Learning some moves

dance2Every week up to 20 young people from Allenton take part in a fantastic dance project which is funded by Allenton Big Local and delivered by the Enthusiasm Trust, supported by Trinity Warriors.

The young people taking part in the sessions benefit from the guidance of a professional dance teacher and a professional youth mentor. They learn and develop new dance moves and techniques and build their confidence and self-esteem with the aim of performing at events across the community.

Paco from Trinity Warriors teaches the dance sessions and choreographs performance pieces. Trinity Warriors is the Derby based dance academy that became famous when they reached the semi-finals of Sky One’s ‘Got to Dance’ show in 2011.  The combination of professional dance sessions supported by specialist youth workers gives local young people the opportunity to access something creative, fresh and fun in a safe and welcoming environment.

As the sessions are open access they allow those taking part to build new friendships, nurture existing ones and learn new skills that require discipline, trust and respect – which in turn improves their views on fitness and healthy living, builds their confidence, and enables them to develop a new level of self-esteem. Alongside this, they are also encouraged to learn and work with other young people in a team environment.

In communities where there is a high demographic of disadvantage and/or deprivation, access to the arts and culture can often be restricted, and gifted young people have few opportunities for artistic expression (including those who are not so gifted but still love to dance and engage in arts and culture). The learning and relationships nurtured through this project address creative development needs and help to cultivate life-skills that can never be taken away.

During the summer months the young people have continued to dedicate time to attend the dance sessions to prepare for their performance events and to master new techniques. Their commitment to this project has been impressive, especially given that the school holidays often throw up periods of absence due to family outings and stays with extended family, plus caring needs for other siblings. It is great to hear about the levels of commitment shown by the young people in preparing for their forthcoming Big Local Performance on 24 October.

danceTrinity Warriors dance teacher, Paco, (pictured right) has been impressed with the work the group has put in and the way they support one another. In August, the Enthusiasm team had a visit from Natalee who works for NatWest Bank in Allenton, Derby. Natalee had successfully raised £1,055 for Enthusiasm and she wanted to see some of the work being delivered by Enthusiasm when she presented the cheque. The Enthusiasm team took her along to the ABL dance session where Natalee watched young people practicing for their Big Local performance and had the opportunity to chat with the young people, Heather and Paco.

Help from a member of the Enthusiasm Youth Academy

A local 19 year old volunteer who is part of the new Enthusiasm Youth Academy has also been really helpful in delivering the dance project (as well as some other projects delivered by Enthusiasm). She supports the Youth Mentors and Trinity Warriors in setting up, running the session and packing away at the end. She has learned a lot throughout her time volunteering and has really made a positive impact on her own journey as well as the young people she’s supported.

The young people are continuing to build their confidence and learn new dance moves, genres and techniques at each session. Their next performance is at a Big Local event that will take place at St Martin’s Community Centre in October. We look forward to seeing them in action!