Sunday Reads #7: Three Academies Dance

24 May 2020

Mental health is an issue that can be difficult to approach and discuss. Dance can break down this barrier as it allows us to express ourselves without using words: how we move our bodies can say so much.”
Kevin Edward Turner
Co-Artistic Director, Company Chameleon

To mark the final day of #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek, in today’s Sunday Reads, we revisit an article written by Kevin, our Co-Artistic Director, for ArtsProfessional magazine.

Kevin wrote the article following the success of a mental health and dance project with 100 young people from three North Manchester secondary schools, which are part of the Co-Operative Academies Trust.

In the article, Kevin talks about how the project engaged students in discussions about mental health, which enabled them to develop their own creative responses through dance and movement.

He explains how watching a dance performance and taking part in a workshop, gave the young people something tangible to understand and talk about, creating the perfect platform to open a discussion around a subject, which can be challenging to discuss.

Frank Norris, then the Director of the Co-Operative Academies Trust, contributes to the story and provides context from an educational and curriculum perspective.

In a twist to the tale, which is touched on in the accompanying film, many years ago, Frank was Headteacher of the primary school Kevin attended as a child. Whilst Kevin was at the school, Frank organised a dance workshop, which introduced Kevin to contemporary dance for the first time.

Amazingly, this experience proved to be Kevin’s very first step in his dance journey! An inspiring little story and a reminder of the difference one teacher can make.

Read the article on ArtsProfessional here. 

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