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Castlebrae students learn hip-hop moves from Boy Blue Entertainment

Our Creative Learning Officer, Emma Hay, writes about Boy Blue Entertainment’s hip-hop workshops at Castlebrae Community High School in December 2016.


Presenting dance workshops to young people can sometimes result in the following reactions: panic, reluctance, resistance or outright refusal. Much of this relies on group dynamic and the prevailing sense of confidence and awareness. Unless there is a culture of movement based classes in school, or extra curricular activity, the prospect of dancing is daunting.

And fair enough too. Teenage years are difficult. Our bodies are changing in ways we don't expect, hormones and attitudes are raging, and you try really hard to get your head round where you stand socially and politically in the wider world. ‘Doing dancing’ is awkward. One wrong move and it has the power to usurp that status quo that we so carefully work to keep in balance in the school environment.

Boy Blue Entertainment workshop at Castlebrae CHS

In December 2016, Boy Blue Entertainment delivered workshops to all school pupils at Castlebrae Community High School that injected a bold and subversive idea of what dance and movement can be.

Street dance and hip-hop lend themselves to those of us with little or no experience of dance; the commitment, energy and personality you put into it is a big chunk of the work - much like speaking a foreign language and applying the accent to it. 'Street dance' in its original form refers to dance that took place outside a studio setting, in social areas. There's a natural rebellion in its history. Plus, it looks really cool.

This doesn't mean it's easy: Boy Blue Entertainment's piece, Emancipation of Expressionism, is now a set piece of work for GCSE dance, and shows that improvement and ability comes with discipline and perseverance. Surrendering to the unknown, embracing new ideas, engaging and participating is what the International Festival is about and it’s also the joy in growing up, which continues long past our teens.

In summer 2017, Boy Blue Entertainment will return to Castlebrae to offer more workshops to the students ahead of presenting Project R.E.B.E.L at the school as part of the International Festival in August.

Boy Blue Entertainment workshop at Castlebrae CHS 

Photo credit: Neil Hanna

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