Perform moves online
Back in March, lockdown arrived without warning and we spent our Easter holiday working on developing Perform At Home. We quickly got 11 of our most experienced Producers up and running and launched our virtual classes mid-April. You can find out more about how we set up these initial classes in our recent Shine article, where we chatted to Perform Producer, Abby Restall, about how she adapted her teaching to suit Zoom.
The 30 minute classes were incredibly successful and the feedback we received from parents was amazing. Nevertheless, we were delighted to return to running our holiday courses and weekly workshops face-to-face from July, albeit with some new measures in place to ensure they remained Covid-Safe. It was marvellous to see the children settling into the new way of doing things, until Halloween.
Then it was time for Lockdown 2.0.
As experts on online teaching this time around, following 5 months of virtual classes, we moved all of our weekly workshops online - training almost 100 Producers in the space of just a couple of days.
Our teachers are all incredibly creative, versatile and imaginative and the first week of Perform Online has gone brilliantly, with the majority of children choosing to continue virtually this time around. “Only a group of creatives could have plunged themselves headlong into this with such determination and passion.” says one of our Area Partners, Sophie Ladds. “Our Producers are nothing short of amazing and we are getting brilliant feedback from parents.”
We’ve extended the original Perform At Home product, keeping class times in line with our normal hour-long weekday and 90 minute weekend workshops. We're continuing our work on the 4 Cs with our weekly focuses and we've adapted some of our favourite games and exerices to ensure maximum engagement from home. The confidence-building fun certainly hasn’t stopped.
While virtual classes were not how I thought we’d be spending the majority of 2020, I have to say that moving everything online has been exhilarating. The children are having a wonderful time and we're getting on brilliantly with our rehearsals for our end of term presentations- which will be happening from 12th December.
The Area Partners and me have been dropping into classes daily and it’s fantastic to be able to see so many of our terrific teachers live in action every day - we don’t get that luxury when there’s London traffic in between each venue! So many parents are thrilled that they can see Perform firsthand too. It's been a huge success and I love seeing parents' photos on social media.
Despoite all that, we’re really looking forward to being back for face-to-face classes on 2nd December, ready to film our fabulous shows for you. Until then, see you on Zoom!