Surprisingly, although ACE dance and music was established in 1996 and since then has gained a significant reputation for outstanding dance education, 2011 was the year of our first ever summer school and we loved it!
The African Village Summer School for 5-8 year olds was themed around the Ghanaian legend of the Golden Stool and throughout the week the children learnt African dances, played African drums, made masks, jewellery and props, listening to storytelling and even did some acting. Phew!
We were really impressed with the children as they were motivated all week long to learn and keep practicing all their different dances, even rehearsing by themselves first thing in the morning before we’d started! Not only did we have children from our Saturday morning group Funky Fusion take part, but also some brand new faces, who we hope will come back to dance with us on Saturday mornings when the new term begins in September.
Then on the Friday afternoon we invited parents and friends to watch their performance. The children took on the role of brave Ashanti warriors to go on a quest to find the lost stool and met a host of different traditional Ghanaian characters along the way. We were also lucky to have Tyler from ACE Youth helping out all week and even taking part in the performance with a guest appearance as the naughty trickster God Eshu!
We had loads of positive feedback from parents who were amazed at how their children were completely engaged and concentrating for the full 50 minute performance. To finish off the fantastic week we turned the music up celebrated with a bring and share ACE style and everyone tucked into some yummy food brought by the parents!
“Interaction and development witnessed with the staff and children was always positive, children responded very well to the homely atmosphere whilst all demographics and abilities were catered for effectively. My child thoroughly enjoyed the week (as did we). Thanks and well done.”
“It taught my kids to be proud of themselves and their heritage, I didn’t know that they could move – but they can!”
“The most professional summer school my son has ever attended! He has enjoyed every minute, and I loved the performance.”
“The energy was great! My daughter loved it and was always looking forward to attending. Just keep doing what you are doing!”
“We have been struck by the variety of activity undertaken and know that our daughter has found the week educational as well as enjoyable.”
“An increasingly unique opportunity for young people to experience a range of authentic cultural arts activities, well done!”
“I can see you truly worked hard with the children.”
“Outstanding production and excellent costumes, masks and jewellery. Great what was achieved in one week!”