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Tales from the Playground

Updated: Mar 1, 2022

In the summer of 2021 we were invited to take part in Sheffield’s HAF scheme, locally-coordinated by Tales From the Playground where we delivered mindful street-dance workshops. HAF stands for ‘Holiday Activities and Food’ and is a programme that aims to make free 'holiday club' places available over the school holidays. With our workshops we aimed to utilise the physical and mental benefits of street-dance, providing opportunities to build key-skills such as mindfulness, problem-solving and confidence through a variety of methods. ‘Be kind to others and be kind kind to yourself’ is a simple phrase we would remind the students of when learning moves and performing. Making them aware of positive mindsets we believe is key, because they enables us to enjoy the process of learning and creates a supportive environment for the individual as well as those around them. Plus, if a student can really take on-board a positive mindset then they have the power to lead-by-example and influence their peers outside of the initial setting. It was a pleasure to meet and teach local communities especially since the scheme enabled the workshops to be accessible for underprivileged areas and families. Each place we visited were very welcoming and provided space for us to deliver the workshop so on some days we conducted the session inside a youth centre or hall, but on the good weather days we utilised the local playgrounds and fields. Regardless of the venue it was good to provide positive associations wherever we taught as it highlights to the children that even outside of school their local area supports fun, learning and their own development as individuals. The amount of children involved varied from session to session, but there would be some children that revisited with enthusiasm which was lovely and reassuring. Parents and caregivers gave positive feedback and expressed their interest with more sessions in the future. With regards to future sessions, we actually have been contacted recently to deliver more workshops at the end of December 2021. we are excited to engage with these communities again as it’s another chance to establish key-skills supporting their physical, plus mental development in a fun and positive process that the art-form of dance provides.

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