New dance studio gives pupils chance to shine

Show to promote healthier lifestyle.

132 pupils from years 7 to 11 at Cardinal Wiseman Catholic Technology College in Kingstanding have taken their annual performing arts show to another level, thanks to a new state-of-the-art dance studio funded by Mondelēz International’s Health for Life programme.

The five year Health for Life programme takes a whole community approach to support children, adults and families to live healthier lifestyles for generations to come. Funded by the Mondelēz International Foundation and delivered in schools by the Health Education Service ), the programme is, this year, working with 32 primary and secondary schools across Birmingham to increase access to healthy lifestyle activities.

With a grant from the Mondelēz International Foundation, the school transformed its art classroom into a dance studio, after pupils requested additional space for physical activity. It is now used to deliver a range of dance, drama and PE sessions, including Insanity, Zumba and boxercise. The dedicated studio has also enabled students to rehearse together for the first time ahead of the school’s biggest ever annual show, Showtime 2016.

Pupils delivered two days of show-stopping performances which saw more than 500 staff, pupils, family and pupils from local primary schools gather for the shows on Wednesday 9th March and Thursday 10th March.

Anthony Beckett, assistant head teacher at Cardinal Wiseman Catholic Technology College, said: “Previously, there was no room for all the pupils to rehearse together but the dance studio has not only helped the pupils prepare for the show, it has allowed them to pursue their passion for dance. Now we are also able to deliver fitness lessons and encourage pupils to have a positive outlook on their life-long participation in sport. Alongside this, the studio has enabled many of our students to opt to study dance as a course when they are 13 which was previously not on our curriculum.

“The studio is a great addition to the school and has really improved pupils’ confidence and communication. We are truly thankful for the support of the Health for Life programme – without it we would not have been able to have a brilliant facility for our pupils.”

Niall Crawford, education advisor at Services for Education, added: “The Health for Life programme in schools aims to create healthier lifestyles for young people across participating schools, encouraging them to get involved with physical activity, growing food and healthy eating. We are delighted to support the school with the creation of a new dance studio which has already made a massive difference to current students and we know it will encourage pupils to keep active for years to come.”

For more information about Health for Life in primary and secondary schools, please contact [email protected]