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ClogdanceUK!
 Projects & Reviews

Alex has worked in many schools in Lancashire, Greater Manchester and Cumbria, and has also visited schools in Yorkshire, Tyneside, County Durham, Cheshire and Humberside. Some of her most recent and memorable clog dance projects are profiled below.

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“Pupils, teachers and parents have fun, and are both surprised and delighted by their achievements”. Taffy Thomas, MBE, Storyteller Laureate.

ANDERTON PRIMARY SCHOOL CENTENARY PROJECT (2010)

To enhance their centenary celebrations, Anderton Primary School wanted the Year 6 pupils to perform a clog dance at the opening of their ‘Edwardian Fair’. The pupils wore Edwardian costume and the dance was accompanied by Carolyn Francis on fiddle.

“Alex is a dance artist who is amazing at what she does…… we couldn’t believe how quickly the children learned to clog dance! ” (Anderton Primary School, Chorley, Lancashire)

STEPPING OUT – A Cumbrian Heritage (2009)

Pupils from Dent and Beetham Primary Schools worked together on a joint performance for the South Cumbria Youth Dance Platform at The Brewery Arts Centre, Kendal.

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“I enjoyed dancing on the huge stage in front of lots of people”. (Sasha, Beetham Primary)

“I liked it when we got the enormous applause”.

(Gina, Dent Primary)

“I just enjoyed the dancing.” (Oscar, Dent Primary)

CHORLEY SPARKS – celebrating Chorley’s Clog Heritage (2007-2008)

A Heritage Lottery funded project, CHORLEY SPARKS taught pupils in four primary schools to clog dance for a performance at Chorley Town Hall. Local residents were invited to talk to the pupils about their memories of clogs and clog-wearing. All this was filmed and edited into the DVD: CHORLEY SPARKS – a Social History of Clog Culture.

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Chorley Sparks Clog Heritage project. Pupils' performance at Chorley Town Hall

Pupils’ Comments:-

“I loved everything, especially when I did my very first solo & really impressed my dad!” (Luke Yr 5, St Gregory’s Primary School, Chorley)

“The thing I liked most was dancing in the town hall and actually wearing clogs”. (Zack, Yr5, Coppull Primary School)

“I especially liked the Train Step – I can’t stop doing it!” (Holly, Yr Coppull Primary)

Teachers’ Comments:-

“Year 5 thoroughly enjoyed taking part in this project. The children were given ownership by creating their own dance steps of which I know they felt very proud. Every week the children were excited and eager to get to the hall to learn more.” (St Gregory’s Primary School, Chorley)

CLOGMANIA! (2006) Eight schools in South Ribble (one high school and seven primaries), had clog dance workshops with Alex and performed at Worden Arts Centre, Leyland and Walton-le-Dale High School, Bamber Bridge, Preston. Each group also worked with Carolyn Francis, who provided musical accompaniment on fiddle and drums.

Schools’ comments:-

“It was an excellent experience for the class (Yr 5) as most had never danced in a performance before. Some pupils, with very special needs, appear to have grown tremendously in confidence since the show.” (Broad Oak Primary School, Penwortham, Preston.

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Pupils rehearsing for CLOGMANIA (1) performance at Worden Arts Centre, Leyland.

“I enjoyed the whole thing from training to the performance.” (Becky, Yr 6 St Oswald’s Primary School, Longton, Preston)

“I enjoyed the duet with Connor the most because I never thought that I would have had the confidence to do it, but I did and I’m very proud of myself.” (George, Yr 6, St Oswald’s Primary school, Longton, Preston)

INSET PROJECTS

Alex has worked with Folk Arts Agencies and LEA Advisory Centres to devise and deliver INSET programmes in Clog Dance and other traditional dance forms. Projects include:-

FULLHOUSE (1996-2000) A major folk arts INSET project organized by FOLKWORKS (now The Sage Gateshead) and involving primary and secondary schools in the North East and Cumbria. Teachers were given the skills to run clubs and curriculum modules in clog and rapper dance, social dance, folk song and ceilidh band.

“A supremely effective practitioner….Alex places importance on accessibility, challenge and encouragement”. (David Oliver, Director of Folkworks Education programme 1993-2007)

COMMUNITY PROJECTS

Lancashire Society HLF project The Noise We Mek – performance at launch events – Sept/Oct 2010.

Lancashire Museum Service – community workshops & performances at Helmshore Textile Museum (Sept. 2009)

Lancashire Libraries tour – lecture demonstrations in Preston, Longton and Ormskirk (Oct. 2008)

Leyland St Mary’s Venture Scouts, Duke of Edinburgh Award project - 2006

Chris Pollington, musician, had this to say......

''I have worked with Alex as her ‘live’ musician on a number of projects from work in schools to the Harris museum. She has a particular talent for motivating groups of learners in the art of clogging which always feel satisfaction as her goals are planned to be achievable. It is amazing how in a few sessions she can turn raw recruits into a spectacular team of performance artists turning in a complex routine lasting many minutes, which is a real spectacle for the audience.

All in all Alex elevates the clogging art to a new level of performance and her students always appreciate the enjoyment of acquiring a new skill.''

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