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Students use dance show to look at teen mental health

The Dance Department of Peter Symonds College in Winchester held its annual dance show in Varley Theatre, allowing students to showcase their skills.


The show included performances from first and second year A level Dance students, a piece from the Peter Symonds College Dance Company and a performance as part of a student’s Extended Project Qualification (EPQ).


The pieces by the Dance Company and EPQ students both targeted issues around teen mental health issues but in very contrasting styles, and in support of this a collection was held in aid of Young Minds – a local teen mental health charity (https://youngminds.org.uk/) – raising over £100. The College frequently works with Young Minds and their support to its students is invaluable.


Commenting on the EPQ piece Behind Our Eyes, Dance student Jack Warren, said: ‘Behind Our Eyes is a piece that addresses the stereotype of teenagers as careless and unapproachable, but rather than combating this stereotype, it simply sheds some light on the reason why it has some truth. Mental health doesn’t just mean actual diagnosable things, it could just mean the effects of events on the mind. Science has proven the volatility of the teenage mind, and I wanted to make this piece so people couldn’t ignore this fact. This piece means a lot to me because it’s so relatable, and I feel like the message I’m sending out when I dance it resonates with a lot of people in both good and bad ways, I don’t mind which.’


Dance teacher Trish Harris said of the show: ‘this is always an exciting opportunity for the students to share the work they have been creating this term. Each class has been learning and choreographing material in the style of the practitioners that they have been studying such as Matthew Bourne, Akram Khan, Richard Alston, Bob Fosse, and Christopher Bruce, allowing the students to share a variety of styles, techniques and music. It was an action packed evening with music from The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Tchaikovsky and experimental accompaniment, and our students all delivered superlative performances.’




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