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Wellington High School and Com Ed Centre

Region: Wellington

Art form: Ballet and Contemporary Dance

Project name: DANCEwithME

Creative name: RNZB Dance Educators

Project information:

Outcomes for students and ākonga: Our students have high and very high learning needs. Fourteen students were involved in dance class, which they looked forward to every week. They responded to the patience and encouragement displayed by the dance professionals. Our students visited RNZB rehearsals in the city and toured the costume department. Some of our students who are in fabrics classes were really impressed with the costumes, especially when they found out that it took a week to make one tutu! This project gave them a chance to be in the limelight and do something no other group has ever done in my 13 years at WHS. Our deaf student worked with a TA to write a speech thanking the dance professionals and the creative – this is the first time he has been asked to represent a large group of students and staff and to do it in NZSL. This also strengthened his relationship with his communicator.

Outcomes for teachers and kaiako: This project allowed our students to shine. So often assumptions are made that do not reflect the real talents and gifts our students have, as well as their tenacity to keep going when things are challenging. We look forward to sharing the video of students performing, with staff who were not able to attend the live performance due to Covid-19 restrictions. I am especially keen to share this with parents who will be so proud of their children. One really positive outcome is that the communicator was so moved by our deaf student’s success that she has decided to seek further training and make this her career.

Outcomes for creatives: The success of this project is largely down to the dance professionals, and the creative, for her magnificent organisational abilities. Our dance professionals were very professional in their relationships with our students. They were patient and quickly interpreted some of our students’ limitations in terms of physical movements. The choreography was created to suit all students and the music selected was a great choice. Rehearsals on stage were carefully managed and there was never any concern for students’ physical safety.

Outcomes for parents and whānau: Feedback from families has been really positive and one student is likely to attend dance classes as a result of this project.

Project status: Completed




RNZB DANCEwithME Report 2020 _008 (PDF 2 MB)

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