On Tuesday 28th February 72 students from ALNS took part in the Portsmouth Rock Challenge event. The event aims to encourage young people to take part in dance as a way of expressing themselves and building self-esteem and respect. It aims to allow the students to have a drug free high through the creation of an 8 minute performance of a theme of their choice, working to discourage young people from smoking, taking drugs or drinking alcohol.
This year Admiral Lord Nelson chose the theme of refuges and through their performance they were recreating the story of the Syrian boy who was washed up on the shore of Turkey. It was a very emotive performance which meant that lots of research had to be conducted prior to the event in order to ensure that the Rock Challenge team understood how Syrian refuges are fleeing their country in order to make a very horrific journey in overcrowded boats in order to try and escape the atrocities that they are faced with in their home land. As a team we also had to take along stage crew, a lighting assistant, a video director and also a co-host so the whole experience was not simply for those students who were interested in Dance.
We had various groups of students representing different characters within the story from the little boy and his family, to the rebel soldiers, the smugglers and finally the other refuges who are also facing the same journey. The students involved thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience and they performed a fantastic piece with amazing characterisation and emotion throughout. During the whole day the team atmosphere was very positive with all students getting along with each and being very encouraging and supportive.
The overall end performance was very successful and also students performed with real confidence. The judges thought that the way that the story was told through dance was incredible and they had a very appropriate soundtrack with excellent choreography. At the end of the evening a very nervous team waited in their dressing room for the results. We were awarded 4 awards of excellence for the lighting, video direction, drama skills and finally the most entertaining piece. This was the schools most successful Rock Challenge to date. Sadly we did not get placed in the top 4 this year however, next year we will be making every effort to gain one of the top 4 spots! Mrs Pascoe and Miss Nicholas would like to thank all of the students involved for their hard work over the last 6 months and also thank all of the staff and ex-students who came along to support the evening. They would also like to thank the hair and beauty students from Highbury College who came along on the evening to do the students hair and makeup.