‘Storytelling’ Dance at Test Valley School

Once upon a time…


Sports Leaders in animal onesiesOnce upon a time, in a school far far away, there was a group of Sports Leaders who met every Tuesday lunchtime to plan a dance extravaganza for the seven local primary schools.

They worked hard to link the theme to stories and developed the ‘Disney’ type of approach with ‘onesie’ characters which looked fun and magical.

Primary school children from Lockerley, Broughton, West Tytherley, Stockbridge, King’s Somborne, Wallop & Wherwell were invited to attend the festival over 3 days.

Gremlin Dance Company taught a creative story through pictures in order to explore gesture work, performance expression and mime within dance in the morning workshop.


Hannah from Gremlin Dance helping the pupils to learn a new move

Hannah from Gremlin Dance helping the pupils to learn a new move.

The schools had been asked to link their showcase performance to the theme of storytelling using poems, short stories or excerpts from an event in history as a stimulus for a dance piece. They were “using dance to retell the story”. The primary schools performed their own school dance show cases in the afternoon.

Young Sports Leaders join in with the dance

Young Sports Leaders join in with the dance.

Mrs Smith, School Sports Co-ordinator said:Dance stories in action

 “It has been great to see the schools this year linking their performance to the overall theme of ‘Storytelling’. I think this is something that we will now develop each year.”

The dance stories told in the schools showcases were very varied performances and included: The Pied Piper, Alien Invasion, Alice in Wonderland, Roman Games & WW2.

The event’s sponsors were invited as VIP guests to present Gold & Silver medals to all the primary school pupils. Without these key sponsors this event could not take place. The key sponsors were, Hildon Natural Mineral Water represented by Debbie Jones (Environmental Manager) and Simplyhealth represented by Debbie Clark (Community Fund Co-ordinator). This year the ASDA Community Champion Project was introduced linking with the Sports Leaders UK Organisation. The Sports Leaders were given polo shirts to wear during the event and ASDA provided fresh fruit and squash for the break and lunchtimes. Supporting leaflets were given out about healthy eating as part of the ‘ASDA Active’ initiative.

Other VIP guests who visited included Councillor Mrs Lovell, Test Valley Mayor and Councillor Mrs Baverstock, the Deputy Town Mayor of Romsey & past Mayor of Test Valley.

The Mayor, Mrs Lovell, spoke very favourably about the performances, stating:

“The dance theme was a great way to bring history alive. Very creative and imaginative. I was impressed with all the children especially with their observations and interpretation of the performances.”

The Mayor presents 'Gold' medals

The Mayor presents ‘Gold’ medals.

Teachers from Wallop Primary School also commented on the experience, stating:

“What an exciting and engaging day at Test Valley School with activities that all children could access and participate in. It is wonderful to see the hard work of the Young Sports Leaders who did their very best to ensure everyone enjoyed themselves.”

Wallop pupil so proud of her medal

Wallop pupil so proud of her medal.

Miss Hiscock, Headteacher, pointed out what a great event it had been:

“The dance festival is always a very special event in our school calendar that we all look forward to. Mrs Smith and her team of Sports Leaders put a considerable amount of time and energy into ensuring our primary school pupils have a wonderful time with us. We are also very grateful for the support of the festival’s sponsors and it was lovely to see so many represented at the festival this year.”


The Dance Festival was another success for the Young and Sports Leaders and they all lived happily ever after…

The Dance Festival was another success for the Young and Sports Leaders and they all lived happily ever after…