Primary School
'Believe & Achieve' Program


"Fantastic show - very relevant to what we are teaching ..... the students loved it!"
        -Wedge Park



VELS Domains

  • Personal Learning
  • Health & Physical Education
  • Interpersonal Development


Bounce Right Back!

The only way to get rid of the fear of doing something is to go out...and do it. But often once is not enough. Bounce Right Back! focuses on the ingredients essential for achieving goals : Courage, Persistence, Resilience. This inspiring show traverses the stages of life and attempts to unravel the secret code CPR which ensures you always ... bounce right back!

The performance 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 interaction.

dances  soft shoe shuffle :: musical comedy :: techno :: hip-hop :: arabic/belly
                           dance :: tap :: swing :: contemporary/modern


VELS Domains

  • Communication
  • Thinking
  • The Arts



Students help beat bullies

When students are given an opportunity to stand back and reflect upon the experience of  someone who is a bully/being  bullied, the results can be amazing. I Can Dance Theatre, travelling to schools with a performance that focuses on such issues, have repeatedly been impressed by students' advice. Their responses display a remarkable ability to understand and, what's more, participate in finding solutions to complex issues. Teachers have reported later on the positive effect of these insights on students' behaviour.

The importance of the arts in helping to cultivate student potential goes way beyond accountability.

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


VELS Domains

  • Personal Learning
  • Health & Physical Education
  • Interpersonal Development



Can Do

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 :: Greek :: Aboriginal
                 :: Hip Hop :: Cowboy Tap :: Showbiz Tap

VEL Domains

  • Communication
  • Thinking
  • The Arts





Education Age June 6, 2001
Cover Story - Arts Takes the Initiative



performance details
Bounce Right Back!
Can Do


prep to year 6
(suitably adapted to each level)
duration:  1 hour
(including 10 min discussion time)
cost:           $5.00 per student
minimum 100 students / performance

follow-up workshops

$2.00 extra per student
30 minute session

- students learn a dance routine from the performance
  and/or other current dances
- workshops can be adapted to your requirements




On seeing Believing

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

The  following article was published in 'EQ Australia' - Education Quarterly, Curriculum Corp.  Autumn 2001.

Article written by Miriam White, member of
I Can Dance Theatre


"Enthusiasm 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, teachers work hard at encouraging children to be confident, to keep trying and not give up.  This ongoing, 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?  


 The creative arts, art, music, dance, theatre, can be a very powerful way to get the message across without being too didactic.  That’s what 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 content?  How could we mirror, in a heightened way, the all too common experience of not feeling good enough,…and have it revolve around ones’ creative expression,…and make it relevant to students?  Out of this thinking Believing developed.  

Comparing ourselves to others often erodes confidence.  It might be one student comparing him/herself to another, or comparing oneself to one’s own impossibly high standards of how we think we should be.  Students’ 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, the individual’s level of confidence will determine how he/she deals with this.  

"Everyone loved the costumes and backdrops."

  St Peter's Primary Bentleigh East


In Believing, the main 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.  It’s not clear if this critical voice we hear is actually her friend, or if it is her own internal negative dialogue, speaking out at every opportune moment, urging her to give up.  By the end of the play, after travelling a considerable journey, the girl is no longer worried by the voice, and interestingly it is no longer there.  She has successfully stepped out of the trap of comparing herself to others.  She has also discovered a new way of dealing with her bullying friend; instead of yelling back and being upset, she has some perspective on where the bully’s aggressive behaviour comes from.  As pointed out, “she [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 confident 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 cultures.  For example, you don’t 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.  At the 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."


Judy Matthews
Catholic Education Dept

If children are to take charge 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 students 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 keep practising 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.  

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, that it might take him a week, or it might take him a month or a year, but it doesn’t 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 meaningful and 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

If we can give children the confidence to take risks and believe in themselves, the benefits will be enormous.  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 all yours”.  After consulting the audience, who invariably encourage her to go through the door, 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.

back to top

Copyright © 2001-2016  I Can Dance
Revised: 12 December 2015