5678 Productions started at St Mary’s School when I was given the opportunity to co-ordinate dance and drama across the campus, from Little Saints to the Senior School. It grew from open classes to offering a a variety of classes, but with a more specific curriculum to over 350 girls annually who chose ballet, modern or drama or a combination of a few.
I incorporated Dance Mouse for the pre-school modern and Dance Madness for the primary school as it offers an inclusive program to all. The benefits to the child are incredibly diverse, but include improved co-ordination, balancing skills, core strength, fitness, proprioception, spatial awareness and improved confidence. These benefits allow the child to select their preferred form of dance in a safe environment while benefiting them in other sporting activities as well.
For those wanting the more formal classical ballet option, we offer RAD (Royal Academy of Dance) with the option of examinations with the association from 2022. Some of the benefits of ballet are physical coordination, grace and posture, and we all know that children need to move and burn a lot of energy. Ballet helps with mental strength and focus, and builds social skills and instills confidence.
Co-curricular drama is also on offer for the grade 0 to 7 girls to enhance their artistic and creative abilities, and give them a better understanding of themselves and their world. Through drama we aim to foster self discipline, confidence and team work, and develop skills in interpreting, researching, negotiating, problem solving and decision making. Like all the arts, drama allows students to communicate and understand each other in new ways, and is a tool to help live and work in a world that is increasingly team-oriented.
Drama also helps students develop TOLERANCE and EMPATHY.
The senior dancers at St Mary’s have a variety of dance options, from classical ballet and contemporary, to jazz and hip hop, all taught by specialists in these genres.
Off campus we have the 5678 Productions Studio which also offers classical ballet, junior contemporary and hip hop as well as AIDT modern exam work.
Claire Van Niekerk