SEND Schools shine bright in a virtual celebration as the winners of Para Dance UK’s Youth Games Dance Competition are announced.
Excitement was in the air on Thursday 16th December 2021 as over 100 children from SEND schools came together virtually for the very first time, eagerly awaiting to hear who the winners of Para Dance UK’s Youth Games Dance Competition 2021 are and where their groups had placed.
The schools journey began back in September 2021 when Para Dance UK joined forces with Alexandra Palace to run a fun, virtual dance competition focussing on “Big Live Moments. Following the pandemic, this fitting theme was celebrating the return to live performance and drawing from stand out live performances over time.” The competition was open to SEND schools & disability groups within London and surrounding areas and thanks to funding from London Response Fund, Walthamstow Stadium Sports Fund, L & Q Foundation, Bailey Thomas Charitable Foundation, Bedfordshire & Luton Community Fund Trust, The True Colour Trust, Tottenham Grammar School Foundation, Haringey Council, & National Heritage Lottery and each school contributed £15 for each to enter.
Twelve amazing schools signed up to take part. They were:
- Alfriston School
- Amwell View High School
- Carew Academy Middle School
- College Park School
- Fairley House School
- Lonsdale School
- Mapledown School
- Middleton School
- Stony Dean School
- Shaftesbury High School
- Vale School
- Woodlands Secondary School.
The competition consisted of 12 events that the schools could enter which included; seated, standing and mixed for street dance, non-genre fusion dance, freestyle dance & musical theatre. Each school was provided with a Resource Pack which was filled with everything they needed to get their groups show ready – this included; competition rules, pre-recorded inclusive dance videos, dance scripts and lots of support sessions along the way including a practice session over zoom with a Para Dance UK instructor. Alongside the packs Para Dance UK also provided the schools with Activity workbooks for the children to help capture fun, special moments that the children created throughout the duration of the competition – there was something to do every week and the packs were designed to be used alongside the dance and creative videos.
Each school submitted their final videos to Para Dance UK in November 2021 which was sent off to a panel of judges (Ronald Jager, Megan Croft, Vera Randall-Noyce and scrutinised by Martin Bird. Our creative prize was judged by Laura Dajao.)
Samantha Parry, Project Manager at Para Dance UK told us “We are incredibly proud of all of the children and schools who have taken part in our competition this year and extremely grateful to all of our wonderful funders who have made this all possible. The entries we received were fantastic and were to such a high standard, I was blown away by each and every one. This year has been an incredibly difficult year for all but it is so inspiring to see what the children have achieved despite this and to celebrate the power of dance. Everyone should be incredibly proud of themselves”
As part of the virtual celebration for the schools, Para Dance UK & Alexandra Palace showcased a special video which was created at the end of the project to showcase the amazing journey that the children had been on this year whilst also announcing the competition winners for each event.
Musical Theatre Standing
1st place – Middleton School – Kestrels and Kingfishers
2nd place – Alfriston School 10X
3rd place – Stony Dean School NG1
Musical Theatre – Seated
1st place – Mapledown School – Flamingo Macaw class
2nd place – Mapledown School – Toucan Class
Street Dance – Standing
1st place – Carew Academy Upper School
2nd Place – Fairley House School
3rd Place – Woodlands Secondary School – Group 1
Street Dance Mixed
Participation Award: Vale School
1st Place – Lonsdale School
2nd Place – Mapledown School – Osprey Class
Fusion Dance Standing
1st place – Middleton School – Eagles
2nd place – Shaftesbury High School
3rd Place – Alfriston School 10Y
Fusion Dance Mixed
Participation Award: Woodlands Secondary School Group 2
1st Place – Woodlands Secondary School – Group 1
2nd Place – Fairley House School
3rd Place – Carew Academy Upper School
To view this video and celebrate the work of our fantastic dancers please visit: https://youtu.be/xAXLFZ7KzyA