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Connect Project

A celebratory project building connections between partner schools, our professional pathway ConfiCo, and Creative Folkestone, inspired by the Triennial Folkestone Artworks. 

Partnerships

The Connect project was inspired by a need to reconnect amidst and beyond the Covid pandemic. When indoor dance activity became restricted, we found ourselves taking inspiration from the multitude of public artworks in Folkestone, and the Plinth Programme of outdoor performance being hosted by Quarterhouse. 

Working with our partner schools - Wyvern and Whitfield Aspen - we explored ways to continue developing dance opportunities in Covid secure ways, including the development of digital resources for students to use at home and in classrooms, and outdoor, site-specific performances.

Scroll down to read an overview of our work with both schools, our connect event and the evaluation of the project's impact.

Wyvern students perform their graffiti dance in front of the mural

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Wyvern students perform their graffiti dance in front of the mural

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ConfiCo dancer Ryan performing 'Private View'

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Wyvern students perform their graffiti dance in front of the mural

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New Connections - Wyvern School

Confidance worked with students across Wyvern sixth form to build new connections with the wider cultural community in Folkestone. Students took inspiration from Folkestone's own Banksy Artwork and learnt repertoire from ConfiCo's performance of Private View to create their own choreography and artworks in response. 

 

We invited local Graffiti artist Nemi Gartner to join us on the project, visiting the school to deliver a workshop and create a mural that would become the backdrop for the dance performance of 'Make Your Mark'.

‘I think it [works because of Confidance's] understanding of our children. It’s not inclusion for inclusion’s sake; it is really meaningful.’

- Teacher feedback

Reconnect - Whitfield Aspen School

Confidance worked with Whitfield Aspen school to creatively reconnect students with their peers, staff and school sites in their return to school post-Covid. Working as part of the recovery curriculum, we explored ways in which dance could support staff and student wellbeing through an artistic focus.

Over the course of the project, students took inspiration from Rana Begum's Folkestone Triennial artwork No.1054 Arpeggio, learning repertoire from ConfiCo's 'Take A Dip' performance and decorating their school site to become their own mini-public artworks.

The project culminating in a whole-school flash mob event and dance film, including over 380 students.

Whitfield Aspen class in an outdoor workshop with ConfiCo

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Students learning 'Take A Dip' choreography with Grace

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ConfiCo perform 'Take A Dip' in front of Rana Begum's No.1054 Arpeggio

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Whitfield Aspen class in an outdoor workshop with ConfiCo

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When we’ve had sessions, we’ve developed it together. They’ve put their expertise forward, we’ve put the knowledge of the children, and together it has worked really well.

- Project Lead, SEND Teacher, Whitfield Aspen
 

QH connect event
QH connect event

ConfiCo in a Q&A with Wyvern School at The Quaterhouse

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ConfiCo dancer Caitlin leading some rep

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Wyvern student in workshop with ConfiCo

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QH connect event
QH connect event

ConfiCo in a Q&A with Wyvern School at The Quaterhouse

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Connect Event

  The learning disabled community face greater challenges when accessing theatre, due to outdated buildings and perceptions of disability. For this reason, we always imbed public performance opportunities into our projects, and aim to foster strong connections between arts venues and our participants. As part of this project, we hosted a Connect Event, where we invited students aged 14-19 to join us at the Quarterhouse for the day.  

Alongside a dance workshop with ConfiCo artists, students had the chance to learn more about how a theatre operates, watch dance films from the project and have a Q&A session with ConfiCo - two of whom were previously students at Wyvern school.  

Impact

"This evaluation strongly suggests that Confidance meets its aims to create work that is inclusive and person-centred. Confidance builds close relationships with participants, engaging people with a wide variety of needs both as individuals and as part of a community. The depth of these relationships and this engagement lead to a range of positive outcomes, with a particular impact on social and emotional wellbeing. Confidance works closely with partner schools to achieve these aims, but also operates as an outside influence, challenging and stretching expectations."

You can read more about the connect project and its impact in our evaluation from Royal Opera House Bridge here.

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