The Original First Steps Dance Festival
An established competition for primary school children in the Berkshire area.
Sharon Vickers is proud to present ‘FIRST STEPS DANCE FESTIVAL'. This is the only dance festival aimed primarily at children attending dance clubs within schools, who have not taken any dance examinations or competed in registered competitions.
The objective is to introduce and provide easy access for children of all abilities to the welcoming and fun environment of dance, to encourage them to ASPIRE, ACHIEVE and INSPIRE.
This is a unique competition for Primary Schools in Berkshire
Dancing helps children build confidence and express themselves. Dance classes can encourage social bonds, friendships and teamwork - key factors in improving mood, mental health and sense of belonging.
Strictly Come Dancing remains extremely popular amongst all age groups and many people have often thought of participating but never actually do. Dancing is not inexpensive and the cost can often prove an insurmountable barrier. First Steps therefore provides a unique opportunity for children in the local community to experience the advantages.
The health advantages are unquestionable and one or two children, who otherwise would simply not have the chance, may perhaps develop into the ‘Strictly’ stars of the future.
The First Steps Team helps schools start, or consolidate, their own dance clubs - or potentially run sessions as part of the school curriculum.
The first school to register was St. Dominic Savio in Woodley where First Steps coordinated a ‘Strictly St. Dominic’s Competition. School Head, Mr. J. Broadbridge commented, ‘Yesterday our school hall was converted into the Blackpool Tower Ballroom! It truly was an original and magical afternoon.
First Steps arrange for coaches to lead one or two initial sessions in a school whilst simultaneously training teachers to take over. Thereafter, they will be available to offer further advice.
The First Steps Dance Festival on 3rd March 2018, which is thereafter scheduled as an annual event, will provide the focus for local schools as a celebration of their commitment and progress. Whilst the emphasis is on fun and taking part, there will be a competitive element. The children can compete either as teams and/or individuals in a range of dances aimed at giving them as much time on the floor as possible. The actual programme will be based on the experience and training of the children and will include many of those they can watch on a Saturday night.
As at the beginning of October, we expect over 80 children to attend with several other schools expressing an interest to join in.
There will be individual certificates for all participants to reinforce the sense of achievement and sponsored trophies for specific events.
A current amateur England couple will perform an exhibition dance to provide additional inspiration.
Annette Hufton, President of the National Association of Teachers of Dancing (NATD), commented that, “The importance of offering dance in schools for physical, social and mental health reasons, cannot be exaggerated, whether in the curriculum or through social clubs, and I passionately support all such projects.”
First Steps is the original conception of Sharon Vickers, CEO of ‘The Dance Studio School of Equality and Excellence’.
First Steps motto is ‘Aspire, Achieve and Inspire’. We will be encouraging the children to aspire (to their own objectives), achieve (those objectives) and, by doing so, inspire (others) – and stay healthy !
The aim of the First Steps (Dance), Reading is to provide easy access for Reading children to the welcoming and fun environment of dance to improve their physical and mental health and fitness. Their abilities and personal situations will be no obstacle.
The government acknowledges that obesity is an escalating health concern, particularly for children, with officials stating that it is a leading cause of preventable deaths in the UK. In England, only 18% of children between 5 and 15, achieve the recommended levels of physical activity.
The NHS advise that regular dancing is great for losing weight, maintaining strong bones, improving posture and muscle strength, increasing balance and co-ordination. The physical movement of dance provides substantial exercise and helps reduce stress and anxiety.