Born in the early 20th century, modern dance is a style that focuses on a dancer’s own interpretation and expression of feelings. It was originally developed through a rejection of the limitations of classical ballet but is now seen as an extension of the art form. Students are taught to “feel”, to develop a heightened sense of awareness of being grounded to the floor while, at the same time, feeling the energy throughout their entire body and extending it through to the audience. Modern dance evolves with each generation and here at Tozer we are very proud of our strong modern department as this a reflection of the amazing characters of our students. We have our Modern Theatre syllabus for Musical theatre choreography and contemporary work for the development in expressional choreography for current dance companies and techniques.

Contemporary technique allows dancers a platform to express their feelings and in these troubled times that is so very important. The mental health of our students is at the centre of our hearts and something that we care deeply about. Many of our students are with us for the majority of their childhood lives. We see them grow, through school exams, through braces and boyfriends, through good times and bad and are so very proud to see the young people they emerge into. Yes our students have immaculately beautiful plies and rhythmical time-steps, but equally important for us is that our students are able to enter into the wide world with a sense of self confidence and resilience.

Choreography challenge
Considering all the above the focus for this week is emotions and dance. Create a short piece of choreography (up to 1 minute) to a piece of music which has a particular sentiment or gives you confidence to express yourself through dance. You can pick a suitable section of the music to begin, it does not have to be from the start of the track. Think about how you would costume your piece and the type of setting/lighting you would want if it were to be included in a show or showcase. Please submit your work in the usual way and send to us by Sunday 26th April.

In addition to the choreography challenge students may wish to write a poem or short piece of writing about Tozer or their dancing. Senior students may wish to research Martha Graham one of the pioneers of the Modern dance form and use this in their choreography piece.

For a bit of messy fun this week we are introducing a make-up challenge. The musical Cats has some amazing modern dancing through the portrayal of the various cat characters. Students can pick their favourite cat characters and attempt to recreate their face make! We can’t wait to see your pictures.

As we navigate these troubled times prioritise your health, your family and your community and we will emerge stronger together.

Keep dancing (and talking)!

Information on children’s mental health and the impact of Covid19 can be found at Youngminds.org.uk