Talented students from Sir Henry Floyd have become the Rock Challenge southern premier champions, a national dance and drama competition which saw them compete against schools across the south.
The team of 60 dancers and 20 stage crew members from years 9 to 13 took part in the southern premier final in Portsmouth after rehearsing and perfecting their piece since last September.
Their work was based on the sensitive story of the Jonestown Massacre of 1978 when more than 900 people died.
Sara Durose, subject leader for dance and Floyd Rock Challenge director, said: “Student leadership is always at the heart of our pieces. I believe strongly in the importance of giving students the creative freedom and trust to create their own material within our Rock Challenge piece, whether that be creating the soundtrack, designing costumes or choreographing sections of the piece. It feels like a team effort and everyone has their individual part to play in making the piece a success. I have seen strong friendships forged across year groups and the interaction between the different age groups is another special part of the Rock Challenge experience. Our 6th formers have become real role models for our younger students.
“The 6th form team have researched the theme and tried to convey it in a way that is appropriately dramatic, whilst at the same time historically plausible. Credit is due to the choreographers Jack Buchanan, Lauren Kendall, Emily Cregan, Rhianna Baker, Clarissa Davis, Joe Davies and Georgia Williams who have created some original, innovative movement material and with such a large cast, this is no mean feat. Hugo Piper has created a fluid, smooth soundtrack, seamlessly blending the different tracks. Alice Cromwell and Ebun Osobu have headed up the costume and make-up team, creating a cohesive look for a challenging theme. Our school technician Jonathan Cole created our incredible set which transformed the piece from an idea in our heads to a visual spectacle.
The team were a credit to the school both in their phenomenal onstage performance and in their commendable attitude throughout the day.
The professionalism and talent of all our students was inspiring. Schools who achieve very highly in specific areas are given awards of excellence and the judges gave us the following awards: Student Leadership, Choreography, Performance skill, Stage Use, Concept, Drama, Soundtrack, Set Design and Function, Visual Enhancement, Entertainment and Stage Crew. Against some extremely tough competition we also went home with the title of Southern Premier Champions and to be the best in the whole of the South of England is a huge honour. To achieve such an accolade is a testament to the creative talent of all of our team. We are looking forward to next year!
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank our school community who have supported us through this event and two local companies who sponsored us for the event: JMP media and KJB communications. If any other local businesses wish to sponsor us for next year’s event please email firstname.lastname@example.org