More than 500 pupils at an Aberdeen dance school have created an uplifting video, performing at iconic spots around the Granite City to celebrate their grit at dancing through the Covid pandemic.
The Danscentre project is also a celebration of the possible return of live show at arts venues across the city – and will hopefully raise funds to help theatres get back on their feet when they can finally re-open their doors.
Michelle Whyte, co-principal of Danscentre, said the video, which was launched on Thursday June 24, was a chance for the kids to dance together outside the venues where they have been unable to perform for almost two years.
“We thought this would be a lovely way of bringing everyone together without bringing everyone together,” said Michelle, adding the video was shot under current social distance restrictions.
Throwing open theatre doors
“We thought let’s utilise the lovely spaces there are in Aberdeen. But we were also keen to have the theatres we would normally perform in as part of our backdrop.
“At the beginning of the video you see a little bit of narrative where senior pupils go from being trapped in their Zoom boxes to throwing open the theatre doors to give that sense of finally getting somewhere, getting out, getting to go where we want to go.”
The video is a roll call of iconic spots from the beach and Beach Boulevard, to the Music Hall, Arts Centre and His Majesty’s Theatre, as well as venues the school use for teaching and practice for its pupils, aged between three and 19.
Michelle said that during the pandemic, lockdowns meant pupils had only been able to attend classes in studios for only three months out of almost two years, with classes continuing on Zoom or in pre-recorded sessions. The video is a nod to their determination, she said.
“They have not been able to go to school, not been able to see their friends and they are still suffering. We have been just blown away by their grit and their resilience. They just keep smiling in what’s been such a difficult year, so this video is a massive celebration of them,” she said.
Danscentre teachers in tears watching video
“We also want these kids to show this video to their kids and their grandchildren and say this is what we did in that amazing time in history you are all learning about that was the coronavirus pandemic. It’s a snapshot in time, to give them something to look back to and remember all they have achieved.”
Michelle added that she and teachers at Danscentre were left in tears while watching the final video.
“You look at this and think they haven’t sat still, they have progressed… and to see how much they enjoyed performing was wonderful.”
Danscentre has set up a funding page to go along with their video and are asking people to contribute, to help city venues where the children would normally perform, with monies raised distributed to theatre charities.
“The children were supposed to have been performing at His Majesty’s Theatre in June 2020, that was going to be our big flagship senior show we have every three years. Obviously, that was postponed to this March, then postponed again to March 2022.
“So this video is also looking ahead to that show at His Majesty’s in March 2022.”