Mental Health Awareness

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Mental Health is something being talked about a lot, which is apt since we’ve just had Mental Health Awareness Week. It’s being talked about more openly, particularly with Children and Young Adults in a bid to rid the stigma attached to it.

One theme that keeps cropping up, for people of all ages but especially children, is how drama and in particular Drama Therapy helps them to tackle hard subjects and any mental anguish they are feeling.

It is often the freedom that kids feel, when acting out a scene or devising a piece of theatre that brings them out of their shell. They know they aren’t going to be judged and can let their imaginations run wild. During workshops, you often find subjects you wouldn’t normally tackle being talked about. I was running a class not so long ago when the subject of ‘Surrogacy’ was brought up by a 7-year-old. She devised a piece where her “Mum” didn’t have time for her as she was helping others by having a baby for them. It turned out that her Mum had been a surrogate on many occasions and the little girl went on to tell me about how she felt jealous of her Mum having another baby but didn’t want to say anything. I had a quiet word with the girls parents after the session and they were shocked as she’d never shown any signs of feeling left out. The following week the Mum told me that her Daughter had re-worked the 5 minute play and that now she played the lady who couldn’t have the baby and was excited when someone said they could help her. Perhaps if that particular little girl hadn’t had an output, such as drama, this issue may never have seen the light of day or perhaps even lead to an emotional problem later down the line.

It was astonishing that something of this nature was being presented to me by a child so young. We underestimate kids sometimes and often think they aren’t aware of things going on in our lives, so it’s important to make sure they fully understand any huge events going on and how it might affect them.

Drama isn’t always about wanting to become an actor, it’s a positive environment which allows children to be educated as well as letting them express themselves and explore subject matter they may never otherwise tackle.

Mental Health Awareness is SO important, seeing the signs and asking for help are imperative, so if you think that you, or someone you know, needs help in this area, make sure you seek help from your GP or click here for more information.

Written by Miss Nicole

Summer Holiday Stars

With the Summer term up and running, we’re into the thick of it and it is going fantastically! We have lots of new faces as well as returning students and so much exciting work is going on. We don’t like it when we get to the end of term as we enjoy it SO much.  Not to worry though because – GOOD NEWS – we’re running some workshops during the holidays – YAY!!!

The Holiday Stars workshops are proving really popular, so make sure you book up soon as spaces are limited.

Our first workshop is the morning of Tuesday 25th July in Worplesdon and will be around the theme of Pixie Hollow and will involve playing with Tinkerbell and friends.

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The second workshop is Wednesday 26th July, again in Worplesdon from 9:30-12:30 and will be Moana themed.

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The third and final workshop takes place on Thursday 27th July, in Worplesdon but is for the WHOLE day and will be ‘Beauty and the Beast’.

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If you would like more information or want to book a place then you can either email camps@dynamicperformingarts.co.uk or click here

I look forward to seeing you all at one of these days in July!!

Miss Antonia

Musical Theatre Classes

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The new term has kicked off and it’s lovely to see so many students returning.

Just a reminder of the Musical Theatre classes that Dynamic Performing Arts currently run:

We have a BRAND NEW class starting in Burpham on Tuesdays. If you’d like to take the opportunity of a free trial for your 5-12 year old, please click here to register your interest. Classes will be held at Sutherland Memorial Hall, Burpham from 16:00 – 18:00. Places are limited, so if this is of interest then get in contact ASAP.

On Thursdays, between 3:45 & 5:45, we also run a Musical Theatre class at Daniel Hall in Farnham. Like all of the other MT classes the students will work towards a theme and put together a short performance for parents as the end of term. The subject this term is ‘Beauty and the Beast’. If you would like to register your interest for this class please click here.

Our third class of the week is held on Saturday’s from 09:00 – 11:00am at Worplesdon Memorial Hall. This class is very popular so please do get in touch asap if you would like to join this class.

The cost for all of these classes is just £80 per child for the 10-week term!

