Synergy Dance- getting children & teens active

To raise funds for subsidised dance classes for children and teens, to increase provision for Special Educational needs and studio space.

We did it!

On 13th Feb 2017 we successfully
raised £5,115 of £5,000 target
with 13 supporters in 28 days

New stretch target

Help Synergy achieve Operation Community - with our own studio base we can control costs of hire and offer more free and subsidised workshops. With a regional base in the community we can put our expansion plans into operation and reach more children and teens with our fun and innovative program! 

Synergy Dance® is a dance fitness program for boys and girls (infants, juniors and teens) offering a mix of dance styles in schools and leisure centres. Our aim is to get children and teens active through our fun and innovative classes and workshops. We are a government start up and launched in January 2014, backed by BricksandBread. 

I set up Synergy Dance® to make a difference to children's lives through dance and to help break down gender stereotypes - boys can dance and girls can play football! We are not just a regular dance school - our program is unique and appeals to boys and girls looking to dance for fun and the opportunity to make new friends.  As a parent, I am concerned that many children are not getting enough exercise. Please see our video for more on this - our goals and aspirations as a company. 

We are also developing an outreach program for children with Special Educational Needs (SEN) & disabilities in our mission, to be wholly inclusive. 

We are now growing  but need your help to reach more children and young people with our inclusive and fun dance program. We need a permanent studio so we can keep prices low and run free and subsidized workshops in the community - building on our relationship wih the local council. 

Our purpose is to reach those children and young people who may be less suited to team sports and prefer a dance option to keep fit – both in mainstream and disability sectors. We want to get children active and dancing!

What do we do?

We provide inclusive, creative, fun and effective mixed dance classes.

We supply schools, clubs and leisure centres with:

*Dance classes

*After school clubs

*Holiday courses

*Themed workshops

*Classroom Brain Breaks™

*Online choreography for pupils and teachers

*Themed dance parties for infants, juniors and teens

*Off peak sessions for Home Educated children

*Unique Dance Acrobatics sessions for children and teens

What is the Synergy Dance® program? 

We offer a taste of many different dance styles, from Break Dance and Street to Disco and Cheer leading, inspired by the aim to synergise the many different dance forms; a unique and ground breaking effect.

The main styles at Synergy Dance® are Street, Break Dance, Dance Acrobatics, Jazz, Synergy® Football anthems™, Ballroom & Latin routines, Cheer Leading and Disco. We also theme our routines to keep in touch with trends. Our program content and music is regularly updated. Our company signature is to offer a taste of different dance styles in one class, with a mix of dance games and fitness drills to keep children engaged. We also run single genre classes such as "all boys Break Dance classes" or "Street", “Dance Acrobatics” or "Cheer leading" to adapt to our client's needs.

We are a certified studio and endorsed by the Acrobatic Arts to teach this new and innovative dance style inspired by The Next Step on CBBC which is inspiring boys and girls all over the UK.

 The Benefits

* Our inclusive, high-energy classes are suitable for boys and girls of all levels and abilities. Classes enable children to keep fit and active, whilst releasing energy and stress. Children can learn many dance styles, and the history of those, as well as learning how to break down steps; from 'base step' to performance. The classes are also a great way to make new friends and learn social skills, such as respect and turn-taking. We build self-confidence, creativity and knowledge and our classes contribute towards a healthy and happy lifestyle.

* Impro-Dance™ (freestyle, participant-led sections), dance games and flexible teaching styles enhance the learning and dance experience for every group, improving memory, creative skills, coordination and musicality.

* Our Brain Breaks™ sessions (of 5-15 mins duration) before school also stimulate learning and activity levels, for in house curriculum classes and after school clubs.

* With children's busy lives, our classes are designed not to be competitive, rather they are supportive, fun, challenging and exciting to all who attend. 

* Some children may find it difficult to engage in group activities. Synergy instructors are experienced in using activities which will attract the children into the group, so that taking part becomes a fun experience. This is done in close collaboration with the staff at each school or with parents, for classes in leisure time. 

* Our flexible teaching styles allow for children to be observed as individuals so that language and teaching style has a good effect on all students. Working together and supporting each other in class through improvisation, creativity, dance games and patience in forming routines, leads to each child’s personal best and a climate where they can strive for excellence.

*With encouragement and support to be physically creative, many young teens with low self-esteem develop the courage to move through rhythm, become eager to perform and discover something new about themselves. New friendships are made and both teacher and students benefit from the journey of learning new skills.

