Eve Atkins (U5)
This year Norwich School held the first ever Junior Dance Festival. It was held at one of our favourite partner venues, Norwich Puppet Theatre and involved over 60 pupils from the Lower School and the Senior School. It was two fantastic evenings full of enjoyment and excellent dancing! There were twelve dances in total, including Bollywood, hip hop and musical theatre and many of the dances were choreographed by senior dancers in U5, L6 and U6. The students were in charge of creating the dance as well as organising the rehearsals and costumes.
This year I took part in the show by choreographing a dance and performing in ‘Corpse Bride’, a popular number taught by Stephen Knights and performed in the Young Norfolk Arts Festival in the summer. I was excited when we told it was going to be performed again in the Junior Dance Festival as it is a favourite amongst the dancers.
After I signed up to choreograph the first thing I had to do was decide on a style and a song choice, a much harder decision than I first thought it would be!! Once I had received my list of dancers I started to organise rehearsals; with rehearsal space and time limited it was a bit of a squeeze. I then had to decide on the right choreography and teach it! After the dance was underway it was time to decide on costumes, another underestimated task! I ended up hand stitching the costumes for my dancers, it took ages but the overall effect was exactly what I wanted! In the days running up to the show, the dance came together perfectly - thanks to the hard work of the dancers and the extra rehearsal times and tech rehearsal. Luckily, the dress rehearsal ran smoothly on the Thursday afternoon (only a few spacing tweaks were needed as the Puppet Theatre stage is very different to BS1!) and all the dances were looking great. All that was left was to watch proudly and enjoy the show!
As a dancer, you are required to organise yourself to make sure you can attend your rehearsals as well as stay on top of other commitments and school work. You also have to be checking emails each evening to be aware of updates and rehearsal times and places. Performing in a dance requires enthusiasm, practise and hard work - and a good memory if you are in multiple dances! Being in a dance show can be even more chaotic than it seems, it takes some organisation to be in the right place, at the right time and wearing the right costumes but this year all of the dancers were fantastically organised and the show ran smoothly.
The Junior Dance Festival was a brilliant way to link senior and junior dancers together through a shared passion, it was lovely to make friends with the whole company and reach past your usual friendship group. On behalf of the whole company I would like to thank Miss Adams for her constant hard work and organisation of such a huge responsibility, also for her amazing emails full of all the information we could ever need. In addition, I would like to thank Miss Wyndham for her input and enthusiasm for this show, Stephen Knights for his fabulous choreography as always, all of the senior dancers who helped to run the show backstage and choreograph, Tristian Green for his help with the music and of course all of the dancers for their amazing attitudes and dancing! I very much look forward to the Senior Dance Festival and next year's dance events!