Any performing arts training company worth its salt knows that learning the skills of dance, act, sing and making performances are two different but equally important areas of learning. Some companies just do classes often with examinations, others do show after show after show. At Theatretrain we know you need a balance between the two. To us you need both – classes to improve your skills and you need rehearsals to prepare and make a show work.
“They can push themselves, have fun and grow in confidence with what they have to do.”
In the first half of the year our teachers focus on building a friendly group and getting everyone to reach the highest level of skill possible. This is about individual improvement, and it gives everyone a space to understand in more detail how to for instance, vary their voice, make a more complicated dance step, or tell a story with a stronger character. They can push themselves, have fun and grow in confidence with what they are asked to do. We call all this process skills.
At the end of January, we cross over to production skills, and they start working on a project which is less about them and more directed at an audience. Of course, there is a strong connection between what they learn in the first half of the year and the business of performing. Production skills also focus on the individual but as part of a group and that’s why it’s so important to learn both sets of skills. You can’t really have one without the other.
It has become a Theatretrain tradition to mark the last weekend in January with a video competition. All centres can take part by submitting at 2-minute video on a chosen theme. This year the theme is change. It could be one person or a whole group and it could use all the tricks and gizmos that a video edit can give you or it can just be a filmed section in the hall. Previous winners have come from Waltham Forest, Newark, Leigh on Sea and Reading and some have clever editing and some not at all.
“It’s great to see them using their skills confidently to move us or tell us something that matters to them.”
It’s quite a skill to make such a short piece and have it say something interesting. But it’s always been hard to choose a winner because they are so varied and often they are revealing. It’s great to see them using their skills confidently to move us or tell us something that matters to them.
This next weekend will be this year’s place to make the work and it will also mark the turnover to work based on the coming performance in the summer. For me it’s a bit like seeing the shoots of bulbs coming through the ground – you know that spring and summer are on their way.
Good luck to the centres while they work on their video shoot this coming week – I look forward to seeing the results.
Theatretrain – a nationwide provider of weekend theatre schools for young people aged 3 -18, specialise in weekly classes in acting, singing, and dancing. An emphasis is placed on learning valuable life skills such as confidence, empathy, courage and in the case of this blog resilience. If you know of a child who loves to dance, act and sing or could do with a little confidence boost why not visit www.theatretrain.co.uk to find out what Theatretrain can offer you at one of our 80 locations across the UK.