CREATIVE: Sydney theatre director Rosie Dennis and workshop facilitator Phil Blackman with students from Wilson Park Public School James Hall, Karamen Hammond, Maddison Ackerley and Sachin Moncrieff show their dance skills at the workshop.
CREATIVE: Sydney theatre director Rosie Dennis and workshop facilitator Phil Blackman with students from Wilson Park Public School James Hall, Karamen Hammond, Maddison Ackerley and Sachin Moncrieff show their dance skills at the workshop. Doug Eaton

Dance routine gives stability

EVERY morning students from Wilson Park Public School for students with a disability arrive at school and spend an hour and a half working in their classrooms.

According to Wilson Park class teacher Gail Allan, the morning routine provides an important sense of stability for the students

"They come to school and have order and predictability, and that order helps them; it also helps them cope with change," Ms Allan said.

But for the last four school days, that precious routine has changed.

Instead of sitting in class, the students have walked a few hundred metres to a neighbouring school hall to experience the magic of dance.

Acclaimed Sydney theatre director Rosie Dennis from Bankstown's Urban Theatre Projects and local dancer and workshop facilitator Philip Blackman are running a series of dance workshops for the students.

The workshops - six this week and another eight planned for May - are part of the creative development of an upcoming NORPA production, entitled My Radio Heart, to be directed by Ms Dennis.

My Radio Heart, set to debut next year, will use both able-bodied performers and those with mental and physical disabilities, combining dance, large-scale audio-visuals, punk rock, electronic and country music to "explore love and friendship in the 21st century".

Ms Dennis said she hoped the opportunity for the students to start their day with movement and express themselves through dance would make up for the "huge disruption" to their routine.

And for dedicated teacher Ms Allan, it's a balance between change and routine for her students that is paying off.



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