May 25, 2021

ISA Dance Success

In October, students had the opportunity to showcase their steps in the ISA National Dance Competition 2020. Together they are now celebrating with Dance Teacher, Beth Butler after securing awards in both the KS3 and KS4 categories alongside New Hall School and Mayville High School.

Performing ‘Who do I Wish to Be?’ and achieving second place, Adi in Year 11 presented a powerful message about conformity and a person’s psychological state. “The choreographic intent is to show the inner battle of a woman being forced into society’s ways, but wanting to be free and fight against it.” described Adi.

Keen dancer, Livi in Year 8 was also awarded for her solo performance ‘Stay Grounded and True’. Livi commented “This dance explores how everyone who has climbed into a place of power has had help to rise to that place, primarily from their family. The piece is about how you can get used over and over but never want to let go of the person you love. I would like the audience to consider how they treat the people they love and whether or not they can rise to their dreams without letting go of the people who truly know them. I have used a motif that is sign language for we are family which I hope is a powerful visual moment within the piece.”

After a period of initially using Dance Club to choreograph their performance in the Autumn Term, one group were challenged to continue rehearsals over Google Meet as another lockdown set in. Despite adversity, once back on the Park, the KS3 hopefuls recorded their submission after only one brief rehearsal! The fitting performance reflected on the group’s experience of periodically being away from school.

“We agreed that still being part of the Leighton Park community was what kept us all going as we stood by each other supporting one another. It therefore seemed fitting to choose the accompanying track.” explained Beth. “We wanted to create a simple piece that visualised elements of the music especially the title ‘Stand by Me’. This is why often we are stood still with focus projecting a positive energy to each other. We were obviously restricted by the amount of contact work we could include hence why there are large sections of unison.”

Beth continued “I am incredibly proud of the students for their commitment to creating work despite the Covid restrictions. It has been a lot more challenging to prepare for the ISA this year and we are looking forward to the ‘live’ competition next year.”

Judge Natalie Bareham, Director of Performing Arts and Head of Dance at Arts Ed London commented “It is clear from the wonderful range of work that even when we couldn’t get into a studio, dance was still taking place; creativity and technique were developing and growing… Thank you for every step that was taught by your incredibly hardworking teachers this past year. Thank you for every movement rehearsed by dancers in whatever space they could find.”

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