Ballroom and Latin American dance is becoming cool for boys as well as girls in primary schools across Northamptonshire, according to dance director Andrzej Mialkowski.
The director of Step by Step Dance school, and international dance champion says: “As I’ve started projects with children in primary schools this year, I’m noticing a change,” he says.
“Traditionally girls have chosen dance, but dance is now becoming a normal part of the curriculum for boys as well. It’s becoming cool for boys to dance too.”
“It’s important to me to introduce Ballroom and Latin dance to the boys in schools as a normal part of the curriculum.
"If Prince George loves taking dance lessons, why not boys in Northamptonshire too?”
Mr Mialkowski is knee deep in rehearsals for both dance competitions Strictly Northampton Kids 2019 and Dancing Schools UK 2019 organised by Step by Step dance school.
He is midway through a hectic six-week rehearsal schedule working with 24 children from primary schools across Northamptonshire and their professional dance partners for Strictly Northampton Kids 2019.
On November 10 the excited children will be proudly showing off their new dance skills at the Deco theatre, Northampton, competing for the title of Strictly Northampton Kids 2019 and raising money for Northamptonshire childrens’ charity the Bruce Green Foundation.
He says: “The children are all very excited. The boys loved rehearsals. There were a few tears in the beginning as they found their feet but now they are all smiles and many children will want to carry on dancing once the fundraising competition is over.”
“Dance is very beneficial to the development of children particularly in this age of social media. It engages them both mentally and physically teaching them skills in poise, flexibility and coordination.
It’s also a highly social activity – encourages children away from their phones and their computers. They make new friends, work in teams, and usually love it!”
Meanwhile on Wednesdays he is putting his best foot forward teaching teachers from primary schools across Northamptonshire to Cha Cha Cha, Jive and American Smooth Waltz for the national competition Dancing Schools UK.
Teachers then teach the dances to children in years five and six and enter a team of excited students to compete on November 23 at the Royal and Derngate Northampton for the regional heat.
The top ten teams will then go forward to compete again in the national final in July 2020.
Now in its 8th year, Dancing Schools UK is growing in popularity, says Mr Mialkowsk.
“Over 30 primary schools are taking part this year – that’s over 600 children competing on stage in the first round of the competition.”
Tickets for Strictly Northampton Kids 2019 can be bought from Deco theatre website and for Dancing Schools UK regional final from the Royal and Derngate theatre box office and online at www.royalandderngate.co.uk