*With the idea of teamwork and group choreography, students learn to become team players. Often personal attitudes take a back seat for the good of the group. 

 You can view our program which is listed on the Exercise Move Dance website:

 http://www.exercisemovedance.org/what-is-emd/synergy-dance  

We also provide online School packages for the South East and with funding can expand this provision to other regions:

http://www.exercisemovedance.org/page/synergy-dance-schools-offer

Take a peek at one of our themed school workshops at Guildford Grove for Healthy Living week here:

http://www.guildfordgrove.surrey.sch.uk/News/Healthy-Living-Week/

 Why do we need Synergy?

 * Obesity is on the rise and many children and young people are not getting their recommended one hour of activity every day.

The latest figures, for 2014/15, show that a third of 10-11 year olds and over a fifth of 4-5 year olds were overweight or obese. Of children in Reception (aged 4-5), 9.1% were obese and another 12.8% were overweight. This means a third of 10-11 year olds and over a fifth of 4-5 year olds were overweight or obese. (Public Health England). 

Sporting participation figures among the youth were reported as being incredibly low in the government’s latest sporting strategy (December 2015), Sporting Future. According to the strategy, only 9% of under-fives met the UK chief medical officer’s guidelines for being active for three hours a day and less than a quarter of under-11s are active for an hour a day.

*Not all children like team sports and prefer a dance option to keep fit that is for boys and girls

You may be concerned that your child is not getting enough exercise in their school or leisure time. Or you may be finding it hard to find a class suitable for:

*your child who is keen to dance and doesn’t like football

*your child who has Special Needs but is struggling to find the right class

*your child who hasn’t taken to mainstream ballet and tap

*your child who is disabled but wants to be creative and is very responsive to music

*your teen who is uninspired to attend the selection of classes on offer at their school or leisure complex

*your toddler, junior or senior who would rather play on his or her tablet than get moving - we are striving for balance between technology and activity

Who are our customers?

Parents, carers and teachers, Schools, Leisure centres, Sports clubs, Golf & country clubs, Dance studios, local councils & Trusts, community outreach programs.

We are also able to reach Home Education children who enjoy our off peak sessions hosted at various venues from leisure centres to community halls. 

Affiliations and partnerships:

We are working in official partnership with Guildford Spectrum Leisure Complex (Freedom Leisure) where we run dance courses, parties and holiday workshops. We are also partnered with Surrey Choices. 

Sportivate and Active Surrey are supporting us to provide free workshops for county council holiday schemes and subsidized classes for inactive or disadvantaged children and teens. We need more funding for this and to provide subsidized classes and workshops for schools, which often have small budgets for fitness activities. 

We are members of (EMDP) who are working with us to create and develop more quality opportunities for children and young people to be active.

Active Surrey are adding our program to the PE resource for schools as an official provider of dance classes and this will be replicated in other counties. 

GoFest – we are the “GoPerform” Zone Partner for GoFestUK (2016 and 2017).

FitPro – working together to provide FitPro Premium membership packages to Synergy instructors

Summary

* We provide an inclusive mixed dance program which supports an environment where children and young people have space and freedom to grow, learn new skills, experience different dance styles, keep fit and make friends. In schools, we are anticipating that our dance clubs, workshops and mini dance parties can help to improve academic achievement, by enhancing brain activity, whilst increasing fitness, confidence and well-being. Our action-packed classes are full of energy, fun and flair for all and encourage creativity and imagination through dance.

*We are developing an outreach program for children with SEN and disabilities and need your help with funding for this. We are training our instructors in Responsive Teaching.

*We celebrate that boys can dance as well as girls and supply classes for infants, juniors and teens which appeal to both genders.

*The Synergy formula includes a mix of dance styles, pupil-led choreography, dance games, methodology, music, drama and dance steps. We are breaking down gender stereotypes and providing a fun alternative to outdated forms of exercise.

This is just the start – we want to be known as the UK’s leading provider of fully inclusive dance courses and workshops in schools and leisure centres. With funding, there is scope to reach children and young people worldwide.

What do our customers say? 

"Both my daughter & son attended various Synergy classes which was great as it could accommodate both genders of different ages. It was fun recreational but with skills challenge and development".  

Dawn Eloise, parent and teacher

“They absolutely LOVED it! Thanks so much – even the two teachers raved about it!” …”Thanks – the feedback from students has been really positive.” 

