Newcastle High School for Girls shines in motion


Pupils from Newcastle High School for Girls have taken the stage once again to show off their best dance moves at an annual show.

The school held the evenings of dance performances “In Motion”, on February 16th and 17th, giving a chance to all families and friends to see it.

The shows were very well-attended, with no vacant seats left for latecomers, and lasted for almost two hours.

The performance was organised by Julie Bowman, Director of Dance at the school, who was educated at the Royal Academy of Dance, where she gained a degree in Ballet Education and Licentiateship.

Young dancers were trained by a number of visiting choreographers including Kristin Kelly-Abbott, Corrie Lunghi, Megan Otty and Benedicta Valentina, and learnt a range of “movement vocabulary”.

“In Motion” featured 22 dances that explored a number of subjects, from elegance to what it is like to be a woman in the 21st century.

The dance “Unity is strength” was inspired by Margaret Thatcher and the miners’ strike of 1984-1985, revealing how people come together to protest against a political ideology for their beliefs.

Hilary French, Headmistress of NHSG, speaking to JesmondLocal before the show, said: “Some of the pieces, which are in the production today, are really moving because Julie has taken contemporary events and asked girls to respond to it through dance, and put appropriate music to it.”

Dance has been long high on the agenda at Newcastle High – last year 26 girls were studying dance at GCSE and A-Level.

French said: “Dance is a really important part of our school. It’s a means to get girls to appreciate a healthy lifestyle. It’s a form of exercise they’re drawn to nowadays.

“There are different layers to dance, but it’s incredibly sophisticated. It is as powerful as poetry in terms of expressing emotions and moving you as an individual when you watch it.”

Bowman added: “I think one of the most special things that we got in NHSG with the dance is the bonds that the girls have across the year groups.

“You’ll see in the performance tonight that the younger ones really look up at the older ones as they are like one big dance family and they really support each other.”

In 2016, Jessica Carrick and Alys Pigott, Newcastle High graduates, got offers from prestigious dance schools.

with additional reporting by Morgan Ayre