Royal Opera House dance competition won by Horsham pupils

Greenway Academyachieved first place out of 69 participating schools from across the country in a dance competition organised by the Royal Opera House SUS-190129-102859001
Greenway Academyachieved first place out of 69 participating schools from across the country in a dance competition organised by the Royal Opera House SUS-190129-102859001

Pupils from a Horsham school recently achieved first place in a dance competition organised by the Royal Opera House which saw 69 schools from across the country take part.

As a result of their success, the youngsters from Greenway Academy won tickets to a performance of Romeo and Juliet at the famous venue.

Jessica Knott, teacher at Greenway Academy, said: “This project has been a really fun and rewarding one to be a part of.

“I have thoroughly enjoyed working with a group of year-six pupils over the past ten weeks exploring our theme of ‘Let The Battle Commence’ through movement.”

The project was particularly keen to change the boys’ perception of dance only being for girls.

It aimed to make the children aware of both the physical and mental challenge that you experience when choreographing and performing in dance.

To help pupils understand this, they were shown a clip of the male dancers from the Royal Ballet warming up and in a rehearsal.

They were totally inspired by the strength and control these dancers had and their focus and engagement in the project changed completely.

Both boys and girls really took ownership of the piece and became very engaged throughout the process, giving up their football and netball PE lessons to participate.

It taught them a lot about dance and had a positive impact on how the school perceives dance, making it more accessible to everyone.

One pupil said: “At first I was shocked because I thought I was going to be doing netball.

“But when I realised it was dance I was a little bit concerned about it.

“When we started to look at our theme, I knew what I was doing and felt more comfortable.

“I ended up really enjoying the project which I didn’t think I would. I really hope we can do another one.”

Another added: “When I found out that I was doing dance, I felt out of my comfort zone. But now doing the dance I love it!

“We won out of 69 schools and it feels amazing. I really do love doing dance, it is so fun.”

A third pupil said: “At the beginning of our dance project I felt like it would be a bit boring and I did not feel interested.

“But after we had explored some dance movements I was surprised that I enjoyed it. I hope to do another dance.”