Students pop and lock for a healthier lifestyle
posted by Vanessa O'Brien on 3 August 2009
Christchurch teachers say their high school students are dancing to a different beat after successfully completing an intensive urban dance project in term two.
Students from Hillmorton High School, Linwood College, Papanui High School and Hornby High popped and locked their new skills for a 500-strong audience at Linwood College last Tuesday.
However, Hornby High School head of drama Joanne Clark said the students’ dance abilities were only one of the benefits they gained.
“The students have grown exponentially from where they started. They have really come out of their shells.
“As a group they’re definitely those who are not engaged in team sport activities or other activities, so it’s been a bit of a boost for those who saw it right through and performed.”
The pilot dance programme was run by the Dance and Physical Theatre Trust (DPTT) and funded by Canterbury District Health Board (CDHB) Healthy Eating Healthy Action. DPTT director Adam Hayward said urban dance enhanced physical fitness and enthusiasm for being fit and healthy without being sport-based, and plugged a gap in many schools.
“The main goal of the project is to get kids who aren’t engaging in sport, and it’s done that.
“We’ve got students that the schools would not necessarily pick as leaders, standing out at leaders and we’ve identified potential student tutors to mentor.”
Hillmorton High and Linwood College hoped to continue the programme with some of the students who had completed the pilot tutoring their peers.
Each school started with 12 students who participated in a weekly three-hour dance training session and learned different urban styles from hiphop to breakdance throughout term two. The students then choreographed their own routines and taught it to the group.
Linwood College assistant principal Sharon Thrupp said the students had gained mana from their peers and the support of family and friends was evident by the large turnout at their performance.
“I was really thrilled with the parents and family showing their support – there was such a lot of interest.”
Mr Hayward said urban dance was chosen for the project because it was relatable to youth.
"A regional stock take was undertaken and it found that urban dance was an area of interest for these students.”