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Juilliard Dance

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Do you remember the first time you heard that song, ‘’Shut up and dance with me!” by Walk the Moon?  Do you remember what you did?  Yes, that’s right.  You tapped your toes.  Or maybe you tapped the steering wheel with your hand?  And you know how, even now when you hear it, you know that at some point in the song you are going to ‘’move’’…..?  Well, there is a chemical thing going on.  Movement –  dancing – kicks off endorphins in your brain’s frontal lobe and every decent key stage 3 scientists knows that endorphins are basically the body’s feel good chemicals.  That’s why tapping your toes makes you feel better.  When you dance, you are experiencing joy...

Gaynor Heptinstall–Lowe is a very excited teacher at BIS Abu Dhabi. She has been appointed as the Juilliard Dance Regional Lead for the Middle East and fully intends to kick off endorphins in every Nord Anglia School in the region – starting right here in Abu Dhabi.  

The Juilliard philosophy is about developing students’ creativity, their cultural awareness, and encouraging them to learn new skills such as collaboration and resilience.

The collaboration between Nord Anglia Education and Juilliard will embed the opportunity to develop ‘transferable skills’ that can be used in school and for the rest of your child’s life – this isn’t just about Dance.  What happens in the Dance studio will help your sons and daughters to be better artists, scientists, historians and mathematicians.  The Juilliard approach to learning is interdisciplinary and the skills that children develop through the performing arts are accessible across all subjects.

Skills Needed for the 21st Century

The Juilliard collaboration will help to develop a range of transferable skills such as creativity, self-confidence and problem solving.   Gaynor has spent two weeks in New York working with Dance specialists from across the globe to develop and write new ‘Learner Profiles’ for each year group from FS1 to Year 9.  These profiles will encourage students to create, to solve problems, to collaborate, to express themselves, to show curiosity and to reflect upon their own performance in a critical way.  Not all of our students will find their way to the world’s premiere stages but every one of them will use these skills throughout their school career and of course, later in life too.

Dance in the Curriculum

In order to support the Nord Anglia Education and Juilliard Performing Arts School partnership, the Physical Education department will develop the current FS, KS2 and KS3 schemes of learning and it will extend the provision for Dance in KS1.   From September, every Year 1 and Year 2 class will receive a 25 minute dance lesson per week delivered by a dance specialist. Co-curricular activities for Dance will run throughout the year and over the summer we will be developing a designated dance space in our school to support our ambitious plans to become the regions’ leading Dance centre of excellence. Gaynor intends to get you moving…