Tuesday 14 July 2015

Bolton roundup

We've had a wonderful week at Smithills Hall, Bolton, with a delightful crowd of children with unbounded energy and enthusiasm!

The venue was a bit special… The Great Hall of the house was built just 700 years ago.  Successive generations have added layer after layer of extensions — leaving the sprawling rabbit warren that we see today.  ;)

For 5 days, the 4 groups of 4-10 children joined us for 50 minutes each.  Darren lead warmup and stretching exercises, taught a dance routine and lead a relax time whenever possible.  Wonderfully, all of the children participated fully despite a few being a little shy on the first day.  It was therefore great to have those kids come back on the second day and throw themselves into it!

The 20 or so children came from various special needs schools in the area and the week's mission was to introduce the yr6 kids to the yr7s at the local special needs high-school they will be transitioning to in September.  Watching the new friendships develop over the course of the week was superb!

There were also visual and dramatic arts engagements that were themed around the rich history of Smithills Hall.  The kids loved doing everything although we did hear that they were raving about the dance activity the most.  We're not boasting.  Honest.  ;)

Silk painting expressing dreams and aspirations in the form of an emblem as seen around the house.

Nifty drama performances based on the rich history of the house…

Consulting the doctor — who, no matter what the ailment, only ever seems to prescribe Lemon Balm!

Inspecting the bedbug bites on a servant who's been 'warming' and 'de-bugging' his lordship's bed!

It was amazing to see the children grow in confidence during the week as they played with the Kinect and projected graphics.  It wasn't all play however, they also got drilled in a dance routine to be used in the final performance to parents, carers and staff on the Friday.  Of particular delight to the children was them cajoling the adults to perform.  What a blast!

Happy people enjoying the grounds and the sunshine on our last day.

We've loved getting to know them all.  They've given us such joy.  What a week!
Thanks to all of the organisers and staff.

Tuesday 7 July 2015

Away to Bolton for a very special week.

The Body of Light team is in Bolton, spending the week with a group of children who have special educational needs.  We work for 50 minutes with four groups each day developing a unison routine and solo spots for 'signature moves'!  We are having a whale of a time with them all.
There are art and drama workshops happening at the same time but the kids are raving about the dance and technology workshop over the others.  It's not a competition though.  It's not!  ;)

Each performer takes a solo with their own moves and are captured by the Kinect depth camera then immediately replayed on the backdrop.  It's their moment to SHINE!