We believe that dance is a very important part of the curriculum. Dance as a subject is unique, in that it blends artistic practice with physical activity and has an affirmative impact on young people’s education and learning. Dance at Richmond Park Academy enables students to gain artistic skills and discipline, as well as developing their ability in physical interaction, team working, problem-solving, observing, evaluating and communication. Dance at Richmond Park Academy has been re-introduced in the Key Stage 3 curriculum as an option during Games for year 7 and 8. We have a professional contemporary dance teacher who joins us for these lessons.
Ms Wardlaw - Subject Leader
Chloe Binnington - Teacher of Dance
Annually the dance department perform in Richdance which is a celebration of dance involving performances from Richmond Borough dance troops; our extracurricular dance club will run from January 2019 after schools on Monday in preparation for this. We are also introducing an annual Dance Showcase at Richmond Park Academy. This will give soloists and groups a chance to showcase the work that they have done both inside and outside the school. This event is planned for March 2019.
Dance GCSE has been running for the last ten years and has always enjoyed fantastic results. It is an exciting, interactive course that enables students to explore and analyse a range of dance styles, create their own choreographies and develop their skills as performers. At Richmond Park Academy we run GCSE dance as an extra subject after school from 3.00pm - 5.00pm each week. Dance GCSE is not running in the academic year 2018/19 but we plan to start it again from September 2019. Dance GCSE is taught by Ms B Wardlaw and an external professional choreographer. Anne-Marie Smalldon is the Artistic Director of Combination Dance who joins us for choreographic workshops and arranges fabulous opportunities outside the academy for students. You can find out more about Combination Dance by clicking here.
What sort of trips and performance opportunities are there?
Students take part in performances at the Royal Ballet School and other site-specific events. Visits to the Theatre are at least twice a year and we regularly have guest artists in to do workshops. Students enjoy participating in school events such as concerts and open days which take place regularly in the academic year.
At Richmond Park Academy we pride ourselves in giving students as many extracurricular experiences as possible. Trips over the past two academic years include:
- Mathew Bourne’s ‘Swan Lake’ at the New Wimbledon Theatre
- Trips to Sadler’s Wells to see ‘Blayze’, Matthew Bourne’s ‘Edward Scissorhands’, Matthew Bourne’s ‘Lord of the Flies’ and ‘Cirque Eloise’
- Trip to The Royal Ballet School White Lodge to watch aspiring dancers have lessons
- Trip to Pineapple Studios for private dance workshop in street dance
- Trip to The Royal Festival Hall to watch the Philharmonia Orchestra perform Stravinsky’s ‘Firebird’
Performances and events over recent years:
- Winter Concert: Performances in the annual Winter Concert in December involved all RPA dancers.
- Annual performances at RichDance Festival.
- School musical: ‘Hairspray’ was our 2017 production.
- Dance GCSE Showcase: RPA dancers perform their choreographies and set dances
- Richmond Park Academy was picked as one of two schools in London to work alongside the Royal Ballet School in a unique and exciting dance project working with an established choreographer, professional dancers and Royal Ballet School students in Year 10. Over a period of five months students from RPA took part in; 12 workshops (with esteemed choreographer Bim Malcomson), a trip to see their accompanying orchestra perform (the Philharmonia Orchestra), a performance at The Royal Ballet School White Lodge and the première of the film version of the project at The Royal Festival Hall. Please find links to the project below: