"Fantastic show - very relevant to what we are teaching ..... the students loved it!"
Bounce Right Back!
includes a dynamic
range of dance and music - from funky rap to syncopated tap. There are
non-stop costume changes, props, humour and lots of audience
soft shoe shuffle ::
musical comedy ::
Education Age Dec. 6, 2004
Highly relevant to the
'You Can Do It'
"Fun, with real power about how to respond to being put down."
- Camberwell Sth Primary
Struggling with low self-esteem, Mim is perfect bait for the school bully. All she wants to do is give up...till she starts to understand the power of confidence and positive thinking.
Can Do is full of colour and movement, with an energetic mix of dance ranging from cowboy tap to multicultural to hip-hop. Vibrant music, costumes and sets, plus plenty of opportunities for student participation.
dances Jazz ::
Italian Tarantella ::
Classical Spanish :: Indian
Age June 6, 2001
- students learn a dance
routine from the
A piece of literature, a film or a theatrical performance that speaks to children can often be truly educative, especially when the lesson to be learned is a difficult and human one. MIRIAM WHITE describes a play that helps primary-age children to understand their own and others' feelings
written by Miriam White, member of
of performers was contagious."
Rosanna Golflinks Primary
Self-confidence and belief in oneself are vital for a successful and happy school life. If we can overcome our fears and deal with our negative inner voices, learning becomes more effective and life in general much fuller and less complicated.
As we know,
at encouraging children to be confident, to keep trying and not give up.
worthwhile task can be hard work and at times may seem to
have little effect on a struggling child. So
how else can we convince students that
they don’t need to be like
anyone else, that the way they
are is okay, and that
what’s important is they
continue to try?
arts, art, music, dance,
theatre, can be a very powerful way to get the message across
without being too didactic.
we figured when we formed I
Can Dance Theatre,
and wrote a script that combines dance, music and an original story
with lots of audience participation to take to school as live theatre. We wondered what would be
the effect of combining
artistic form and social
How could we mirror, in
heightened way, the all too common experience of not feeling good
have it revolve around ones’ creative
expression,…and make it relevant to
of this thinking Believing developed.
ourselves to others
often erodes confidence.
be one student comparing him/herself to another, or comparing oneself
own impossibly high standards of how we think we should be.
critical taunts often start with comparing or being
different, which in turn can
lead to more threatening forms of bullying.
How does one respond? Again,
level of confidence will determine
how he/she deals with
|"Everyone loved the
costumes and backdrops."
St Peter's Primary Bentleigh East
character, who thinks she can’t dance, and tries to be like
others, hears the
nasty voice of her ‘friend’ Gablet, reminding her
how hopeless she is,
telling her she can’t do things properly.
clear if this critical voice we hear is actually her friend,
or if it is her own internal negative dialogue, speaking out at every
moment, urging her to give up.
the end of the play, after travelling a considerable journey, the girl
longer worried by the voice, and interestingly it is no longer there.
She has successfully
stepped out of the trap of comparing herself to
She has also discovered
new way of dealing with her
bullying friend; instead of yelling back and being
upset, she has some perspective on where the bully’s
As pointed out,
[the bully] doesn’t feel good about herself, so to make
herself feel better
she makes others feel bad”. In
this way, the production
encourages children to reflect upon and come to some
understanding of the behaviour of others.
In order to become
and stop comparing, we need to develop
the conviction that it’s alright to be
different, that diversity is what makes life interesting.
At a cultural level,
this means embracing and participating in other
For example, you
have to come from a particular country to do its’ dances.
At a personal level
this involves accepting one’s true self and finding
ways that work for you, understanding that each person’s mode
and pace of
learning is different.
beginning of Believing
the main character feels hopeless about herself, by
the end she can happily accept who she is.
She has learnt that the
power lies in how you
think about yourself.
She also discovers that
while she finds classical dance difficult, she
excels at hip hop, and isn’t so bad at tap either.
At a social level, this
recognition of diversity includes breaking down
gender divisions, such as ‘boys can't dance’.
An important part of
acceptance is to realize that
there are no absolute
rules determining who we must be.
|"You motivated, inspired
and enthused a lot of children....I am sure you touched
children's hearts and inspired many to follow their dreams."
Sunshine Nth Primary
|"The audience was totally
suspended until your next move... the hip hop was sensational."
If children are to
of their lives and thinking, and recognize the power in themselves,
then it is
important that they participate in the problem solving of issues. During
the show the audience is
asked for advice on how to
help the now despairing main character. At
a recent performance for a year two audience, the responses from the
impressed teachers and cast alike. One
after another they came up with
terrific advice such as,
“don’t listen to
what others say, don’t compare yourself to your friend, just
and trying and you’ll be able to do it.”
The level of
sophistication of these responses displays the ability of
this age group to successfully solve problems and encourage each other.
positive results of Believing
occurred in the classroom after the show.
One teacher described
how a prep boy was crying because he couldn’t do
his work, and a class mate went up to him and told him not to worry,
might take him a week, or it might take him a month or a year, but it
matter how long it takes, – a direct line from the play.
The boy stopped crying
immediately and got on with the task at hand.
A parent told us that
her year five son, who lacks confidence in maths,
happily said that he was going to start trying.
This demonstrates that
when the message is given in a
memorable context, information
can be absorbed and utilized by students.
"Thank you for visiting our school and providing a wonderful and meaningful show for all - including Grades 5 and 6 who can sometimes be most difficult to please."
Manningham Park Primary
we can give children
confidence to take risks and
believe in themselves, the
benefits will be
If they can see that
not to be scared of failure is in fact
the greatest strength, they will
persevere. In the final act of the play, the main character is told to
look in the
chest one last time.
There she discovers a
key. "That key”,
she is told,
“opens the door to a
big exciting world where you are able to live your
dreams. Enter. It’s
consulting the audience, who invariably encourage her to go through the
the girl swallows her fear and heads out through the final backdrop.
We can hear her
exclamations of delight as she marvels from beyond.
There are many ways to
inspire curiosity and courage in children to pass
through their own personal doorways. The
more we can encourage them to do so, the better.
© 2001-2016 I Can Dance
Revised: 12 December 2015