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Dance Workshop Inspires Cultural Fusion

Senior School | Sixth Form

01 December 2023

On Monday this week, GCSE and A Level Dance students immersed themselves in an invigorating dance workshop led by professional dance company, ACE Dance and Music. Established in 1996, ACE (African Cultural Exchange) Dance and Music is a national and international touring dance company, headquartered in Birmingham but with a global perspective. Renowned as pioneers in Contemporary, African, and Caribbean Dance, their signature style draws from traditional Afro-fusion forms, interpreted through a distinctly contemporary lens.

Guiding the students through this experience were ACE's talented company dancers, Martina, hailing from Italy, and Joana, representing Uganda. The dynamic duo infused the workshop with a vibrant energy, inspiring the girls to challenge their own physical boundaries.

They started with an immersive warm-up set to the beats of Afrobeats and Amapiano music. The incorporation of traditional African movements provided the students with a valuable insight into dance from a different cultural perspective, giving a practical understanding of cultural exchange.

They then tackled a series of technical exercises, blending traditional African dance steps with release-based floor techniques. This combination encouraged the girls to enhance their versatility in movement, pushing the boundaries of their physical capabilities.

Moving on from the technical exercises, the girls engaged in travelling drills that tested both their physicality and musicality. With a focus on technique and control in energetic and lively movement styles, these exercises aimed to refine their skills.

Finally, the girls were guided through ACE's professional repertoire from their current touring double bill, 'Unknown Realms'. Specifically, they explored 'MANA,' a piece within the double bill delving into themes of spirituality and personal empowerment. This provided students with an opportunity to explore these themes while mastering physically demanding repertoire.

The students ended the workshop tired but elated, and certainly enlightened by a wealth of newfound knowledge and experiences.

Miss Harris, Dance Teacher
Lois Sutton, Year 13


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