Having attended each of the dance shows since joining the Academy in September 2013, I have been floored on each occasion by the overarching talent which abounds. Last night, I was lucky enough to be asked to assist in the photography of the acts; clutching a prized Nikon DSLR, I was able to capture creative angles, zoomed-in shots of dancers’ perfect turnout and even shots from the back of the stage which were more point-of-view from our students. What an experience!

In signature style, Mrs Wilkinson and her über-talented team presented a full suite of numbers incorporating all Key Stages which showcased classical ballet positions, modern jazz, hip hop and dancing from urban and contemporary styles. Mrs Warburton and I brought our two daughters to the evening and thrilled in seeing the acts through their eyes, tiptapping feet and dropped jaws. I must admit to thinking of Macey Hunt’s incredible solo when Rhianna’s ‘Work’ played on Radio 1 this morning; her fluid confidence was nothing short of music video-worthy. So much so, I nearly dropped the Nikon. We took fangirling to new heights! Emi Quine followed in quick succession with her ‘Evolution’ solo – defiant eye contact with a packed audience and complete ownership of the stage. Rarely at a loss for words, I’m fairly sure nothing I write could do those two pieces justice.

I know I speak for the masses when I say that an increased uptake in our boys opting for Dance is most impressive – as seen, for example, in the ‘What do you mean?’ street dance choreography within Act 1. Year 7 boys in an urban-inspired ‘Cheerleader’ piece? Absolutely! And James Cheshire’s confident transition from English classroom to dancefloor was utterly admirable.

Equally impressive was the overt sense of a corporate ‘look’ for the evening: twin French braids and immaculate makeup for the older girls clearly told the proud members of the audience that they recognised all eyes would be on them. I was so proud to see the sense of style and presentation which was consistently visible across all students, boys and girls alike.

Few things in life are certain, but I’m absolute in the conviction that ‘Mamma Mia’ in July will be another storming success to behold. As ever, a hearty congratulations to the students and staff who made last night possible – and a total joy to watch.

Mrs P Lea

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