I continuously watch and critique shows for my own learning and teaching so here is my latest review; this time of Titanic at the King’s Theatre, Edinburgh:




Cultural Learning Alliance

An email popped into my inbox this afternoon with the following attachment:


The article gives added value for our ongoing defense of dance being on the curriculum and also demonstrates clearly why dance has benefits for both girls and boys alike; some useful findings in addition to all of the other physical, creative and emotional benefits. The key findings of the research are as follows:

1.   Participation in structured arts activities can increase cognitive abilities by 17% .
2.       Learning through arts and culture can improve attainment in Maths and English.
3.       Learning through arts and culture develops skills and behaviour that lead children to do better in school.
4.       Students from low-income families who take part in arts activities at school are three times more likely to get a degree.
5.       Employability of students who study arts subjects is higher and they are more likely to stay in employment.
6.       Students from low-income families who engage in the arts at school are twice as likely to volunteer.
7.       Students  from  low-income  families  who  engage  in  the  arts  at  school  are  20%  more  likely  to  vote  as  young adults.
8.       Young offenders who take part in arts activities are 18% less likely to re-offend.
9.       Children who take part in arts activities in the home during their early years are ahead in reading and Maths at age nine.
10.People who take part in the arts are 38% more likely to report good health.
Just some great reasons to keep dancing (and/or singing or acting…)!

Cirque Berserk!

As I have discussed frequently on my blog it is really important to watch dance to aid both teaching and performance. The latest performance I went to see was Cirque Berserk! which takes popular circus acts to the stage. From a dance perspective the most interesting thing was perhaps the lack of utilisation of the dancers. They added very little to the show and the absence of a choreographer was clear to see. Read my full review here:



What is Creativity?

Following last weekend’s sessions here is my response to the questions issued:

Why is creativity important or not important to you personally and professionally?

How do you develop creativity in yourself and others?

What are the products of the creativity?

Creativity is very important to me in my personal life, many of my interests being intrinsically linked to creativity – dancing, writing and an appreciation of art. Much of what I do to relax is about creating stories, watching creative productions and applying the principles of creativity to my own choreography. Professionally, however, this question is more difficult to answer as in theory my job as an English, Support for Learning and Dance teacher should be very creative but the demands and restrictions placed on teachers by government, exam board and schools make creativity difficult to always squeeze into lessons as we are ruled by internal assessments and targets.

In my school I have taken on the role of interdisciplinary learning leader to add more opportunities for creativity onto the S1/2 curriculum. This programme is due to start in August 2017.