Scotch College has everyone grooving with the benefits of dance.
There’s something powerful about seeing tiny people with big dreams dance into school on day one, and then dance their way out again 12 years later, having grown and excelled in their passion.
The dance program at Scotch College is inclusive, with a dedicated curriculum and after-school program for young girls and boys to pursue the art of dance. This program has a long list of benefits for wellbeing, and has already uncovered a pool of talented young performers.
Girls groove, boys boogie
While history shows that primarily it’s the girls who get the dancing bug, the boys at Scotch College are joining the party too — resulting in an almost-even split of girls and boys. Including dance as part of the day-to-day curriculum softens the gender stereotypes and makes it super acceptable for everyone to be a part of it.
Dance the days away
Beginning at the ELC level in the junior school’s brand new performing arts studio and continuing right through to SACE level, the dance program offers students the opportunity to enrol in dedicated dance subjects, as well as after school dance classes.
“There are so many benefits that come from encouraging our students in dance — from improving their physical and emotional wellbeing, through to guiding and developing their skills as dancers, choreographers and avid audience members,” says Scotch College’s Head of Dance, Allison Patterson.
Offering co-curricular dance on campus makes the program stronger, with the after hours classes designed to go hand-in-hand with the day classes. Not only is it a blessing for parents to keep after-school activities in one place, but students also benefit from the same teachers running the program, which is taught by a large and diverse faculty. It’s a less intimidating way for students to pursue dance, and the classes are open to everyone regardless of their skill level.
Students in Year 5 and onwards can choose their favourite genre from jazz, tap, hip hop, ballet and contemporary — and this selection will continue to grow over the next couple of years. And students who don’t have a passion for dance still reap the benefits, with spectacular performances for them to watch throughout the years.
Wellbeing comes first
Just like everything that Scotch College does, wellbeing is at the heart of the dance program. “It’s impossible to feel sad when you’re dancing!” laughs Nina, teacher of Performing Arts and Choreographer of the annual musical.
Not only does dance promote physical health, it’s also a chance for students to express their emotions. During the tough transition period over COVID-19, teachers encouraged students to dance as a form of stress release — and by the end, there wasn’t a single person who wasn’t laughing.
Parents have also noticed the difference that dance can make in their children feeling a sense of belonging to something wonderful. Year 6 student Zee’s mum, Sarah says, “Zee has absolutely loved her time with the dance crew! She says to me, ‘I feel so good when I dance’ — that to me, is everything. What wonderful mentors and role models for our younger ones”.