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The Perform Circus Show

Show day is a day where we celebrate the work we have achieved since term started in September.  The children come in costume to represent their character and this really raises the level of performance and obviously adds a huge element of excitement to the day.

In our mini musical we will tame the Lion who is refusing to do his tricks and save the Circus in the process. The children will perform The Lion Tamer Dance, sing The Clown with a Frown, The Circus Flea and The Human Cannonball songs. They’ll recite The Ringmaster Rap and the Rodeo Rider Tongue Twister. But they’ll also all have individual speaking parts and perform lines and remember stage directions.

It's a wonderful way to celebrate the skills they have learnt through the term. 

My superpower is... and an introduction to the term ahead

It’s the start of our term and a brand new year. It’s always wonderful to see the children after the holidays and we welcome lots of new children to our classes this week also.

As our theme is Superheroes, as well as lots of Superhero themed drama games and exercises we will discover our Top Secret Mission, which is to help rescue Planet Earth from Global Warming.

In our improvised adventure, our character PF ends up discovering that his school teachers (in a parallel universe) are actually all Superheroes and ask him to help them solve this Global Warming crisis, which we will continue throughout the term.

Confidently entering a room

Our topic of the week is “Confidently entering a room”. We discuss how it can be scary when you enter somewhere new for the first time, like the first day at school or at a new club. We do an improvisation where we have to walk into a room for the first time (and how that makes us feel).

Later, in our PF adventure improvisation, we have to enter the “Superhero Circle” – a special superhero circle that you can only enter if you do so confidently. So we make sure that we enter it with our heads held high, shoulders back and a big smile on our faces.

Patience and waiting your turn

We learn all about the importance of waiting our turn this week.

We meet a Superhero called X Rayser who manages to bring order to the chaotic Superhero conference where all the Superheroes are shouting over each other and no one is actually being heard and nothing is getting done.

X Rayser explains that it’s no good everyone having “super powers” if the most basic skill of waiting your turn to talk is not followed. So our topic of the week is about fairness and waiting your turn whether it be during a game, to speak or to take part in an activity.

Casting your vote

This week our focus is on casting our vote and what that means.

If you’re a regular Perform parent then you’ll know that getting the children to share and express their opinions is very important to us and we always have a focus like this every term.

The Superheroes decide on whether to make a cake to take to the Party People (who are using up the Earth’s resources). This cake is so sweet that it will make them sick and therefore unable to party anymore. However, all the Superheroes have different views on whether this is a good idea or not?

So they decide to vote on it and elect a spokesperson for each opinion to give an impassioned speech and then everyone casts their vote.

Talking in front of a big group of people

At Perform, we believe that if you teach children to project at a young age then they will have this skill for life. We are often told that you can tell a Perform child in and assembly because they know how to project their voice.

All Perform teachers are actors and it’s something that we have learnt through our training and, although projected voices is a focus this week, it’s something that we keep looking at throughout the term.

So this week, our special focus is on using a strong and projected voice when you talk in front of a large group of people. We highlight this through the Ice Queen character who is too nervous to speak in front of the other Superheroes. Luckily with PF’s help, she soon learns how to (and so do we in the process).

Celebrating differences

Our focus is about celebrating differences and realizing how amazing it is that we are all different and how to celebrate that.

We meet The Whirly Woman who doesn’t mix with the other Superheroes, because she’s ''different''.  Through the story we teach how everyone is different and how to celebrate our individuality.

Power of praise

This week’s class has a lovely focus where we look at what praise means and why it’s really nice to praise each other. Mr Pizza Man has stopped the room from spinning by using his amazing pizza to slow everything down, but PF finds it odd that none of the other superheroes are praising him and saying well done.

PF decides to say well done and the other superheroes realise that praising each other is very valuable and important.

We also play a game called “Compliments” where we go around the room and compliment each other.

Power of persuasion

We meet The Rocket Girl in this week’s lesson and she explains to us about the power of persuasion. We learn that it’s much better to persuade someone to do something in a positive way rather than to force them to do it. We spend some time role-playing in pairs experimenting with this idea and everyone is agreed that persuasion is very powerful.

Concentration

Our focus this week is Concentration and we have so much fun playing lots of brilliant games around this theme.