Penelope Alford. Head Teacher, Hoe Valley SchoolA new, mixed, community Secondary School for South Woking

Saturday night was brilliant!  The pupils and staff loved the sessions. Thank you so much and I look forward to working with you again in the future.

Mrs Sarah Max, Head of Informal Jewish Education, Yavneh College, Bedfordshire

“This is a great find! My son loves dancing but I had been struggling to find the right kind of dance class, this has a great atmosphere, buzzing with cool songs and smiling kids.” – Joanne Walker, parent

You can read lots of testimonials here:

http://synergydance.co.uk/

Watch Synergy in action at GoFest 2016 here:

https://vimeo.com/178825277

 PERFORMANCE

Synergy Dance® has a large performance element as we see this as the culmination of what we learn during our dance courses and an inseparable part of learning and expressing dance – the need to perform, share and learn together – we see our performances as a vehicle for our participants to work as a team, celebrate what they’ve leaned and create something new. The impact on students is fantastic as their confidence and excitement builds.  Performances take place in local schools and festivals. We are currently working towards the next GoFest performance in our Synergy groups which takes place next May 28th and 29th.

Last year Synergy Dance® were the GoPerform sponsor and partner for GoFest – a family festival of Sport and Dance. We themed our public performance to tie in with the Olympics, celebrating “No Fear”. “Fear is not real” – to encourage young people to go for their dreams.

Synergy is the GoPerform sponsor for 2017. The festival celebrates innovation and fitness and encourages the whole family to go out for the day and try lots of new activities, which hopefully they make take up as a hobby on a regular basis.

We have formed a Synergy Dance® troop from all our students who are keen to perform, and we are proud that this is based on keenness to perform and celebrate dance – not simply the “strongest” dancers. Any children can take part and we encourage others in the audience to join in on the day. This is to spread the inclusive nature of dance by encouraging families and members of the community to join in.

We have also received other invitations to perform and do not charge for this in our efforts to spread our ethos that “dance does not happen to you – you happen to dance.” Ie, dancing is as much about what you put in, as what you are taught.

This is manifest in our classes where we teach mindfulness as well as dance steps and encourage children to feel the confidence and go through with it – this is especially applicable to some breakdance and Dance Acrobatic movements which require conviction, self-belief and technique to achieve. We consider these to be great skills for life too. Our dance clubs really build confidence and new friendships outside of school and we are blown away by what children can achieve. We have seen students grow over the school terms and the excitement of a public performance motivates them like nothing else to improve their steps.

The future?

Companies that aim to integrate dancers with and without disabilities can create and perform “mixed ability” dance as an inclusive art form on a year-round basis. We would like to build on this in the future.

 

Synergy and inclusive classes & holiday schemes

We provide inclusive, creative, fun and effective mixed dance classes and would like to increase provision both in mainstream and Special educational needs sectors. 

Children with special educational needs often need one to one support workers. With funding we are able to provide these staff in more locations. With funding we can recruit and train more instructors to manage this– we have started this via a Pilot scheme and responsive training workshops with Stop Gap Dance Company. We are also saving for our own studio premises to reduce our hiring overheads as a longer term goal.

During school holidays we have been working with disadvantaged and mainstream groups via FISH - an Easter and Summer holiday play project managed by the Leisure Development Team at Guildford Borough Council which aims to provide high quality play, arts and sports opportunities for disadvantaged children and young people aged 11 to 16 years. We supply free workshops and would like to grow our provision for this scheme -  we need additional funding to enable us to do this. 

The impact of our workshops for FISH is to maximise the range of play and leisure opportunities available to young people by supporting freedom and choice in their play and leisure (2) create a challenging space for young people where they are able to explore and test boundaries whilst being safe from unnecessary harm (3) encourage young people’s respect for others and offer opportunities for social interaction (4) support young people’s well-being, health, development, knowledge, understanding and creativity through dance and other fun activities on offer (5) offer young people with additional needs the opportunity and benefits of a mainstream setting through inclusive provision and support to help bring in irregular or consistently inactive young people (6)  widen accessibility by challenging the barriers which prevent some young people from accessing opportunities for play and leisure and targeting those more disadvantaged groups and individuals.

We provided free dance workshops for FISH in 2016 with funding from Sportivate, to whom we are very grateful, running over 20 free workshops - but we need funding to do this again. For the FISH SCHEME last year for example - we had 120 young people per day at Easter and 160 per day over summer for up to 17 days, (10 of which will have a one to one key worker for social, emotional or behavioural difficulties, provided by the council). 

