Learning & Access in Hong Kong – Day 3

July 13, 2010 at 11:03 am (Hong Kong & Macau 2010, Learning, Overseas Tour) (, , , )

Groups session with participants moving around the room and dancing with balloons

Photo: Jo Dean

Participants reaching for the sky and stretching their warmed-up muscles

Photo: Jo Dean

The third and final day of the Learning project with the British Council and the Providence Centre of Rehab in Hong Kong has been and gone, and the feedback from the participants has been fantastic.   Today saw the dance artists and care workers delivering their own activities during a workshop with centre members who suffer from learning difficulties, putting into practice the skills they have learned this week.

In small groups, they planned a movement activity for a warm up, and suggested ways to develop this idea.  All of the groups did remarkably well, having had little or no experience of delivering movement activities before.  One of the groups of care workers used props to initiate movements, and then developed this by asking members of the group to order the movements into sequences.  The care workers and dance artists felt a real sense of achievement and confidence in leading a session and seeing their planned ideas working successfully with the members.  After the workshop session the care workers and dance artists spoke about the positive effects of movement for the centre members and about how activities for the whole group can work on different levels according to what each participant can achieve.

Over the three days of the project we have been able to see the confidence of the centre members grow as they were given the freedom to lead movement and as they connected with their care workers on a different level.  The workshops were a real buzz of energy and excitement, and the Rehab Centre are looking forward to developing movement sessions into their daily programme of activities, with the care workers inspired and enthusiastic to try out their new ideas.

Working together to develop social, coordination and other skills

Photo: Jo Dean

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Learning and Access in China – Day 2

July 9, 2010 at 1:15 pm (Hong Kong & Macau 2010, Learning, Overseas Tour) (, )

Participants taking part in the Learning workshopsIts day two of the Learning project with the British Council and the Providence Centre of Rehab in Hong Kong.

This morning we examined the structure of a “workshop”, from warm up to exploration of movement, development of ideas through to the conclusion. Activities focused on how to vary speed levels and the use of canon and unison to develop simple movements into a short sequence. Care workers and dance artists used gestures to represent physical movement, and working in pairs, developed a short sequence of movement.

When the members of the centre joined the group this afternoon, Caroline and Dylan led the same activities as in the morning, to show how the theory of what they learnt in the morning was applied in the context of an actual session. This gave the centre members an opportunity to make decisions and create a movement sequence of their choosing, allowing them to explore their own creativity.

Participants jumping for the joy of dance in the workshops

The dance artists and care workers also worked together in groups to plan an activity for tomorrow’s session, where they will deliver parts of a workshop with the member with learning difficulties, putting into practice what they have been learning over the last two days.

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Learning and Access in China – Day 1

July 7, 2010 at 2:24 pm (Hong Kong & Macau 2010, Learning)

The Learning and Access team are currently in Hong Kong, delivering a three-day dance project for the British Council, in partnership with the Providence Centre for Rehab. The project incorporates local dance artists, care workers and members of the rehabilitation centre with learning difficulties, to explore the benefits of dance and movement for the learning disabled. It will develop the skills and confidence of the dance artists and care workers, enabling them to plan and deliver creative movement sessions within their communities.

Having arrived in Hong Kong after a long flight, we met with the British Council and the staff at the Providence Centre for Rehabilitation to discuss the aims of the project and to find out what experience of dance and movement the care workers and members of the rehabilitation had. Having had little or no experience of dance, the care workers would benefit from learning how to structure a movement session and develop activities to meet the aims of their sessions.

Today was our first workshop day, and we spent the morning with the care workers from the centre and the local dance artists, introducing them to creative ideas to use in a workshop session. We looked at games and activities to use in a warm up, trying out a number of different activities so that they could experience how they can be used to meet the engage a variety of participants. Looking particularly at the use of props, they explored how using props can make movement less intimidating, can encourage social interaction and can develop individual movements.

Then this afternoon, the group was joined by members of the rehab centre, all of whom have learning difficulties, to put into practice some of the activities from the morning session. By having experienced the activities for themselves, the care workers and dance artists were able to understand the purpose of each activity and the benefits for the participants with learning difficulties.

It was a very energetic day, with participants coming to the workshop with a variety of different skills and experiences, so it was great to see everyone getting involved and working together to create a really positive workshop environment.

Photos, filming and blog: Jo Dean, Learning & Access Project Manager

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Preparing for Hong Kong

July 5, 2010 at 8:25 am (Hong Kong & Macau 2010, Learning, Learning & Access, Overseas Tour)

As the Company prepare for their tour to Hong Kong and Macau over the next few weeks, preparations are also underway in the Learning & Access Department as they too will be making their way to Hong Kong to deliver a dance project for the British Council.

Working with local dance artists, carers and social workers and adults with learning disabilities, the project will explore the benefits of dance and movement for the learning disabled, and will develop the skills of the dance artists, enabling them to deliver integrated dance projects within their communities.

Dance Education Officer Caroline Burn and Project Manager Jo Dean will be joined by musician Bill Laurance and dance artist Dylan Quinn to deliver the four-day project at the Providence Garden for Rehab centre in the north of Hong Kong. Jo will be sending us updates throughout the project.

With just a couple of days to go before we set off for Heathrow, Caroline and Dylan have been doing the final planning for the project, coming up with ideas and activities to do with the group and creating a resource pack for the dance artists to support their learning. While the main focus of the project will be equipping the dance artists with the skills required to lead integrated dance projects, we will also be introducing the social workers to the benefits of movement in increasing confidence, body awareness and control and communication skills, and giving the participants the opportunity to express themselves through movement.

Check back here next week to find out how the project is going.

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