Happy Christmas!

Every year we say “What a year!” but 2020 has definitely topped any preceding year for most of us we reckon. This year more than ever we thank all our families who have stuck by us and we wish all of you a very happy Christmas and new year and hope 2021 brings good health, better wealth and less restrictions across the board!

As 2020 comes to a long-awaited end, we just wanted to share a summary of our journey this year along with the highlights and dance lessons and some shout outs and thank-yous too:

Our yearly review…

We started the year strong, we had BIG plans, we were making movements and making connections. Then Covid hit. This halted 2 of our our biggest plans – to travel to Germany with our U14s crew to compete in the UDO European Street Dance Championships and to hold our first ever annual showcase in a theatre, as well as putting a stop to our physical classes within the community and local schools.

We of course had to cancel our trip to Germany as well as cancelling the theatre which we booked for our show. This resulted in the majority of our crew members leaving, but it is the way the cookie crumbles and 2020 was just one big crumbling cookie! From day 1 of lockdown, we moved over to Zoom. Nobody had a clue at first, not us, not the kids, not the parents, but we knew it was important to keep classes and interaction going so we went with the flow and adjusted, adapted and learned together. Before long we had a weekly programme of various classes, social sessions, dance challenges and resources which continued for the whole of lockdown and we even welcomed some new students and had some returning students.

We then got back in the studio with a crazy number of measures in place to keep everyone as safe as possible, but we were so happy to return – then bam! Another lockdown. We got through the second one like we did the first, staying positive and keeping up our motivation. We were over the moon to be able to return to the studio in time to do our end of term showcase performances and film for parents to watch plus hold our awards ceremony.

This term we have also delivered the dance module within PE at Berrymede Junior school across all 10 classes, organising a whole school competiton for groups and solos and filming an editing the project for their school website. We have also had Lisa, working with Phoenix Arch school within their PE lessons across 6 classes a week. Our weekly classes have reached over 350 children and it has been heart-warming to be able to provide some fun and much needed release for the children in these schools during these strange times (and for us as teachers to return and do what we love!)

Our highlights of 2020:

  • Performing during lockdown as part of the virtual Acton Carnival which was livestreamed
  • Lockdown helped bring our dance family closer together – both kids and parents
  • Our over 8 Saturday street dancers getting through a whole song for their routine – 1st time ever
  • Working across a whole school
  • Having 2 of our students place 1st and 2nd in a virtual National dance competition
  • Welcoming back old students who have moved away – Zoom has given us that ability to reconnect

What we have learned:

  • Lockdown has helped open up new possibilities for outdoor and virtual classes and interactions, something we didn’t even think about beforehand. We have decided to still continue our Zoom classes as well as our F2F classes
  • It isn’t about the “best dancer” it’s about teamwork, kindness, coachability above anything else
  • If things aren’t supposed to be, they aren’t supposed to be
  • How kind, generous and supportive our remaining families are!
  • There is so much more to us than a dance class and so much more to a dance class than dance

Special Shout Outs!

Jaxon, Sophie, Arina, Lacey – Flying High award nominees for amazing effort, teamwork and improvement

Georgia – Flying High award winner for consistency both over Zoom and in face to face classes, her teamwork skills, kindness and overall improvement in confidence and dance ability

Mason – Flying High award winner for building his resilience and confidence this year, consistency both over Zoom and in face to face classes, great teamwork, kindness and overall improvement in ability

Lacey – 3 year commitment to dance award

Jaxon, Samuel, Georgia, Margot, Arina, Crina and Enzo – For achieving  above 90% attendance

Sophie, Seth, Lacey, Nathan – For achieving an amazing 100% attendance

Jaxon and Mason – First place winners in our dance challenges

Georgia and Lacey – Second place winners in our dance challenges

Samuel and Arina – Third place in our dance challenges

Niamh and Asia – Winners of our termly dance battle

John – Placing 1st in the UDOIT Online winter dance competition (8 and unders)

Mason – Placing 2nd in the UDOIT Online winter dance competition (14 and unders)

Becky and Vicky – Big shout out to our 2 amazing class assistants who volunteer their time and energy every single week to help ensure everyone is safe and things run smoothly so the kids get the maximum benefit from their classes with us

Eliza and Lisa – Big shout out to our 2 amazing teachers – Eliza for all her hard work with Zoom classes over lockdown and her fantastic work with Christ Church Bentinck school before lockdown and Lisa for doing an amazing Job with Phoenix Arch school this year.

Thank you

Thank you to all our families for your continued support throughout 2020, we wouldn’t still be standing without you guys. Thank you to all our parents for encouraging your children to continue and to all our students who have adapted incredibly well throughout all of this. Thank you too to Phoenix Arch and Berrymede Schools for having Elevate Arts in to work with your pupils this term.

So that’s it, 2020 is a wrap! Have a well-deserved break everyone, don’t put pressure on yourself to practise, this year has been tough enough. Relax, have fun, cherish loved ones, eat, drink, be Merry and we will see you in 2021!

 Elevate Arts provides urban dance classes for children in Acton, Ealing. 

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