Schools’ world dance extravaganza celebrates Olympic spirit

Camden schools joined a dance extravaganza inspired by the Olympic and Paralympic Games.
The Go! Camden Schools Dance Festival, supported by the Big Lottery Fund, involved 26 short performances by schools across the borough – with prizes presented for the best dance displays.
The event, held at the Camden Centre on Wednesday 21 March, brought together 397 primary, secondary and special school pupils in a vibrant international festival, featuring Indian Bhangra and Bollywood dances, as well as Greek, Latin, American, African and English folk styles.
Prizes to four winners were awarded to:
* Swiss Cottage School for 'Loca' a salsa dance;
* Fleet Primary for 'Zorba the Greek';
* Carlton Primary for 'Inspiration' in Bollywood style;and
* St Alban's Primary for 'BollyBhang'.

Four schools were ‘highly commended’ and awarded runners-up prizes:
* Haverstock secondary for 'New Era U.Bz';
* Jack Taylor special school for 'Promenades';
* Primrose Hill Primary  for 'Never Give Up'; and
* Rhyl Primary for 'Everything I Can't Have'.

There was also an Olympic Torch competition. The winner of this was New End Primary, who also made a banner, with Rhyl as the highly commended entry.

Prizes were presented by the Mayor of Camden, Councillor Abdul Quadir, and Councillor Larraine Revah, the Council’s Cabinet Member for Children Schools and Families.
The Go! Camden Schools Dance Festival was jointly organised by Camden Council and South Camden Community School, with workshops to help schools prepare their performances run by Akademi South Asian dance company, Maximum Dance Design, Candoco Dance Company and the English Folk Dance and Song Society.
The Mayor, Councillor Abdul Quadir, said: “This was a fun and energetic way for schools and pupils to get into the Olympic spirit. Congratulations to the winners and to all the schools who took part for their fantastic performances - and thank you to the children’s parents, carers and teachers for their support.”

Councillor Larraine Revah, Camden’s Cabinet Member for Children, Schools and Families, said: “We want to do all we can to encourage young people to take part in sport, physical and cultural activities in the run up to this year’s Olympic and Paralympic Games. Thank you to all the children and teachers for their hard work in preparing for this wonderful celebration of international dance. They all did so well.”

Anna Blackman, arts college manager at South Camden Community School, said: “South Camden Community School has been delighted to raise funds for the Camden Schools Dance Festival and to manage the project with the school improvement service. In such a special year for London we have enjoyed working with so many arts partners, many of whom have worked with SCCS for a long time and are based here in Camden. The event last Wednesday was a wonderful finale for all the schools to take part in and a great opportunity for the dancers and their parents to see the hard work of all the primary and secondary schools involved. The Go! dance group from South Camden have honed their dance and performance skills through working with Shoumi Das from Akademi and learnt some new and contemporary Bollywood and Bhangra moves. We hope to fund-raise for the project again next year and involve even more schools than in 2012.”

Notes to editors:

* South Camden Community School, Camden Council’s school improvement service and the Council’s sport and physical activity service bid to the Big Lottery Fund, under their Awards for All scheme to fund the Go! Camden Schools Dance Festival. 
* The project offered secondary, primary and special schools in Camden the opportunity to have seven hours with professional dancers to learn routines in a range of cultural dance styles, including English folk, Latin, Bollywood and Greek.
* The Council and South Camden Community School (SCCS) have supported the project to get more people dancing in this special year for London. The dance club at SCCS has enabled students to explore the Olympic and Paralympic values and work as a team to produce something new and unique.

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Reference code: PR 1605
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