Young dance students from across South Wales and England came to Newport’s Dolman Theatre to attend special West End masterclasses organised by BBO Dance on Sunday May 26.
43 Students from Newport’s Sharon Higgins Academy, Gloucester’s Centre Pointe School, Cardiff’s Debbie Chapman Dancers, Roch’s Amethyst School, Chepstow’s Angel School of Dance, Devizes’ Charlotte Wills School of Dance and Bideford’s Sarah Anne Wescott School of Dance each attended two masterclasses, taught by professional West End dancers and choreographers, Emma Woods and Matthew Malthouse.
A former trainee at Northern Ballet school, British choreographer Emma makes her Royal Opera debut in the 2018/19 Season as the choreographer for Berenice in the Linbury Theatre. Emma also helped create the BBO dance Musical Theatre Syllabus Grades 1 and 2
Matthew trained at the Dance School of Scotland; Arts Educational Schools London and Steps on Broadway NYC. His numerous theatre credits include Mrs Henderson Presents and Singin’ in the Rain at the Palace Theatre and Chichester Festival Theatre and the UK tour of Beauty and the Beast.
The masterclasses were aimed at ages 6-18 and split into 4 different groups.
Emma, who choreographed the BBO Dance Musical Theatre syllabus for Grades 1 and 2, and Matthew, a graduate of the BBO comprehensive Teaching Qualifications programme, taught musical theatre routines from productions including Matilda, Mary Poppins and Chicago and talked about how to portray characters through the dance medium.
Each group got to perform their routine on stage to their parents at the end of the sessions