We discuss why it’s important to listen and concentrate and what can go wrong if you don’t.

In our improvised adventure, we fly to Party Land by using ''Superhero Concentration'' which make us grow wings. But when PF gets distracted and doesn’t concentrate, his wings shrink and he can’t fly. 

Kindness

We like to alternate our weekly topics with drama based ones and also general topics and this week our focus is about kindness and the importance of being kind to each other.

We always find children understand ideas much better when they act them out and empathise with the situation themselves therefore we use PFs improvised adventure to demonstrate this.

PF has lost his friends and needs to get to Party Land to save the earth, but he doesn’t know how to get there. He meets the two fastest Superheroes in the universe called Speedallica and Leaper Lady but at first they are too interested in racing each other to help.

However, as Superheroes are all goodies – they realize their mistake and race him to Party Land to save the day.

Reduce, reuse, recycle

The focus of every Perform theme is to have a message at the end. This term’s Superheroes theme is all about every single one of us being “Superheroes” and doing one small act to help save our world from global warming. We finally persuade the Bad Boppa of this by showing him flowers and leaves. He remembers how beautiful plants and trees are, and decides that he’s going to use the 3 Rs in future (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle). We also make a series of hand gestures to represent each one.

It's the week before our Superheroes show

As it’s the week before our show, we focus a lot on rehearsing this week and spend a significant amount of the class going through our show and getting excited about dressing up, singing and dancing and performing for our families.

Even though it’s a great part of our term’s work, the performance is not the most important part of what we do at Perform. However, it’s a fantastic way to bring together the skills that we focus on each week.

Our teachers take the children on a final run through and get them to really work on their vocal projection in front of the audience and also to remember where they stand in every scene.  So much to remember! 

Presentation week

On show day we celebrate the work we have achieved since term started. The children come in costume which really raises the level of performance and adds a huge excitement to the day.

The 4-7 year olds present a mini-musical where they save Planet Earth from global warming by stopping The Party People using up all the Earth’s resources and learn how to “Reduce, Re-use and Recycle”. They perform dances and songs, and recite raps and tongue twisters including The Getting Hot Dance, Brainio and Rocket in my Pocket Songs.

 

Fun & games

Celebrating the success of our end of term presentation, we invite friends to come and try a free class. We enjoy lots of games, singing and dancing to bring the spring term to a fabulous close.

Rome n Jewels 

Show day is a day where we celebrate the work we have achieved since term started in September.  The children come in costume to represent their character and this really raises the level of performance and obviously adds a huge element of excitement to the day.

We perform Rome n Jewels, a specially written musical based on William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. They’ll have to remember a host of lines and blocking and the stage craft that they learn through the term will stand them in good stead here for a fun and polished performance.

 

An introduction to Jack and the Wonderbeans

It’s the start of term and we enjoy welcoming lots of new children to our class.

We introduce them to our brand new show “Jack and the Wonderbeans”. This production is a fabulous adaptation of “Jack and the Beanstalk" set in the glamorous Hollywood Hills.

Jack lives in Dullsville but goes on a journey to the bright lights of Hollywood where he “climbs the beanstalk” and takes on mighty movie producer Hugo Giant.

We will work on this show throughout the term, but we’ll also be focus each week on helping the children to develop important social skills and have an amazing fun time too which is the ultimate goal of every Perform class.

Making an entrance

Our topic of the week is “Making an Entrance”, but we don’t mean that this entrance has to be a flamboyant theatrical style entrance. We explore that when you enter a room or go into a new situation for the first time, that it’s good to do so confidently.

Some children love to make an entrance, and that’s wonderful. But it's normal for some children to get apprehensive about going into a new situation and it’s useful to look at this in a drama setting.

Using the characters that we meet from “Jack and the Wonderbeans”, we experiment with how different characters might enter different situations. E.G How did Jack feel when he arrived in Hollywood and how would this affect his body language?

Film terminology

We like to alternate our weekly topics with drama based ones and also general communications skills topics. This week we have an exclusively movie/film focus which is to learn some film set terminology as that’s where "Jack and the Wonderbeans" is set. So we channel our inner Stephen Spielberg and learn lots of new film related vocabulary.

