Rebels + Rulers - June 2019

We are very excited to announce our bi-annual school show for 2019.

‘Rebels + Rulers’ will be a totally original production taking place at the Michaelis Theatre, Roehampton University.

It will be fully costumed and the sound and lighting will be provided by the theatre.

Performance dates are:
Thursday 27th June - 7pm
Friday 28th June - 7pm
Saturday 29th June - 7pm and possibly 3pm as well depending on numbers

For those of you who have been with the school for a while, this will be similar in scale to ‘Myths, Monsters + Magic’ in 2017 and different from the Showcase we put on in July this year.

We are aiming for two halves of approximately 30-40 mins with an interval where pupils not in the second half can either watch or go home. Younger students will be in the 1st half so that there are not too many late nights.

1. Why do we do a show?

There are several reasons for doing shows alternately with working towards exams.

Firstly, to give the students a taste of performing in front of a live audience! We aim for the experience to be as close to professional as possible - with lights, makeup, costume and sets.

Secondly, to give the students an understanding of what dancing can lead to in the wider world.

Thirdly, to keep students interest levels up. Working towards exams is fun, but alternating with show work keeps students from getting fed up by the same class and learning format. By the end of the show they'll be desperate to get back to their exercises and structure after rehearsals! Not all students excel in exams and, as you may know, they are not compulsory here. So taking part in a show allows all students to be involved in a school wide event.

Lastly, as well as dances, the students learn a number of life skills/lessons. Commitment being the first one: if they attend every lesson but their partner or other group members in the dance do not, it makes things tricky. When they miss a class, and have to catch up, they realise how hard that can be. Unlike exams, they learn that teamwork is required, as the choreography only works if everyone is doing the right thing at the right time. They learn patience as we repeat sequences over, and over and over again. They make new friendships as we combine classes - mostly getting to look up to those older than them, as well as be an example to those younger. The list is endless!

2. What does taking part mean?

Most of all it means commitment - both time wise and financially. Though, our guiding principle is to keep both of these to a minimum without compromising standards.

As mentioned above, the show is a team effort and if one student misses classes and rehearsals, it does unfortunately mean that the session is essentially pointless for the others.

We know that this is unavoidable occasionally but, once committed, the show needs to take priority over parties and other clubs or sports fixtures.

This is not as frightening as it sounds - we will be giving you the information as to rehearsals and dates in advance (some are listed at the bottom already) so you can prioritise and work round them. Going late to a party is always an option!

We are also flexible - if doing a netball match means you'll be 15 minutes late for class we will adapt to that within reason. We would much rather that than you not come at all.

Taking part also means trusting us, the teachers. We have done this quite a few times! Whilst the rehearsal may seem lengthy to you, or you might think we're working on dances for a long time; we promise we don't want to keep your children for longer than necessary or bore them. We also promise that the costs of the show will be carefully counted rather than arbitrarily plucked from the air.

Whilst we welcome feedback and suggestions, please do trust our judgement when it comes to rehearsal times, costume choices, choreography and part allocation. We always think through our decisions as a team and interrogate them from all angles. Having said that, we would rather hear from you than you are unhappy and stay quiet.

So, onto the practical side of what the show means, outside of your usual class times there will be extra rehearsals detailed below. We don't know specific times yet but, we won't keep your children longer than necessary and we take into account age and involvement i.e. we won't ask 3 year olds to be at rehearsal for the same amount time as 13 year olds. Or if your child is in just one dance we won’t keep them for 4 hours.

However, sometimes there will be waiting around due to the running order of the show. We will aim to keep this to a minimum though.

3. What dances will my child be doing?

The exciting part!

Your child will be doing at least one dance per class or genre they attend. If they attend several classes they will therefore be in more dances. They may be combined with another class depending on the dance.

If they attend Hop, Skip + Jump which are combination classes, they will be in one dance for each discipline.

We plan for choreography to start in January in the majority of classes. This may or may not take up the entire class depending on the creative and choreographic process! This does not mean that exam work will halt completely - as always we will be judging this on a class by class basis - and will let you know if your child will be working towards an exam next term or in the Summer Term.

Our 3 to 5 year olds will not benefit from 6 months of rehearsal so we will start bits and pieces and try out ideas until Easter.

