Helen Wadge’s Flourish Fund reflection

Thursday 14th January 2016

South East Dance supported Helen to undertake Arts Award training through the Flourish Fund. Here, she reflects on her experience and how she will use what she learnt in her daily practice.

As a freelance dancer I have performed for Joe Lott Dance since 2008. In January 2015 I took on the additional role of Creative Learning and Participation Coordinator for the company.

The reason I wanted to do the Arts Award training was to enable me to offer a wider variety of workshops and education programmes through Joe Lott Dance, not only widening participation and audience for the company, but also giving me further experience as a facilitator. Although I have much experience of delivering weekly classes, one-off workshops and curricular/ extra-curricular courses in schools, I wanted to gain experience of designing intensive dance programmes over more extended periods of time for community settings and charities.

The Arts Award training was very concise and interactive which was really refreshing. The trainer paced it well and just gave the information needed (very to the point). The trainer gave opportunities for sharing good practice which was also useful.

It was a great networking opportunity and I met some really interesting people working within the youth, arts, education and performance sectors.

Ways that I could integrate the Arts Award into my professional practice…

At Joe Lott Dance Company:

Arts Award would be great for mixed ability groups of learners as it can stretch very able participants and be open and supported enough for beginners.

We would need to deliver a half day workshop with Joe Lott Dance to give enough experience of taking part in the activity for the Bronze Award. As the person trained to deliver it I would then do some follow up sessions with groups.

For the Silver Award we would need to deliver a few sessions, so that we are providing enough arts activity for participants to show evidence of setting and achieving targets. The Silver Award would be more suited to a project over a few weeks.

I would like to develop a Bronze Art award three day workshop with Joe Lott Dance Company, to be offered to youth groups, arts centres, schools and colleges.

In my general practice:

I could use the Arts Award for some of the freelance facilitation work that I do, to give the participants a qualification to show their commitment and dedication to dance activities. For example I have spoken to the Performing Arts department in Hackney College about introducing it onto one of their vocational courses.

In summary:

Having completed my Bronze and Silver Arts Award training with the support of South East Dance’s Flourish Fund, I have learnt that I could expand the creative learning workshops that we are offering through Joe Lott Dance to enable participants to gain an Arts Award through taking part in our workshops.

Photo credit — Helen Wadge performing for Joe Lott Dance. Photographer: Imran Uppal.

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