Friday, September 22, 2023

Stomp success as students bust a move

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330 primary school students participated in the successful hip hop dance program run by Stomp Dance Company after a $9,000 donation by cluBarham. 

The program was designed to develop students’ fundamental movement and coordination skills, as well as instilling students with respect, social skills, teamwork and self-expression. The program included the Cohuna, Kerang and Koondrook schools after Cohuna Consolidated School teacher Michelle Howard saw a need to bring students, families and the community back together in a fun and interactive way after the impact on students’ social and emotional well-being during and after the Covid-19 pandemic.

“The program was absolutely fantastic,” said Michelle.

“The students were all so engaged when taking part. Lizzie and Kira were wonderful with the students and they were able to hook them all in right from the start, and the enthusiasm continued for the whole week.

“They were able to teach each group four dances in a very short space of time and then the students decided on their final dance for the showcase performance on the Friday.”

The showcase event took place at Cohuna Consolidated School with members of the public in attendance.

“On the day of the showcase performance, everyone had an absolute ball,” continued Michelle.

“It was a huge job to coordinate all three schools together as we had to organise each dance practice and then activities in the classrooms for over 300 students.

“It was great for the students to finally be able to reconnect and socialise again, which they have not had much of an opportunity to do for quite a while. It was a great chance for the staff of all three schools to get together again too, in a relaxed atmosphere.”

It’s estimated that nearly one in three children and young people experience lasting negative mental health and wellbeing effects for many years after an emergency such as a pandemic.

Children themselves have identified mental wellbeing as a top concern relating to Covid-19 in Australia and parents have reported high rates of negative mental health impacts on their children.

The kids described the program as fun, amazing and a blast.

“It was a great experience and having the other schools join us was so much fun,” said Taylah Huppert.

“I had a blast! The dance moves were easy to catch on to. I loved how energetic Kira and Lizzie were when dancing with us!” said Ileana Dayag.

“It was amazing and I loved every second of it. I think my favourite song was ‘Where did you go?’ but all of the dances were great. I had a lot of fun learning all the different dance moves and I like how some of them appeared in multiple dances. The concert was awesome,” said Fletcher Rooney.

“We loved every minute with Stomp and I had so much fun with the class. I loved the new dance and had the best day ever,” said Brydie Hack.

The Koondrook and Barham Bridge Newspaper, 6 April 2023

This article appeared in The Koondrook and Barham Bridge Newspaper, 6 April 2023.


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