Five talented and tenacious Dance students at Richmond Sixth Form College have masterminded ‘Moving Forward’, a virtual dance extravaganza and competition. Marking National Dance Week, the show will be released on the school’s youtube channel on Friday 23rd April, as the week-long celebrations draw to a close, and will showcase individual performances by 50 students from Year 7 through to Year 12 and culminate in a grand group finale.

Kassandra Jeffels, Charlotte Harrison, Abbey Charles, Usha Rai and Grace Stones, in Year 13, came up with the idea of organising the show and have project-managed the whole event.  They chose the theme of ‘Moving Forward’ to recognise how well the students have coped during the Pandemic and that through Dance they can move forward together. The show and competition is also aimed to help students develop their dance technique, give them a focus, as well as embodying all of the school and college’s values of creativity, excellence, independence, resilience, respect and teamwork.

Throughout National Dance Week, the Dance department will be celebrating the power of Dance and demonstrating how it can make a huge difference to a person’s mental wellbeing and fitness level. In addition, there will be interviews with former students who have gone on to do great things in the world of performing arts.  Richmond School and Sixth Form College is highly regarded for its Dance prowess and this is evident by the long list of alumni who have forged successful careers in this field.

Kassandra Jeffels, ‘Moving Forward’s’ project co-ordinator, said: “We wanted to give our fellow students an opportunity to perform again and really shine the spotlight on the wealth of talent we have in our school and college. We also wish to highlight that Dance is a truly inclusive activity and we hope that this has given students something to focus on and a renewed hope for better things to come after the challenges of the Pandemic.  It really is a great time to share our love of Dance!”

The five students have been offering advice and tips to younger pupils on how to perfect their choreography and costumes, ensuring that as well as being a wonderful opportunity to perform again it is also a chance to learn and develop skills.  The competition will be judged by Mrs O’Malley and Miss Pembleton, Dance teachers, and the Year 13 dancers, who face a difficult job as the standard is very high. A grand finale to the show, choregraphed by Usha Rai, which will be filmed by year group, to ensure safety and social distancing, is eagerly awaited.

Mrs O’Malley, Dance Teacher, said: “I have been so impressed with the Year 13 students, who are all studying CTEC Performing Arts, so are hugely passionate about Dance.  They have taken on board the planning, logistics and implementation of this project and their enthuasiam and sheer professionalism have been outstanding.

“I am also most appreciative to former students Charlotte Porter, Hannah Smith, Brandon Sutherland-Parker, Eva Midgley and Rhiannon Tuite who have given up their time to share their experiences from their Dance careers since leaving Richmond School and Sixth Form College. They will be an enormous inspiration to our students and show how with drive and determination it is possible to achieve your dream

“I am very excited that two members of the Moving Forward project team are furthering their studies in Performing Arts after sixth form.  Kassandra has a conditional offer to study Musical Theatre at Lincoln University and Charlotte has unconditional offers to study Dance Practices and Psychology at Middlesex or Liverpool.”

The ‘Moving Forward’ Dance Show and Competition will be available to enjoy from 5pm on Friday 23rd April at the Richmond School and Sixth Form College Youtube channel at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCmqnBGAMf5hFigFW7-oJBlA