We're Aim High Dance academy and we are offering 29 free dance classes for adults and children all online. These are weekly classes that will be going on until the end of March.
Started by Hayley Rea in 2010, thousands of youngsters have attended Aim High Dance Academy classes at its Herne Hill, South Norwood, Lewisham and Merton Centres over the past 10 years and in addition to their community based sessions they work in many nurseries, schools and youth organisations. Hayley has been a qualified dance teacher since the age of 18 and has taught dance for Sadler's Wells, the London Youth Dance, Oval House Theatre, East London Dance Organisation and many, many more. She’s especially passionate about encouraging her students, whatever their ability, to help them explore all aspects of dancing and the range of different styles:
"Our purpose is to provide a home from home dance environment where we can promote leadership, teamwork, creativity and physical fitness training in a fun, safe and educational manner. We mentor those who would like to turn a passion into a career and entertain the community by showing the talent hidden amongst them. We believe now more than ever our services are needed to support our communities’ mental health and wellbeing and support the dance industry by transforming, developing and continuing our services."
The focus has shifted towards online teaching in order to accommodate the ongoing climate and in response to community needs have decided to offer these completely for free. Now all classes are being hosted through WebEx in order to continue the teaching that was going on before lockdown and keeping everyone active and exercising.
Aim High Dance Academy’s online sessions first launched in October with our adult classes; Adult Street Dance, 80’s workout and yoga. We’ve had over 70 people register for these sessions and will be launching Vogue in the new year. "We try our best in every class to provide a welcoming environment where people can have fun, aspire/achieve and forget about the daily stresses in life," says Hayley. "We have also found our sessions are a great way to beat isolation and loneliness, launching our project Keep Moving, Keep Grooving, Keep Connected."
Hayley and her teachers have been running these classes for free every week in order to bring some form of normality to those who are feeling isolated and lonely, giving them an opportunity to interact with others in an enjoyable way. Aim High has also begun to expand their reach across England, taking advantage of the accessibility of online classes, by reaching out to communities as far as Manchester to offer their services, connecting communities far and wide whilst also keeping existing communities connected in a time where interaction is scarce.
Those who have participated in some of the sessions so far say;
"I enjoy all of it. Trying something new and doing physical activity to music."
"Classes are fun. Great music and nice routines."
"I enjoy the Instructors enthusiasm."
A variety of free online classes will continue to run until the end of March and continue at normal academy prices thereafter. If clients would like to take part, or maybe interested in offering sponsorship or funding, please contact Chris on 07904313603 or [email protected]
Note to editors:
This project is being supported by a variety of different funders.
Adult classes are being supported by GLA and the Mayor of London.
The 26 children classes are being supported by The Arts Council.
With support from the Arts Council, Aim High Dance Academy has been able to continue to offer employment and expand their employment opportunities, now having a team of 16 people.
The Academy has been long standing in the community, was nominated for the Community education awards 2014. The Academy has performed at City Hall, Parliament, Olympic Park, the Sadler’s Wells (Lillian Baylis Theatre), The Scoop-London Youth Dance, Big Dance World Record and many more.
Aim High Dance Academy not only offer weekly community classes, the company also offers educational dance and gymnastic services in schools, family events (quizzes, awards evenings, shows/competitions), exam opportunities, holiday camps, career mentoring, internships, work experience placements and more.
In July 2012 Hayley, Director (then Principal) Aim High Dance Academy was a 2012 Olympic torch bearer, 2012 Lambeth Champion, 2011 Local Hero and awarded the Spirit of London Award, Achievement Through Arts 2010. These titles were awarded in respect of the reputation, dedication and success of Hayley’s dance career over the past ten years and the huge success of Aim High Dance Academy in the five years of establishment. Since 2012 Hayley and Team has continued to grow the company and transition services to adapt to community needs – this being its biggest transition and largest amongst of classes offered for free to date. Any queries please call Hayley Rea on 07951639617.