It is a highly anticipated tradition at Edge Hill State School for students in Year 6 to participate in the preparation and performance of song and dance routines for our very own “Rock Eisteddfod”.
The annual project is a collaboration between our school and Year 10 Dance students from Cairns State High School. We have worked with Cairns High in this way for twenty-two years and will continue to support this exciting and time-honoured practise.
At Edge Hill State School we highly value Music, Visual and Performing Arts and continually seek ways to explore creative practise, performance and education both within the curriculum framework and beyond. The benefits of creative opportunities like “Rock Eisteddfod” include the development of collaboration skills, inclusion and team building and experience with group dynamics.
The “Rock Eisteddfod” project supports senior learners with specific skills and interest in dance to develop ensemble choreography. The junior learners from our Year 6 class groups are taught the routines and given time to practise and polish before performance. Music selection often reflects current popular music trends and is almost always high energy and up-beat.
Some students who will perform the routines have little to no experience in dance and others may have developed such skills outside the school learning environment. A challenge for the choreographers is to devise routines that can be accomplished by students with a wide range of abilities.
In addition to the obvious challenge of learning a sometimes complex ensemble dance routine our students, who work each year to a theme, are required to consider additional performance necessities such as lighting and costuming.
The culmination of the 8 week project takes place in the Edge Hill Performing Arts Centre and the audience never fails to fill the auditorium. The effort and energy of all involved is evident from the very first beat. The sense of pride, joy and satisfaction in their achievements is palpable among the student participants.
Such collaborative creative experiences allow for groups to bond and unite toward a common goal, sharing in the exhilaration of being on stage and under lights like rock stars!