And the Winners are……………

As mentioned back in January, we are now awarding a student in each class, at the end of each term, a medal and certificate with the accolade of “Pupil of the Term”. The criteria are simple, if you show up on time and put in 100% effort, then you will be in with a shout of bagging this award.

Last week saw the end of term, so we now have our first three “Pupils of the Term” to shout about.

Up first we have…drumroll please…Roni Tobi, who was awarded the accolade by her teacher, Miss Emma. Emma has this to say about Roni; ‘Roni is super talented and is so dedicated. She arrives on time every week and puts in a full 100% from start to finish. She has a great stage presence and is an absolute angel to teach. She thoroughly deserved to win Pupil of the Term’.

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Roni Tobi – Pupil of the Term with Miss Emma

Our second superstar is…Amaia Begenda, and she was given her medal and certificate by Miss Antonia. Amaia says: ‘My name is Amaia Bagenda and I am 5 years old. My favourite thing to do is dance and I practise nearly every day! I have been dancing since I was 2 and started with Antonia from Dynamic Performing Arts, who is an amazing dancer. She has taught me loads of dance moves in both ballet and street dance, which I love to show my family and friends.’

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Amaia Bagenda – Pupil of the Term

And last but by no means least we have Miss Robyn’s star pupil…Olivia Rixon. She was so excited about her award and had this to say: ‘My name is Olivia Rixon and I am 5. I have been doing ballet for 2 years now with Dynamic Performing Arts. I love ballet, I love music and I love my teachers. It’s all so much fun and I love showing my family and friends all of the ballet moves I have learnt from my teacher Miss Robyn. The move I like doing the most is the Plie.’  

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Olivia Rixon – Pupil of the Term

HUGE congratulations to all of our Dynamic Performing Arts “Pupil of the Term” winners – will it be you next term????

DPA Musical Theatre Classes

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Farnham Musical Theatre class with Teacher Emma Hough and Assistant Matt Hough

Last Thursday was the end of term performance for Dynamic Performing Arts Musical Theatre class in Farnham. The class currently has 15 fantastic 5-12 year olds and this term they were working towards the end of term production ‘Honk!’ which tells the story of the Ugly Duckling.

The children spent 10 weeks working on the themes of the show through workshops. Learning the songs, being taught choreography, developing the characters and back stories and even drawing pictures of the animals. Some of the key skills taught this term were; line learning, dance, listening and thinking and communication. All of these skills are really important in order to become an actor but were particularly important while putting ‘honk!’ together because of the theme of the show. When ‘Ugly’ is born he realises that he’s very different to his brothers and sisters, this provoked a long discussion about how it’s OK to be different and how everyone fits in somewhere. The children were really vocal and had lots of questions and suggestions on the subject and this really helped them to develop their characters.

Although there is a theme each term, which leads to the end of term show, the kids also spend the first hour of the session warming up and playing drama games, which allow them to work together as a whole group. They are also split into smaller groups and pairs, so that they can explore subjects in more detail. The 2-hour class also includes a cool down, where the children learn how to conserve energy, think, relax and sort of meditate to regain some focus – oddly, this always proves popular!!

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For the last few terms the class has been taught by professional actor Emma Hough, who has really enjoyed developing techniques with the class and seeing them thrive. Emma sadly said goodbye last week but has been replaced by Nicole Connell, another professional who has many years of experience both in acting and producing musical theatre.

Next term the Farnham group will be looking at and performing excerpts from ‘Beauty and the Beast’, which the class is VERY excited about.

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If you’d like more information on the Farnham class, then it all takes place on Thursdays from 3:45 – 5:45pm and a 10-week term is ONLY £80!!!!!!!!!!! You can go to Dynamic Performing Arts to get in touch and book your place, be quick though as there is limited availability!

The Benefits of Drama!

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Some Children show an interest in all things theatrical from an early age, whether it’s dancing around to their favourite nursery rhyme or singing at the top of their voices. However, you might not be aware that there are, in fact, HUGE benefits to encouraging children to get into performing, not just because you want them to be “in” to theatre but it can also help with their developmental skills.

