Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Fusion- the first class

I arrived at the Hampton Sports Centre, based at the Hampton Community College, and met Rachel. She graduated from Leed uni last year and is now working for Combination Dance which is based at Whitton Sports College. She has assissted with taster classes for disabled children, but has never run or taught any classes for disabled children prior to this project.

We began the session by sitting in a circle to get to know everyone; there were five children, three mothers, and a sister who came to the class. We rolled a ball along the floor, calling out the name of the person who we wanted to recieve the ball. Each child had very different needs, some just needed to be told to focus, while others required one to one attention. We then stood up, and went round and said our names whilst doing a big movement with our bodies, some of the children used sign language to say their names.

We played a lot of games, recognising the meaning of colours- eg traffic lights; red meaning stop, and green meaning go. And we learnt the macarena for the dancing part, trying to coordinate our different body parts.

I did not know what to expect from the class, and i have never worked with a group made up entirely of children with learning disabilities. I was never phased by the children and was in fact very excited about doing this work. It has helped me to confirm that i do want to go into this line of work.
It felt so good to be able to work with these children, to give them this opportunity, and to allow them to have fun whilst learn. Many people, including Rachel said that this type of work can be so exhausting; and that she had spent the whole day planning for the session. But i didnt want it to end, i felt that after anhour we were just getting started, and i could have easily done another hour. I enjoyed every moment of it, being a child again, running about freely, and not being judged by anyone.

I did not find out the extent of disabiltiy that each child had until we finished the sessionl; i dont know whether i would have reacted differently in the class if i already knew this information.
I found that we had one child with downs syndrome, three with austism and communication difficulties, and onw with prader-willi syndrome.

I am so happy to have rung up about the advertisement, i cannot wait to go back next time!!!!

Thursday, 23 April 2009

Fusion Dance And Drama

An advertisement outside the theatre cought my eye on tuesday, which read DANCE! Upon closer inspection, i discovered that the advertisement was for volunteering in Hampton for an inclusive dance and drama project for disabled children aged 9-16. I decided to ring the number and ask about what this invlolved.

Having a keen interest in teaching dance, and working with disabled students, i thought that this would be a great opportunity for experience, and to help me in writing my dissertation.

I learnt that what i woud be doing is perticipating in the classes and assisting with the movements required. I will be going along on Monday to help out, and am thoroughly excited about it!!!!



After this initial knock back from the hospice, i thought about other ways in which i could help out. Their website is full of things to do to help, from donating money, to doing sponsored runs, and fund raising activities. The massive list of things you could do to fund raise included putting on some kind of performance evening.

With this i decided to contact the head of drama at my senior school again, and suggest the possibility of working with the drama club to put on a performance evening. She thought that this would be a great opportunity for the group to perform in front of an audience, and for the school, who have had quite bad publicity recently, to make themselves known in the public eye for doing something good.

I went along on Wednesday to see what the group have already devised, and was pleasently surpirsed at the level of enthusiasm in the group. I played some games with them, and we spoke about scenes which needed development, and scenes which were not devised yet. We also spoke about the date of the performance, and the possibility of other acts which could be performed on the night.

I left feeling so happy, after all this time spent chasing after people, and ideas, i am not only going to be doing something with the school children, but also with their parents and teachers on the evening, to raise as much money as possible for the charity.

I am really looking forward to doing this now, for once!!!


After my knock out by my senior school, i decided to explore another area that i am interested in. I looked around and found the Shooting Star Childrens Hospice, who have a house based in Hampton. I had decided that this was something that i really wanted to do; i would volunteer in the house, perhaps get to speak to some of the families, and ultimately make up a story with the children. I knew that doing workshops would prove to be very difficult, so thought that if i devised a short story with the children, i could direct it and put on a performance for the children and their families.

So great, i thought, i have everything organised, i know what i want to do, and i am sure that volunteers will be very welcome, especially to do some drama therapy work with the children, and make for an entertaining environment.

Then i phoned the house, the man and his assistant who are in charge of the volunteering scheme were both away. I spoke to a repectionist and told her my ideas. After listening, the first thing she said was that they did not allow volunteers to work in the house with children and families, beacuse of the nature of what they do there. OuCh i thought, thats another wound and another massive obsticle to get around.