Who benefits from these activities?

Young people aged 11-16 years. These holiday schemes take referrals from Children’s services, Home School Link Workers, Surrey Police and other similar agencies.  They also have young people in Local Authority care on these courses. Their data protection and privacy is of paramount importance. Children from low income families who may not have opportunities or incentives to be active in the holidays have a place to go which is fun. Mainstream children also thrive on these courses which are open to all.

We want to get all children and teens active and dancing in our classes and workshops irrespective of their income or circumstances and are keen to reach disadvantaged groups who can really benefit from dance and movement workshops that are trendy and fun in a low-pressure environment.

Workshops for juniors are also available. 

The Impact?

Last year we adopted a flexible teaching style which allowed participants to choose the music and dance steps – Break Dance and Dance Acrobatics proved to be the winners! By allowing children freedom of choice, they felt more involved and keen to participate. And they kept coming back.

 

The number of beneficiaries for just one holiday club over the summer is potentially 2040 children. With funding we can reach more of these low income families and children from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Estimated figures for children we can reach per workshop season per venue:

Under 14 /Easter

849

Summer

1001

14-25/ Easter

712

Easter

1006

 

Ongoing support

As we have contact with lots of new participants to Synergy via holiday schemes and workshops, the next step is to assist these young people to continue to dance with Synergy. Continuation and planned exit routes from our Easter and Summer holiday activities can help to sustain long term participation and encourage a positive change in behaviour. In view of lower income families, follow up classes would be offered on a subsidised basis.

The activity

Our signature courses are mixed dance (offering a taste of different dance styles in one class) which run at four leisure centres in Surrey, local community venues and local schools. We would provide a free pass to one of these regular classes, depending on the age of the participant to low income families from referral schemes.

Our workshops and dance course activities aim to make movement fun and inclusive -Such as Glow in the Dark Break Dance and Street, Dance Acrobatics – “circus” theme and free-style dance. We also set up opportunities to perform at the end of each week so children can build confidence. Our instructors are experienced and skilled dance instructors in their field – and have also followed Responsive teacher training. Many have also worked as primary school teachers and recruitment is also based on their ability to inspire and engage young people.

We find that the use of props can help young people who may be body conscious. We include UV lights, glow in the dark face/body paints, finger lights, glow on the dark dance accessories, Light sabers, light up balloons or pom poms.  We also encourage parents to support the events.

We take feedback at initial workshops to enhance the experience at the follow up/exit sessions. In our view, sustainability is all about being in touch with what young people want to do, their tastes and how to keep exercise fun.

 

 

New Trends...

We are a certified studio by the Acrobatic Arts to teach this new and innovative dance style as seen on the very popular "The Next Step" TV show on CBBC – a dance show which is inspiring boys and girls all over the UK to get moving.

The aim is to run Synergy workshops for free again for FISH over Easter and Summer for 2017, if we are funded, as an additional incentive for people to take part and to be fully inclusive to all groups listed above. 

Promoting a positive outlook

In addition to our classes, we wish to promote business related courses that will help to coach our senior secondary school students into understanding constructive steps towards building their own dance business or dance company or enterprise. We believe that in addition to practical dance courses, young people also need springboard courses to show how their talents can be utilized in careers that once seemed once out of reach or a "pipe dream". We would like to inspire a realistic and constructive approach to gaining a career in the Arts/Dance/Sport and Fitness for pupils in schools. We say to our students that anything is possible with hard work and determination – reach for the stars and aim high!

Our overall aim: 

To provide a mixed dance scheme which supports an environment where children and young people have space and freedom to grow, learn new skills, keep fit and make friends. In schools, we are anticipating that our dance clubs, workshops and dance parties can help to improve academic achievement, by enhancing brain activity, whilst increasing fitness, confidence and wellbeing.

 By joining Synergy, you are investing in both the health and fitness of our young people and a new approach to dancing in schools and leisure time that reaches everyone.

#JoinTheDance  #Synergy  #Innovation  #BoysCanDance

Help us to change lives. We've touched a nerve and we want to do more. 

Our community work is not for profit and we provide this free of charge to the council holiday schemes in Surrey.

As an organisation we are split between charitable work and generating funds which allow us to work as a whole. 

This project has been approved for funding through the Artists + The Crowd match funding. It has received a bridge of 25% towards its fundraising target from Arts Council England.


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