The Great Big Dance Off CompetitionPosted on: 27/01/2023
This week, 31 students across years 8, 9, 10, 12 and 13 competed in The Great Big Dance Off Competition - London Regional Heats. This competition sees secondary schools perform in a range of styles; contemporary, hip hop, lyrical, jazz, musical theatre and afrobeat dance split into two categories of Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4/5. There are several regional heats held across England and the 1st and 2nd place competitors in each key stage progress through to the National Finals, where the best of the regionals compete against each other.
This year, a robust audition process was held in September and the selected Blenheim students formed three separate teams; Key Stage 3 (Year 8 and 9), Key Stage 4 (Year 10) and Key Stage 5 (Year 12 and 13). Each choreography showcased a different style; lyrical, jazz and contemporary, and the students said how much they enjoyed having varied pieces from Blenheim. This was the first time Blenheim took three teams to this competition.
After completing hair and make-up preparations in the Dance Studio at school, the students were excited to travel by coach and arrive at the theatre for their rehearsals. The rehearsals provide the students with an opportunity to practice on stage before the competition begins. We were able to watch some of the other schools rehearse their choreographies and it was a great moment for analysis of ideas and movement material.
Blenheim were fortunate to be performing in the second half of the competition and it was an incredible atmosphere in our dressing room back stage. The students were highly supportive of one another and even though split into three teams, they showed real unity as #TeamBlenheim. They helped each other with costumes, led warm up routines and had motivational speeches before performing. Friendships across the year groups have clearly been made. The standard of Dance increased again this year and all Blenheim students performed beautifully. The Key Stage 3 team placed 12th out of 22 and the Key Stage 4 team placed 8th out of 22. I'm very pleased to say that the Key Stage 5 team placed an incredible 2nd out of 22 and have qualified for the National Finals in June!
As a school, we have not attended the National Finals before, so this will be a first for Blenheim Dance. They received a score of 88/100 from one the judges - the highest individual mark given in the competition. Two of the judges spoke to us at the end of the competition, commending us on our 3 choreographies stating how memorable they were; a very successful day for our dancers.
The students represented Blenheim excellently, demonstrating qualities of respect, politeness and kindness throughout, with the organisers of the competition saying it was a pleasure to have us again this year. A huge well done to the students, I'm so proud of them and we're looking forward to our next performance opportunity at The Blenheim Dance Show in March.
- Key Stage 5 - Megan, Emma, Lily R, Chloe, Morgan, Nancy, Lily D, Tanzy, Lily J, Ellie, Sienna
- Key Stage 4 - Katie D, Leah, Lucy, Ella, Abi, Tia, Alice, Melis, Katie W, Lola
- Key Stage 3 - Emily, Elise, Grace, Eliza, Keira, Hollie, Jessica, Martha, Lyri, Sophia