GRACEFUL: Sophie Lehmann, Josh Lehmann and Tara Hawkins with Queensland Ballet education manager Martha Godber.
GRACEFUL: Sophie Lehmann, Josh Lehmann and Tara Hawkins with Queensland Ballet education manager Martha Godber. Ebony Graveur

Dance workshop gives school kids confidence

STUDENTS from Prenzlau State School learnt the ins and outs of everything dance when the Queensland Ballet stopped in for a last-minute visit to the school.

One child said he had "never stretched like that before” when he and his schoolmates settled on the carpet after taking part in a dance workshop on an otherwise ordinary Thursday.

Music teacher Rebekah Barns said she heard about the workshops through a friend and went about getting the school involved.

"I actually heard about it from a music teacher in Stanthorpe,” Ms Barns said.

"They actually get it every second year so I thought we better have a go.”

A former dancer, Ms Barns appreciated the numerous benefits of ballet for students.

"The students have done a bit of dance as part of their units at school,” she said.

"It builds their social skills, it builds their ability to work with each other, it builds their confidence levels and their ability to perform in front of other people, and it builds communication skills.”

She described a scenario where one of her students had improved his grades significantly after beginning to engage in dance

"For the first time, he was able to perform,” she said.

"Just by doing drama and dance he was able to practice and build his confidence up.”

Queensland Ballet education manager Martha Godber said the Queensland Ballet was on its regional tour and offering free in-school workshops to various remote locations across Queensland.

"They focus on giving children an introduction to ballet while linking to the Australian curriculum,” Ms Godber said.

"We shape these workshops to hopefully give them a really fun experience and to give them opportunity to have an insight into what a professional arts company looks like and what we do.”


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