There are many opportunities to enjoy Dance at Dauntsey's and classes are open to all pupils, both boys and girls, experienced dancers and those pupils who are new to this discipline.
Dance is on the timetable, so everyone does it, whether they’ve come here with a history of dance classes or are complete novices. It is taught as part of the Drama Curriculum to all First and Second Form pupils.
Through dance you see pupils self-confidence blossom, shy pupils become outgoing, nervous pupils suddenly up for taking a risk. Part of that is down to the supportive atmosphere in classes and clubs – it’s a joint venture, teamwork is crucial and everyone is so positive and helpful. Unusually, we have dance scholars who act as role models and mentors, giving the others something to aim for.
Pupils have a strong voice in choosing the styles they want to pursue, which are usually musical theatre and street dance. Currently, dance clubs also include jazz, ballet, cheerleading, contemporary and tap, so there’s something for everyone. If you’re really keen, you can dance twice a day.
The shows are a big attraction, too. There’s a musical every winter and the annual dance show every spring. It’s become a rite of passage, with every child in the First and Second Forms performing two dances. And when you have the chance to appear in iconic productions such as Les Miserables and Billy Elliot then it’s easy to build enthusiasm.
Dance for boys has become cool – they have realised that dancers are elite athletes. We have now established a 15-strong all-boy dance group, GNI (Girls Not Invited), who perform at the dance shows and work towards taking part in competitions.
If I hadn't come to Dauntsey's, I might have gone to dance school but this has been the best of both worlds, full of incredible opportunities and with a wider perspective than a specialist school could have given me. ATlanta, sixth form pupil