Sutherland Shire dance teacher Amy Tasker is on a mission to bring dance to out-of-area schools.
Groove Nation has been providing primary school dance programs throughout NSW since 2011. The small team of primary school dance teachers, led by qualified school teacher, Amy Tasker, is working to give access to primary school students in areas with restricted access and areas affected by natural disaster. In 2022, Groove Nation launched the 'Help Project', a free program that gives to schools in areas of need.
The school selected for the second Help Project Program in 2023 was Murwillumbah East Public School. It recently implemented the program, culminating in a matinee and evening show.
The school community had one week to pull together their production of Willy Wonka, including learning of eight routines, costuming, staging, props, backdrops and music. Students have daily lessons with Groove Nation to learn their routines and scripted speaking roles.
"There are so many Australian kids that would never know dance was their 'zone of genius' if they didn't get the opportunity to participate," Ms Tasker said. "If we can spark something in just one student that sets them on a path of self discovery and finding joy in dance, then we have achieved what we set out to do from day one."
Murwillumbah East Public School Principal Vanessa Chaffey said pupils thrived in the project. "Being a remote community in NSW, students often lack the opportunity to engage in the creative arts," she said. "It's really important for our students to have these opportunities and to broaden horizons. Throughout the week, I've seen a rise in teamwork. Their collaboration and leadership skills have really made our students step up and show their true potential."
The performance was also a fundraiser for Food Bank Australia.
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