Experiencing the fun of performing – in a theatre with costumes, props and stage lights – boosts our children’s overall confidence and helps them to grow as dancers. They learn the rules of the theatre, how to behave backstage and how to work together on a production.
Younger children are inspired by the older pupils, often getting to work alongside them on stage. And importantly, by working together and supporting each other, they create happy memories whilst making life-long friendships.
We offer several performance opportunities throughout the year, including local and national dance festivals, as well as our very own annual charity performance.
Southborough School of Dance Charity Performance
Our hotly anticipated end-of-year Charity Performance has become a much-loved school tradition. Performed in a proper theatre and in front of an audience packed with friends and family, it’s the highlight of the year that everyone looks forward to. It’s a great opportunity for all our pupils to take to the stage, without the pressure that comes with competing in a Festival.
Our venue since 2015 has been the theatre at North Kent College in Tonbridge (formerly West Kent College), which hosts a good-sized stage, backstage dressing room area and auditorium.
The show is also our chance to say an emotional farewell to our school-leavers, many of whom will have been dancing with us since they were little children. These more experienced dancers often take on starring roles in the production and feature both on the cover and in the pages of our souvenir programme. Here we highlight their dancing journey with us – from their first, tentative steps as four year-olds to accomplished adult performers. Although it’s sad to say goodbye to our long-terms pupils, many of them return as guest dancers in the years that follow.
With a dedicated team of helpers – parents, teachers and fully qualified chaperones – creating a safe, happy and fun atmosphere, the show is a perfect annual celebration of all that our school offers. Rehearsals usually start in March, during class time to begin with. As we near the big day, they continue outside of class as additional sessions, to make sure we are all perfect and performance-ready.
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A Community-Minded Performance
Proceeds from our Annual Performance are put to good use in the community. Over the years we have donated to various local charities, funds that are always gratefully received by those in need. These include Hospice in the Weald, The Children’s Ward at Tunbridge Wells Hospital and Folly Wildlife Rescue, to name but a few.
Our contributions have also helped the following national and international organisations: Beat, a charity supporting those with eating disorders, Zama Dance School, a South African school situated in a black township in Gugulethu, Cape Town (South Africa), and Ghana Education Trust.
Summer Dance Week
Following fast on the heels of our end-of-year performance, our annual Summer Dance Week is usually held at the end of July, after the school term finishes.
We welcome children aged 5 to 14 years old who love to dance and enjoy meeting new friends.
Our guest teacher, Nicola Theobald, joins us for the week, inspiring the children with her wonderful teaching and capturing their imagination with her choreography, creativity and enthusiasm. Our modern dance teacher, Maria Smith, is also a regular teacher on our Dance Week, creating fantastic routines for the children to learn. She is another inspirational teacher who always goes that extra mile to encourage her pupils to be the best they can be.
A full timetable featuring ballet, national dance, jazz, modern, tap and musical theatre, keeps the children busy. In between their busy schedule of dance classes, pupils can relax and socialise during creativity lessons. They have the opportunity to demonstrate their artwork on the last day with our very own art competitions and a programme of dance to an audience of parents, extended family and friends.
Fully supervised at all times, your children are safe and well looked-after.
Get in touch to find out more about the Summer Dance Week, and book your child, siblings and – why not – friends of any level of ability for a fun packed week at the very beginning of their summer holiday.
Dance Festivals and Competitions
One of our School’s busiest times is the Tunbridge Wells Dance Festival, a competition held every year in February half term at the Assembly Halls theatre. Our teachers select children to enter when they feel confident that their technique is secure enough to show command of the stage. Dancers new to competition work can enter as part of a group dance. In this way they can learn the precision needed to dance as part of a team. They build confidence as a performer, eventually progressing to dance in the festival as a soloist.
Every two years the Tunbridge Wells Dance Festival is a qualifier for the All England Finals. Those dancers achieving the highest scores get through to the Regional Finals. If successful here, they then qualify to compete at the All England Final. A good number of our pupils regularly compete at the Regional level. Some even go on to dance at the All England competition in London, competing with some of the most promising pupils in England.
There are many other Dance Festivals to enter in the region, if the pupil wishes to. Recently our pupils have performed at the Sevenoaks Dance Festival, the Tonbridge Dance Festival, the Orpington Festival of Dance and the Hastings Musical Festival.
However, we also realise that competition work is not for everyone. Our Annual Charity Performance gives children a more relaxed opportunity to showcase their work and learn performance skills in a less pressurised atmosphere.
Find out more about our pupils’ involvement in upcoming Festivals by contacting us.