What an incredible journey we have had this year at Danscentre. We've had so many exciting events and achievements including shows, exams, student success' and more! Check out some of our many highlights from the last 12 months and reflect on the wonderful experiences enjoyed by our students, families and staff.
iDance Senior and Junior Shows 2022
Our return to the theatre this year was truly magical for everyone after such a long time starved of the chance to perform. March saw our dancers from Primary 5 upward take part in iDance at HMT after a 2 year postponement. It was an emotional moment stepping out on the HMT stage again and all involved had a memorable week filled with experiences that will last a lifetime. In June it was the turn of our younger students who charmed audiences at Aberdeen's Beach Ballroom in iDance Junior. Pupils from Primary 1 to Primary 4 were joined by some seniors to tread the boards in this beautiful venue. Both shows were a huge success and pupils came away dreaming of their next chance to dance on stage! Through various events across both shows over £12,000 was raised for our chosen charities. Congratulations to everyone involved
Scottish Ballet: The Nutcracker
Back in January, 16 of our DC pupils were successfully selected to perform in Scottish Ballet's production of The Nutcracker. at the Eden Court Theatre in Inverness. The children took part in an intense rehearsal process and despite the disappointment of the Aberdeen shows being cancelled due to Covid restrictions, they had the chance to shine at Eden Court Theatre in Inverness. The experience of preforming in this prestigious production with the national ballet company is something that will stay with them forever.
Exams: Ballet and Modern
A large number of our students from P2-S6 took part in dance exams over the past year in both RAD Ballet and ISTD Modern. With sessions in December, March and June students have worked on technique, artistry and completed many hours of extra practise in order to meet exam criteria. For some this was their first exam experience while for others it was the culmination of many years of training. The confidence and skills gained in the process are invaluable to children as they progress and develop and much of what they learn will benefit them in all areas of their education. Big congratulations to all of the students involved!
See the video below to enjoy our senior students in their Westside Story piece from iDance at HMT who recently sat their Advanced 1 ISTD exam this June. This qualification is a huge test of physical mental and emotional stamina and these young people have developed as dancers and artists in the process!
Preschool Demonstration Day
85 of our youngest dancers performed a selection of exercises they have been working on in their class to show parents and friends at Culter Village Hall. It was a truly memorable day for all involved as it represented the first of many performances on their journey with Danscentre. The children were delighted to perform for an audience of family members and were also treated to some performances by a small selection of our older dancers - inspiring the next generation! There were lots of smiles as they went home with their very own certificate and medal to keep as a memory of this very special day. Huge well done!
SQA Dance Exams
Our Higher & Nat 5 students have done an outstanding job over the year preparing for their SQA examinations which took place in March and May. Pupils from S3 - S6 performed brilliantly in their solos and original choreography pieces. These are the first SQA exams held within Danscentre since the pandemic and a welcome return to these valuable National Qualifications.
Kingswells Gala and Umbrella Event
We were delighted this month to be invited to perform at both the Kingswells Gala and Umbrella Event held in Aberdeen City Centre last Saturday. Our dancers had a blast and thoroughly enjoyed the experience to dance in the sunshine. A fantastic job and performances from all the students involved - Well done!
Ex DC Student News
Harris Beattie had the wonderful opportunity in December to make his debut performance as boy wizard Merlin in Northern Ballet's new ballet production of 'Merlin'. This truly was an exciting moment for Harris in his career, and some of the DC staff and students were able to take a trip down to Southampton to watch him deliver a stellar performance! Harris has since performed other soloist roles with Northern Ballet including playing 'Wilson' in The Great Gatsby which a number of DC students and teachers were able to enjoy in Edinburgh in April. Well done Harris!
Ex DC student Alfie McPherson received the brilliant news of being offered a contract with the Hamburg Ballet main company! Contracts as such are so elusive with very few dancers being able to achieve such a coveted offer. Having followed our enhanced programme, as well as being a Royal Ballet Senior Associate, Alfie went on to achieve his RAD Advanced 2 Ballet and ISTD Advanced 2 Modern with Distinction. He started his vocational training at Central School of Ballet in London before transferring to Hamburg for his final 2 years of training. This is a huge achievement for Alfie and all us here at DC of so proud and excited to see him succeed as he takes this first step in his professional dancing career.
It's been great to offer our students face to face workshop experiences again over this past year at our DC studios. The students always come away from the day feeling motivated and inspired - learning from those who have experience working in the industry.
The first workshop we had this year was back in September with Angela Towler - ex Principal Dancer and Rehearsal Director with Rambert Dance Company and current Rehearsal Director for Akram Khan Company. Angela also teaches for several prestigious dance schools and companies all over the UK. She is always so generous with her time and commitment with our students' training, and continues to inspire this generation of young dancers.
We then had ex DC student and current dancer for Northern Ballet, Harris Beattie leading workshops for our vocational students. They were very lucky to learn some repertoire from Northern Ballet's production of 'Merlin' and the students thoroughly enjoyed the chance to learn this material from someone who played the lead role just weeks before!
It was brilliant to welcome back the Scottish Ballet team with a workshop based on the touring production of ' The Scandal of Mayerling'. We have been very fortunate to receive regular workshop opportunities with Scottish Ballet over the years, and were delighted to have them return for the first time since the pandemic. The children left the studios with huge smiles on their faces and felt very inspired.
We wish all our our students and parent/carers a very well deserved summer holiday and we look forward to welcoming you back to Danscentre from Thursday 25th August!