We learn about different camera shots. (Close up, Cut away, Long Shot, POV shot), what the different job titles for the people that work on a film are, and what going to a “Cattle Call” means!

Being Democratic

We give the children different topics to discuss with people taking sides and expressing opposing opinions and we then ask the whole class to “vote” on what they thought.

It is really good fun and a fantastic way to experiment with their public speaking skills. 

The P-E-R-F-O-R-M guide to talking to an audience

Using a strong, projected voice is one of our main goals for our Perform children and our focus of the week is how to talk in front of a big group of people confidently.

We explore projection and in particular, the Perform guide to projecting our voices. We break it down into this handy acronym which we share with the children.

  • Project (to the back of the room
  • Eye Contact (with the audience)
  • Range (don't speak in a monotone voice)
  • Fluency (no um and ah)
  • Order (make sure your speech has a beginning, middle and an end)
  • Rest (between points)
  • Movement (keep to a minimum)

Celebrating differences

Our focus is accepting differences and realizing how amazing it is that we are all different and how to celebrate that.

We play an exercise where we ask everyone to think of their favourite book. Then we ask the children to tell us that we want them all to say that their favourite book is Harry Potter (even though it wasn’t).

Then we go around the circle with everyone saying “My favourite book is Harry Potter” – after a few people we stop them and ask them who was bored with everyone liking the same book?

We then go on to explore this in more detail through improvisation and different drama exercises.

Singing with vibrato

We have a singing focus at this week’s class. We look at what vibrato is and experiment with using it when we sing.

We learn that it’s an Italian word to describe when a singer’s voice "wobbles"or vibrates to make a more shaky sound. We do lots of vibrato experimentation and have a very fun lesson.

Peer pressure

Our focus begins with a chat about peer pressure and what it is? We discuss that it means when you feel like you have to do something just because all your friends are doing it but that it’s actually ok to say no and make your own choices.

We then explore this through role-play. For example, we put the children into threes and ask them to prepare a role play where two of the friends are trying to influence one of the children to change their mind about something. One child says that they want to download a particular song that they love, but the other two don’t like it and try and persuade their friend to buy another one instead.

We ask them to do the role play twice, the first time the child is persuaded and the second time the child isn’t.

It’s a really interesting lesson, and we conclude that it’s great to hear other people’s opinions, but at the end of the day you must be assertive and do what you believe in. 

 

Concentration

At Perform we have the 4 all-important Cs. Confidence, Communication, Coordination and Concentration.

Our focus in this week’s lesson is to look at the importance of concentrating.

We play activities such as a game where we put an object on the floor and in a sequence of stylised moves someone picks up the object. But the next step is that someone else has to volunteer to replicate the exact movements that the first person made. It’s simple but a very good concentration exercise that involves the whole class as they have to judge to see if it’s done accurately too!

Treating people equally

We have a lovely focus this week all about why it’s important to treat everyone equally and with kindness.

We look at how Jack (before he was famous) was treated not very well by some people, but as he got famous the same people treated him much better even though he was the same person. We discussed if this is fair or not? We then performed some instant improvisation on the subject.

Line run

We have just 2 weeks before our "Jack and the Wonderbeans" show so our focus this week is on our lines and making sure that we know them really well. We have a ‘line run’ which is when we sit in a circle and just practice the lines in order.

It's the week before our end of term presentation

As it’s the week before our show, we focus a lot on rehearsing this week and spend a significant amount of the class going through our show and getting excited about dressing up, singing and dancing and performing for our families.

Even though it’s a great part of our term’s work, the performance is not the most important part of what we do at Perform. However, it’s a fantastic way to bring together the skills that we focus on each week.

Our teachers take the children on a final run through and get them to really work on their vocal projection in front of the audience and also to remember where they stand in every scene.  So much to remember! 

It's show week

On show day we celebrate the work we have achieved since term started. The children come in costume which really raises the level of performance and adds a huge excitement to the day.

The 7-12 year olds perform "Jack and the Wonderbeans", a specially-written musical based on the story of "Jack and the Beanstalk".

This is a more advanced musical that will see them stretched vocally and choreographically. With a host of lines and blocking to remember, the stage craft that they have learnt throughout term will stand them in good stead for a fun and polished performance. 

