Northern Ballet will feature in children’s entertainment programme Something Special on the BBC CBeebies channel on Thursday 16 January. Members of Northern Ballet’s Learning team have worked with the programme in an episode that focuses on dance.
The CBeebies team filmed at Northern Ballet in Leeds with children from John Jamieson School, a specialist inclusive learning centre in West Yorkshire. The children, all of whom have disabilities, and presenter Justin Fletcher participated in a dance class led by Northern Ballet’s Dance Education Officer, Leanne Kirkham, and watched a relaxed performance of Northern Ballet’s new ballet for children, Three Little Pigs.
Something Special sees Justin out and about applying signing in a variety of places with relevance to the young audience. In this programme topics covered included dance, dance shoes, piano and tickets. Aimed at young children, and especially those with learning and communication difficulties, the programme uses a signing system called Makaton which helps children to communicate with their friends, family and peers.
Leanne comments, ‘I thoroughly enjoyed working with the children from John Jamieson School along with Justin and the CBeebies team. We are always keen to develop and strengthen our relationship with local schools and it was thrilling to see the children participating in and watching the dance with such enthusiasm.’
Northern Ballet’s Learning department actively promotes the benefits of learning through dance for young people of all abilities. Two of the children who feature in the Something Special dance episode also took part in Northern Ballet’s START Hospice’s project with Martin House Hospice. An exhibition of this project is currently on display at Northern Ballet’s headquarters.
In September Northern Ballet will offer the In Motion dance project for self-propelling wheelchair users and other young people aged between 8 and 18 with mobility issues. In Motion welcomes students from across Yorkshire to participate in weekly classes to explore dance when using a wheelchair. Taster sessions are available throughout the summer, starting with a session at Northern Ballet’s Open House on 15 February in Leeds.
The 9th series of Something Special will begin on Monday 13th January 2014 on the BBC CBeebies channel and the ‘Dance’ episode will be broadcast on Thursday 16 January 2014 at 9.45am and will be repeated in February.