We will be merging certain classes for dances. This is because some classes are smaller than others and we may need larger numbers to achieve the kind of creative effect we desire.

Hop, Skip and Jump will all be merging for their dances and again, we will need to rehearse them together either after Easter or June half term. This may mean Wednesday and Saturday afternoon rehearsals or a merging of Skip and Jump to begin with, with Hop joining at a later date.

If your child –or indeed any child - wishes to join a class after we have started show rehearsals, we will have to assess this on a case-by-case basis. It may be that they can slot in to the dance we are rehearsing, or be able to join the class without taking part in the show. If your child is thinking about taking further classes in January then please let us know asap.

4. Communication:

This dedicated page on the website will be updated regularly and you will be directed to these updates via the weekly email.

It's really important that we have your correct email address and mobile number so that we can give you all the information as quickly and efficiently as possible.

We do need a degree of responsibility from you to read the emails and look at the website too.

5. Costs:

The show is a non-profit venture for the school. We will be donating any proceeds from ticket sales and refreshments to charity - as yet undecided.

In order for the show to be as professional as possible, there are costs attached. These include - but are not limited to:
- theatre hire
- technicians (venue)
- stage manager (venue)
- hall hire for extra rehearsals
- teacher time for extra rehearsals and show
- costumes
- make up and hair accessories
- set + props
- programmes
- tickets
- chaperone licenses

There is therefore one off fee of £30.00 per child to cover some of these costs and we have already paid the 25% deposit to secure the theatre.

This figure is based on the approximate number of students we think will take part. If more/less take part than anticipated, the ticket price will increase/decrease accordingly.

We aim to keep costs down where possible and rely on lots of help from volunteers and friends and family as well as donations.

Aside from the show fee, the main cost for you will be costumes. Where possible we will invest in these as a school and hire them out to you. But, in some cases they will be purchased by you and kept.

You will of course be asked to buy tickets when the time comes!

6. What if my child does not want to do the show?

This is absolutely fine. Your child will still benefit from classes and will learn the dance moves, just not be part of the patterning and choreography. As mentioned before, in the younger classes particularly, show work will not start until a little later down the line and may not take up the entire lesson.

7. Where YOU come in:

We need your help! Primarily we need chaperones - this means being responsible for the children backstage. Not only taking care of their welfare, but also getting them ready costume wise and getting them to/from the stage on time.

As I’m sure you are aware, safeguarding is a priority which means we need lots of volunteers. The past 7 years have seen lots of the same people helping so I really hope that this year some new faces will step up.

Chaperones have to be DBS checked (even if you hold one already) and a certain number will need to apply to Richmond Council for a chaperone license, which we help with and pay for. This involves taking an online course and going to the council itself to be interviewed and obtain the license itself.

Chaperones work in teams of two so that everyone gets to watch the performance.

Both chaperones in each team are required at all the rehearsals so that the children can get used to you and you understand their requirements. For our pupils that do 5+ classes, they will be in several dances with quick changes!

Please sign up below if you are happy to help. If you need to think about it then by all means but do come to us and let us know!

If you have creative skills or access to anything you think might be of use, please also let us know!

8. What next?

There is a lot of information to take in and we hope it doesn’t sound like a total drag, and that there is also some fun to be had!

We certainly think so and are very happily choosing music and costumes as well as looking forward to a Christmas holiday spent choreographing.

So that we don’t waste our time, we need to know how many pupils are planning to take part before then. Therefore please fill in the form below and make payment as instructed.

That way we can decide which classes need to be amalgamated etc. There is also a lot of paperwork required to put on a show – each child has to be licensed for example – so the earlier we can get this all sorted the better.

Friday 7th December is the deadline to let us know you want to take part so please do go away and think and talk about whether you would like to be involved. Please do ask questions if you have them!

REHEARSALS TO DIARISE NOW:

Sunday 9th June
1.30pm onwards
Kitson Hall

Sunday 16th June
1.30pm onwards
Kitson Hall

Sunday 23rd June
9am onwards
Michaelis Theatre

Tuesday 25th June - Tech Rehearsal
4pm onwards
Michaelis Theatre

Weds 26th June - Dress Rehearsal
4pm onwards
Michaelis Theatre 

Participation Form

Child's name: *
Child's name:
Participation Agreement:

Chaperone Volunteer Form

Name *
Name
Do you hold a current DBS check? *