University of Portsmouth students set to host free online dance lessons to encourage children to exercise at home

DANCERS are hoping to get schoolchildren up and moving with free online classes at the end of a long day of home learning.

Monday, 18th January 2021, 4:46 pm
University of Portsmouth dance president Chloe Ellman-Baker, left, and welfare secretary Sophie Kettell, right, are volunteering to teach some free online dance and fitness classes to keep children active

With the majority of school children accessing online schooling from their computers all day, two members of the University of Portsmouth dance club wanted to make a difference.

Society president Chloe Ellman-Baker and welfare secretary Sophie Kettell are volunteering their time and passion to put on virtual classes to keep children active and occupied during Tuesday afternoons.

Sophie has previously volunteered teaching primary school children at her dance school back in Coventry and Chloe has assisted dance lessons at The Theatre Workshop in Brighton.

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Chloe, who is in her final year of studying interior architecture and design, said: ‘I definitely think it’s a way to build confidence because that first step into a dance class is always a difficult one.

‘I am hoping we have a good turnout. It’s a really nice escape and dance is my passion.

‘In this situation we’re in, I have got to make it the best possible final year I could have. If I can affect one person in a positive way, it’s worth it.’

A university campaign called Can Do, which is encouraging students to focus on what is possible during the pandemic, was part of Chloe and Sophie’s inspiration.

Chloe, who has danced since she was three, added: ‘It’s a really good movement and I’m trying to get more people involved. It gives me a break from my university work.

‘I just thought to put some fun dance classes on would be a good idea. I have absolutely loved teaching at The Theatre Workshop.

‘I thought I might as well use the teaching skills I have from there to help the community.’

The pair are planning to include various themes in their classes, with previous Aladdin and West End musical sessions for fellow students going down well.

Classes will be available on Zoom on Tuesdays between 4pm and 4.30pm, with children aged between five and 10 encouraged to join in the fun.

Email [email protected] for more information or for the link to join in with the sessions, which start on January 19.

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