Double dance delight from show performance

Sydenham High’s annual dance show, Unity through Diversity, just gets bigger and better every year – both in terms of the number of participants and the variety of styles and dance genres on display.

This year, so many girls (over a hundred) and groups wanted to take part in the show that the acts had to be spread over the two performance nights to ensure that everyone had an opportunity to take part and show their considerable talent and skill.

Acts this year included curriculum groups, clubs, duets and soloists, performing in styles from Ballet to Bollywood and Street to Showtime.

Coached by accomplished Year 10 dancers Alice Nicholson and Jamilah Balogun, the Year 5 and 6 Jazz Dance Club also made a big impression with their confident performance.

Once again the Bollywood Dance Club and Musical Theatre Club, led respectively by sixth formers Shivani Patel and Lili White, delighted the audience with their panache and striking dance interpretations.

The school’s new Contemporary Dance Company, comprising members of the group who took part in the successful Step into Dance initiative, premiered a complex piece called Undercover, inspired by Banksy.  To provide the material for their choreography, the girls had engaged in creative investigations, prompted by images of street art, newspaper articles and the recent Dismaland Bemusement Park installation.

Another new act on the programme this year was a Year 7 Arts Award group, performing their version of ‘Greased Lightning’ from the musical Grease.  The girls learnt the dance for the musical theatre unit of the Arts Award Bronze during their Aspire extra-curricular sessions. They also had the opportunity to teach the dance to Year 6 but their live performance was their own interpretation.

“As we approach our 10th anniversary of Unity through Diversity, the popularity of dance at Sydenham High is at an all-time high,” said show founder and PE teacher Mrs Georgina Calvert. “We encourage girls of all levels and abilities to get involved in dance and use the show as an annual occasion to celebrate the vast range of styles and abilities that we have in the school. The standard is extremely high and the girls have once again put their heart and soul into performing for their friends and families.”