Why is the school called CLASS?

Professional dancers go to daily class at the start of every day of their professional lives. It is where they warm up, where they practice and refine their skills. It is where they meet their compatriots, where they catch up togther and where the discipline and motivation found in dance classes work together to hone the dancers skills.

Deborah Bull, a former principal of the Royal Ballet says in her book ‘The Everyday Dancer’ the following about daily class: “It’s what we do. The ignition key that starts every day. Without class, nothing else happens. It is our daily bread, both rigour and ritual to the dancer, as the Lord’s Prayer is to the Priest: an unfailing constant and inspiration, a reminder of the perfection to which we aspire…”

So what we want in this school is for the students to talk about ‘Going to CLASS’. We will ensure that standards of beahvour are consistent throughout CLASS, we will welcome visitors to CLASS, but above all, by their coming to CLASS we will want to see boys leave us with an excellent academic education, highly motivated and secure in their learning and with a love of dance that will continue whatever route they decide to follow in the future.

so, we really do want to say to you, ‘Welcome to CLASS’.

What do you think about our proposals? take a look at our site and please share or follow us on facebook or twitter. If you are interested in knowing more, taking part in the school or are interested in having your son attend the school, please let us know.

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So… what’s CLASS all about?

Sir Ken Robinson has said: “There isn’t an education system on the planet that teaches dance every day to children the way we teach them mathematics. Why? Why not? I think this is rather important. I think maths is very important but so is dance. Children dance all the time if they’re allowed to, we all do. We all have bodies, don’t we?” TED 2006

Many boys enjoy dance, enjoy ballet… or would do if they had the chance and the chance to do it more often. CLASS will provide boys in London with a free alternative to mainstream or vocational dance education.

The discipline, the skills, the motivation and the creativity found in dance can be channelled into every aspect of the curruculum, a curriculum that uses the concept of the ‘flipped classroom’ and the appropriate use of digital technologies to provide an education that really is suitable for the 21st century.

Back to dance though, for boys, different techniques, different style and different strengths mean that boys only classes are often a godsend as they get older. But once they get to secondary school, the numbers continuing to do ballet, and to dance decreases.

The result is that the dance and creative industries in the UK have to recruit from abroad. That’s why ‘male dancers and choreographers’ are approved occupations for immigration into the UK. But we also think that the disciplines of dance enable boys to learn better, channelling strength, speed, creativity across their education. So CLASS will fill the gap between vocational ballet school, and little or no dancing at all. It is FREE school, benefitting from the Government’s Free Schools initiative. There will be no cost for any student to attend this school.

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Dad Dancing… a view from ‘Dance Dr Dance’!

Ever wondered about Dad Dancing, its origins, or just why Dads dance in the way they do? well Dance Dr Dance – or to give him his real title, Dr Peter Lovatt, who is Reader of Psychology at the University of Hertfordshire and a dancer past and present, has written a great article about Dad Dancing. Cosmopolitan magazine, Rhod Gilbert, Frank Skinner, Graham Norton, BBC, the Observer, TEDX and the Edinburgh Fringe and many universities are just some of the people and places that have heard from Peter about the psychology of dance.

For example, did you know that Dad Dancing is Universal? that it happens all over the world.

read this article to find out more.

(and we are very pleased to let you know that Dr Peter Lovatt is one of the CLASS steering group members)

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Boysdoballet blog

The boysdoballet blog was set up to support and  encourage young men who do ballet
and demystify the world of ballet for those who don’t.

It’s full of great articles – such as about the specific apparel needed  – Tights and Dance belts, choosing vocational schools, FAQs before your first lessons – that’s here and much more besides.

Finally, there are EXCLUSIVE boysdoballet interviews and some superb clips of male dancers to add to the mix.

(and don’t worry if you find text in Japanese, Spanish, French or German, this truly is a multinational site)

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ICT and Dance Education

This is a great article, written for DanceMatters, from the London Grid for Learning’s Bob Usher. He has worked with the Ballet Boyz and Richard Alston company to create online dance resources for schools. Although the resources referred to are protected by password (someone has to pay for these things somehow!) – if you are in school then they are well worth a look. One of my favourite ‘snapshots’ is an explanation from the Ballet Boyz about the difference between classical and contemporary ballet.

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