less plastic and reusing whenever possible.  

“Wow!  What a finish to Spirituality Week at Stoborough.  The dance performance was absolutely fantastic!  Our pupils were so confident and the performance was very moving.  Thank you to the talented Claire Benson for inspiring all of us.”

Garden Boogie at Mudeford Infants

Commotion Dance’s Will and When Garden Boogie performance brought smiles and laughter to many different audiences this week, including Highcliffe Castle and Mudeford Infants School.  The performance is based around the importance and joy of gardening and growing things. 

Told through the animated dance actions of Will and When, they educate and entertain with their messy adventures using wellies, watering cans, seeds and bubbles. 

Mudeford Infants School were delighted to be part of their workshops and inspired to move like garden creatures in playtime afterwards!

Wellbeing at Cornerstone Academy

Now in its third term at Cornerstone Academy, Poole, Dance n Chat is a meaningful wellbeing dance programme for young people aged 11 to 16 years in partnership with Dorset Mind. 

Funded by the RIO Cultural Education Challenge, it sits within a host youth setting with a highly experienced in-studio team including a lead community dance artist and Dorset Mind’s very own wellbeing practitioner. 

Through weekly workshops, the team nurture a supportive space that not only roots itself in the 5 Ways to Wellbeing but through the medium of dance encourages wellbeing, sense of belonging, connection, socialisation, increased self-esteem, self-worth and self-awareness.  The workshops help make a difference by placing young people at the heart of creative dance making, empowering them to take the lead and own what they do.

I can feel anxious, but then I can feel free” – Dance n Chat Participant

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