If you think about it, kids learn how to play roles from an early age. You often see them at home building a ship out of chairs and cushions and pretending to be a Pirate or dressing dolls up as patients and being a Doctor. If you find that your child does this kind of role play a lot, then you should think about encouraging them to do this in a drama class as you will no doubt see their confidence soar.

A lot of children feel more confident out of the classroom, in a less academic environment, and thrive in learning through drama. Even the shyest child will feel comfortable after a few sessions. Theatre and drama helps with concentration, cooperation, numeracy and literacy and even a better understanding of how to be a sociable child.

In drama sessions children are encouraged to listen to the teacher and other peers, which enables them to take in what is being said and respond accordingly. If you’re wondering how their literacy and numeracy will be improved then you only need to watch one class to see them keeping the beat, counting notes in a song or reading scripts.

Cooperation is probably the biggest life skill you can learn – as an adult you know how important cooperation is and growing up I think it’s the hardest skill to master. No one likes sharing their toys!  Playing drama games and acting through improvisation needs a huge deal of cooperation and the kids quickly work out that to get the best out of a drama session they must cooperate.

Social skills can often be hard for some kids and even the brightest children can struggle to make friends. At school, they can see the more children unapproachable, which can potentially leave a child feeling isolated. Over the years “Drama Therapy” has shown that acting and learning through drama breaks down barriers and allows emotions to be shown through means other than the “academic”. Expressing yourself allows others to ask questions and opens the forum for freedom of speech. Children of all ages, races, abilities and nationality can communicate, successfully, through drama which in turn creates a nice relaxed and supportive environment for them to flourish.

At Dynamic Performing Arts, all children are encouraged to express themselves freely. It’s important to remember that music stimulates an infant’s brain, dance develops motor skills and drama teaches emotion and problem solving. Why not contact us and see if you can book a space in a class for a taster session or perhaps come and join in over the Easter Holidays for one morning in our “Holiday Stars” workshops, it could be the start of something wonderful!

Easter Holiday Stars Workshops

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So, half term has been and gone for some but has just started for others and I wonder how many of you thought, at least once, I WISH I’d planned to do something interesting with the kids! Organising play dates, planning trips out or simply trying to think of something new and different to do can be a daunting task and perhaps you think it could be expensive!?

Let Dynamic Performing Arts take away the stress for at least one or two days with their “Easter Holiday Stars” morning workshops.

It’s a great way for the kids to learn some skills, meet new people and most importantly HAVE FUN!

The great thing is that both days are different, so if you want them to come to both then it’s double the fun (and double the free time for you) and it won’t break the bank.

The courses run for 3 hours on the mornings of Monday 3rd April and Tuesday 4th April in Worplesdon. There’s the opportunity to explore arts & crafts, dance and drama and since it’s Easter all the activities are Easter themed PLUS an Easter Egg Hunt thrown in for good measure!

Places are limited and going fast, so please do get in touch if you’d like to book or for more information.

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Time to Party -Quick, get planning!

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It comes around at the same time every year, yet you still panic about what to do for that all important birthday party. Little Poppy took everyone horse riding and little Ben did paint-balling followed by dinner at a swanky restaurant. There’s a lot of pressure these days to make sure each birthday party is better than the last and the older the children get, the more expectation there is. Bring back the times when we were kids and hired a village hall with your Dad and a ghetto blaster as the sound system/DJ and pass the parcel as the highlight of the party. I also think there is a level of expectation from other parents, with a kind of “OK, show us what you’ve got” attitude, so I can understand how this could be a daunting prospect.

STOP PRESS! DON’T PANIC, you never need to worry again because Dynamic Parties is here to help and we can do as much or as little as you want.characters

If you are working to a budget then we can totally take that We can offer a very basic package, all the way up to organising everything, including invitations, thank you cards and goody bags, if you want us to take control of the whole event.

