Church High pupils learn traditional dance

Girls at Church High Junior School enjoyed a performance and workshop by dance troupe, ‘The Lock In’ last Wednesday 24th October.

The troupe brings traditional dance into the modern day in a show that mixes folk with contemporary styles such as hip hop, funk and break dancing.

They are currently running workshops in schools all over the UK, to introduce children to alternative forms of dance and show them how exciting they can be.

‘’We’re keen for forgotten gems such as Northumbrian rapper sword dancing and clog dancing to make a resurgence,’’ explained Laura Connelly, a dancer in the troupe from the North East.

The show tells of a street dancing crew who walk into a local pub and disturb the regulars. The upset leads to a fast-paced dance-off between traditional and modern.

‘’The girls were fascinated by how many of the moves in street dancing and clog dancing are actually very similar,” Connelly commented.

After watching an extract from the show it was time for the girls to give it a go themselves. They donned the clogs, brandished swords and spent the rest of the session moving to the hip- hop beat.

Nine-year-old Niamh Hanlon from Gosforth said: ‘’I loved having a go at dancing with The Lock In cast – it was amazing! My favourite dance style was clog and sword dancing – I’d never tried them before, but they were both so much fun.”

Judith Cunningham, Head Teacher of Church High Junior School hopes the workshop will encourage more pupils to try out different forms of dance; ‘‘especially as the traditional styles, such as Northumbrian rapper sword, have such strong links with our region.’’