Young performers at an Ashington primary were put through their paces when the school received a visit from a professional ballet dancer.
Northern Ballet’s Kim Hardy led two workshops at St Aidan’s, a member of the Bishop Bewick Catholic Education Trust, introducing children from the school’s Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 performing arts groups to some new steps and talking about her life as a dancer.
St Aidan’s headteacher, Michael Moran, commented: “The dancer, who performs in the ballet, talked about her job, about ballet in general, about her equipment and shoes, and spoke about how she became a character to tell a story on stage without words.”
Northern Ballet is currently performing The Ugly Duckling at Northern Stage, and Ms Hardy also taught the young dancers some routines from the show.
Mr Moran added: “She taught the children some of the dance moves from The Ugly Duckling, and some of the other characters from the ballet, and rehearsed some of the routines from the show.
“Kim was incredibly impressed with how talented some of our performers were and was so impressed with how quickly they took to it.”
More than 50 children participated in the workshops – 24 from Years 1 and 2, and 30 from the years above.
The event was part of St Aidan’s ongoing commitment to the performing arts, which includes the school’s Key Stage 1 weekly Mini Moves Group and Key Stage 2 Show Club, which also meets weekly and takes part in an annual showcase at Whitley Bay Playhouse.
“Many of our children would never have been to see a ballet performance before, and it was excellent for them to see a professional close up,” continued Mr Moran.
“More broadly, the children deserve to get the chance to shine in whatever area their talent lies.
“Extra-curricular activities such as this are essential in giving children a platform to shape their personal development and complement what goes on in the classroom.
“Who knows, the next prima ballerina might be hiding amongst our performers – they just haven’t realised it yet!
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