Dorset dance school brings history to life through WWII themed performance  

A REMARKABLE blend of history and dance unfolded in Dorset last weekend as talented young dancers concluded their year-long educational journey with a stunning World War II-themed performance.  

The project, made up of dancers from the Athena Theatre Works & Productions (ATWP) in Wool, began in September last year and culminated in a public showcase that captivated onlookers and celebrated the importance of remembering the past.  

The project included various immersive activities, such as tasting ration packs, listening to talks, and exploring music and artists from the WWII era.   

The dancers, who were between the ages of seven and 10, took to the streets and performed in various locations, including Durberville Field, Lulworth Cove, Bovington’s Memorial Hall, and around the areas of the Tank Museum.   

The dance teacher behind the project Athena Burns said: “The public couldn’t help but stop and watch the moving performance, which was more than just a display of dance—it was a living history lesson.   

“Passersby were intrigued and often inquired about the filming project, adding to the educational impact of the event.   

ATWP dancers Picture: Athena Burns

“Students were talking about what they had learned and understood about WWII and told onlookers of the importance of remembering so these things never happen again.  

“Our dancers have been working tirelessly since September, not just on their dance steps but on understanding the significance of World War II.  

“Our aim was to go beyond the norms of a typical dance school and offer an enriching educational experience. 

“A memorable highlight was a video call with my grandmother, who shared her poignant memories of watching her father depart on a merchant navy ship and her experiences of an orphanage.   

“These activities provided the students with a profound understanding of the era, making this project my favourite of the year.  

“This unique approach not only deepened the students’ knowledge of history but also highlighted the importance of remembrance to prevent such events from recurring.   

“The dedication and hard work of the dancers were evident as they brought history to life with their powerful and emotive performance.”  

ATWP is a performing arts school with a special mission: to provide outstanding opportunities and training to local dancers, many of whom come from families with military, police, fire service, and paramedic backgrounds.   

This year, the school’s efforts have not gone unnoticed. They have been asked to apply to various charities, and also some top-secret performances and opportunities.   

They have been nominated for an exceptional award, recognising their unique and impactful approach to education through dance.  

A video of the project will be published on the  ATWP Facebook page soon.

For more information on ATWP’s projects and to support their future endeavours, visit their website.

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