Fun & games

Celebrating the success of last week's performance, we invite friends to come and try a free class and enjoy lots of games, singing and dancing to bring the spring term to a fabulous close.

Show Day!

Show day is a day where we celebrate the work we have achieved since term started in September.  The children come in costume to represent their character and this really raises the level of performance and obviously adds a huge element of excitement to the day.

Exhilaration and a fun introduction to Grooove like an Egyptian

We start the first class of the year with our fantastic Exhilarate section which focuses on our fitness and agility and we set our goals for which level we want to get to in the Bleep Test this term.

We'll also introduce the children to our brand new theme, "Grooove like an Egytptian". We'll be joining Cleo P, King Tut and the Phunky Pharoah for an unforgettable trip up the the Nile. It's Ancient Egypt like you've never seen it before!

Spatial awareness

Our focus this week is Spatial Awareness within dance but also how it relates to our everyday lives too.

We learn that spatial awareness is the ability to be aware of oneself in space. We look at what space means and how you have to be aware of your own and other people’s spaces.

We play a series of exercises on this topic so that we all understand the importance of spatial awareness.

Good posture

We have an extremely physical workshop this week and look in detail at the importance of Good Posture and how to ensure that we have healthy posture when we sit, stand, walk and of course, dance.

We discuss the importance of walking correctly with our shoulders back and our head held high. We also do lots of physical exercises to compare good and bad posture.  As well as all the physical benefits of great posture, good posture also gives you confidence which is our all-important goal for Perform X.

Core muscles

Each week in the first part of our lesson, we have a section which centres around our ‘core muscles’. This week we have a special focus on the importance of our core muscles which incorporate almost every movement of the human body.

We learn that it’s difficult to balance, perform co-ordinated movements on both sides of the body, sit up straight, hold a pencil or jump if you don’t have a strong core.

A very fitness focused lesson.

Teamwork

Knowing how to work in a team is an important and valuable skill to have in life. When we’re working on a show, it’s crucial.

We split the children into teams and play a variety of exercises to see how well they work together. In particular, when they just have a small amount of time to complete a task, how they distribute different roles to each other to get it done efficiently.

Volunteering

Being confident to volunteer yourself for a task is important.

In this week’s lesson we look at what volunteering is and why it’s really good to sometimes push yourself to try something you may not have done before or are a bit nervous about. Obviously, we are a dance class, so we explore this through movement and choreography, but hopefully the message will resonate for the children in their lives too.

Playing a character

Within our dance piece, we all play characters.

We discuss the importance of always dancing and remaining in character on stage and how that helps us with the performance and choreography. We explore how our characters move and communicate and take part in some improvisation to bring them to life.

We also discuss how the greatest dancers were also actors too. 

Non-verbal communication

We all know how important good communication is but it's our non-verbal communication, our facial expressions, gestures, eye contact, posture, and tone of voice—that actually speak the loudest.

This is a really interesting and effective topic to cover within a dance class so we have fun looking at how to communicate with our bodies and gestures as opposed to through words.

Understanding and dealing with emotions

Our focus this week is understanding and dealing with emotions which we explore through movement.   

It’s a really interesting class where we look at what emotions are and how we communicate them, with special attention to our physicality.

We play a great game called "Ensemble Emotion" which they love as well as lots of freeze frame exercises.

Cleaning our choreography

We look this week at making sure that our choreography is perfect in anticipation of our forthcoming performance. We really break down all the moves and make sure that everyone knows exactly what they’re doing.  Choreographers often use the term ‘cleaning’ to describe this, .. .so we clean away our steps in this class.

Practice 'til we're perfect

We know the steps, we know the lyrics, we know it all!!!  But now we have to practice until we are perfect and that’s what this lesson is all about. We want to make the material so second nature to us that when we do our show for you, we are just focusing on having fun and really going for it.  

It's the week before our presentation

We have a great class and it’s an exciting and important one as it’s the last class before our dance presentation.

We make sure that everyone is happy and confident with their roles and have a final rehearsal to go through everything.

 

Presentation week

On show day we celebrate the work we have achieved since term started and perform "Grooove like an Egyptian" for our audience. The children come in costume which really raises the level of performance and adds a huge excitement to the day.

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