Having a Dynamic Party is a great way to keep your child and their friends entertained and you are in control of the content.  We cater for kids between the ages of 2-6 years old and can offer such themes as:

  • Princess & Pirates
  • Rainbows & Unicorns
  • Disney
  • Jungle Animals
  • Circus
  • Fairies

You’re not limited to those themes though, so if you want something a bit different we can work with you to tailor it to exactly what you want. Dynamic Parties can involve dancing, drama games, dressing up and Arts & Crafts – so there’s something for everyone.

Prices vary, depending on how much you want us to be involved, so please do get in contact to discuss the best package for you.  With Dynamic Parties you can be rest assured that we will take away all the stress of keeping your Children entertained for a few hours.

***Pupil of the Term***

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New to Dynamic Performing Arts for 2017 is our new award scheme “Pupil of the Term”.

This award will be given to one student in each DPA class who shows the following:

  • Outstanding Attendance
  • 100% effort and achievement during the class

In order to be awarded “Pupil of the Term” your teacher needs to see that you are dedicated to working at your best. It’s absolutely fine if you’re not the loudest in class or the funniest or the best dancer, what is important is that you try your hardest and remain focused on listening, learning and performing as best you can.

In return you will be awarded with the “Pupil of the Term” medal and have a little interview, which will then be shared on our blog so that your friends and family can see what you’ve achieved.

Good Luck everyone – I can’t wait to see who will be our first award winners!

Antonia x

The Importance of After School Clubs

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It’s ironic isn’t it – when we first have children we’re very keen to join as many groups as possible, in order to give our kids the chance to interact with other children of the same age, for them to be stimulated by different activities and for our own sanity, to mingle with other parents. However, as the children grow up these activities get less and less as we assume that they will get all of the stimulation and interaction with other kids at school. We all know that if you left kids to their own devices I’m sure they would just sit and watch TV or play computer games but you’re missing a trick here parents – you need to embrace the kids talents and see how far they can go.

After school clubs and weekend clubs can really enhance and encourage talent. Kids respond much better to people that aren’t their boring old everyday teachers. It also prepares them for later in life when they aren’t always answerable to the same person. Take Dynamic Performing Arts, for instance, we are all trained in performing and can clearly see those children who show real promise in the performing arts field. We can identify their strengths and if they are really passionate about continuing down this route, we can offer the best advice about how to go about it. Equally, our classes aren’t just about becoming a performer. Drama, acting, dancing and singing also encourages and develops confidence and can even give children the courage to raise their hand and answer questions in class or stand up in an assembly and talk to an audience.

There’s no doubting that offering your children the opportunity to let off steam outside the classroom can only be a positive thing. Not all kids blossom in an academic environment and so joining that art club or going to brownies or dancing and singing could really see them shine. You also find that, in most cases, it really encourages you to be a part of a team, which is a really important trait to encourage. Helping others, who have the same interests as you and are working towards the same goal, rather than just thinking about yourself is something that we should all be pushing for.

Many important life lessons are learnt in extra curricular clubs. At School there is a lot of “it’s the taking part that counts” talk but there will be times later in life when the best person for the job is picked. After school clubs can really teach you how to be gracious in defeat and how sometimes you might be as good as the next person but they are taller than you and therefore win the lead role! It’s a hard pill to swallow but surely it can only help make our children more rounded??

At Dynamic Performing Arts we really do encourage all children to try their best, take part, get involved and most importantly have fun. But we also tackle some of these harder subjects through work-shopping and explanation in to why we cast productions the way we do or why that child was picked for the role. We are also very good at giving everyone the opportunity to have their moment to shine. We take chances and perhaps encourage those who aren’t as forthcoming to have a go at something different, whilst giving them the tools to do so.

Why not come and try out one of our classes for free to see if this is something you’d like to pursue or if you think your son/daughter could do with a little nudge then come and observe a class and see how much fun we all have. There are many classes around the Worplesdon, Burpham and Farnham area and we’re confident that you’ll have a brilliant time!

If you’d like more information then head over to the Dynamic Performing Arts page and hit “Contact”.

Antonia x