What a night! This evening was the fourth and final evening of the Newport Schools’ Dance Festival. Every year, pupils from St. Julian’s Primary take part, and every year, never fail to amaze us! This year, we entered 5 dances into the festival.
Year 2 pupils performed a wonderful routine to the ‘Annie’ theme tune: ‘Hard Knock Life’. Complete with sweeping brushes, dusters and buckets and clothed in rags, they really looked the part and although a little nervous before stepping out onto the stage, they performed brilliantly. We’re grateful to Miss Butcher and Miss Browne for choreographing the routine and working so hard with their excellent little dancers.
Our second group of dancers performed a traditional Irish Dance, which started off with Molly, a pupil from Year 4, stepping out onto the stage alone. She took it in her stride, though, and before long, was joined by her friends jigging around her with their fancy footwork in all directions across the stage.
Our third group of dancers was the Gymnastic Dance Team, who performed a series of breath-taking tumbles, spins, cartwheels and flips across the stage. Dressed in bright blue leotard costumes, they looked fab and showed such skill in their moves. The audience watched in awe as the group danced to the Passenger hit, ‘Let Her Go’.
Our fourth group of dancers was the Girls Creative-Dance Group, made up of year 6 girls. Dancing to a mega-mix of a variety of pop songs, they performed a highly creative routine, covered in LED lights and lit-up hula hoops. Once again, the audience watched in amazement as the girls performed the routine with such precision and skill. Every single one of them had a beaming smile as they sprung around the stage, working together so well, as a team.
Our fifth dance was a last-minute entry and we weren’t sure whether to go ahead with it or not…but I am so glad we did!! Two weeks before the show, Mrs Cooke and Mr Mansfield saw a YouTube video of a group of boys pretending to swim in a synchronised swimming team… out of water. It was then that we were immediately hit with inspiration and knew that we had a group of Y6 boys who could definitely pull off something similar. As Mrs Cooke was too busy with the other dances, we showed the video to Miss Evans (the 3rd) who immediately got excited, called a group of Y6 boys together and started rehearsing straight away! The boys loved the idea and threw themselves into it (quite literally), practising every break time. Within a couple of days, Miss Evans and the boys had come up with a routine and had ordered the swimming caps and goggles. On the night of the show, the boys stepped onto the stage, whipped their towels off and then stepped behind a blue tarpaulin to complete the routine. The audience erupted with laughter throughout the performance and gave a huge cheer at the end.
We are grateful to Mrs Cooke, Miss Nelson, Miss Evans, Miss Butcher and Miss Browne for giving up so many lunch times, break times and after-school sessions to practise with the children. Most of all, we are so so so proud of our amazing pupils. Experiences like this are so important for children, and as teachers, seeing the smiles and joy on their faces (and their parents’ faces) as they perform, makes all the hard work worthwhile.
Well done everyone. Can’t wait for next year!