Primary school pupils in Red Lodge strutted their stuff on stage in Ipswich last weekend, marking the end of a collaborative project with a local dance company.
Year Five students from St Christopher’s Primary School began their project with DanceEast, based in Ipswich, last November, with a trip to the company’s studio.
Around 200 performers from other schools and community dance groups also took part in the project, learning individually choreographed routines to perform together in one show.
During nine lessons with a professional dance teacher the Red Lodge pupils learnt their routine and, according to class teacher Rebecca Tomlinson, ‘discovered muscles they didn’t know they had’.
“They were shocked by how physical dance is, and it certainly takes them out of their comfort zone,” she said.
“Dance is something that is not always thought of as an extra art form or exercise form.”
All the pupils and groups reached the end of their project last Saturday, with two two-hour performances at DanceEast’s waterfront studio.
“It gave the children a chance to perform with professional dancers and pupils from different backgrounds, as well as to perform on a professional stage,” said Miss Tomlinson.
“It is tremendous for their self confidence and self esteem. It shows them a difference audience and a different way of working.
“It also teaches them to be more disciplined, as a theatre is such a different environment.”
Another performance of the DanceEast show, The Village, is taking place at the Apex in Bury next Wednesday, March 25.