Supporting the community through performance – cheering at HBF Run for a Reason 2019
As performers, we pour our heart and soul into every routine, piece, or scene that we perform – we spend so many hours each week training and preparing for our performances! One of the most valuable things we can do as performers is to share our gift with others, whether they be friends, family, teachers, classmates, paying ticketholders, or members of the wider community.
At WAPS we are proud to regularly support community events such as the annual Wembley Downs District Fair, the Westfield Innaloo Christmas Pageant, or the Royal Show Community Stage. Our performers have also visited aged care facilities around Perth to share their passion for dance and music, often receiving wonderful feedback from residents and facilities alike. Sometimes it’s easy to forget just how much magic you can bring to a guest’s afternoon with your performance – this is why WAPS Performance Troupe students are given performance opportunities for unique performances to support local community and charity groups.
On Sunday 19th May, members of WAPS junior, intermediate and senior Acrobatics and Cheer classes were invited to help us support the Heart Foundation of WA at the 2019 HBF Run for a Reason. We were thrilled to have the opportunity to offer encouragement to the thousands of runners who participated, while also developing our students’ confidence, skills, and giving them a unique experience to cherish forever! Team WAPS assembled early in the morning, despite the cold temperatures, and we warmed up together and practised some of our cheers and chants.
Our students were encouraged to come up with their own chants, with prizes for the best ones (of course it was too hard to choose!), as well as learning some short dance combinations which could be performed regularly throughout the morning. This offered our students the chance to not only gain experience performing for members of the public, but also to get to know their classmates, make new connections, and try new skills in a friendly and exciting environment. Many students had not created their own chants before, but working as a team, all students got the chance to give some input and flex their creative muscles with unique and catchy chants to support not only the runners, but the Heart Foundation of WA, too!
Students also found themselves performing in unique conditions, as the runners passed us on Camfield Drive, Burswood, we were performing on the verge, with a mix of grass and asphalt underfoot, and being careful for our tricks and stunts not to interfere with the runners’ space. As professional performers ourselves, WAPS staff understand how important it is for budding dancers to be exposed to a range of performance conditions, as in the real world, performances are not always on a big stage! Past WAPS corporate entertainment bookings have included performances in private backyards, main roads, wrestling rings, huge auditorium stages, rented high-shine dance floors, catwalk and thrust stages, and yes, even on steep hills; being prepared and experienced at performing in a range of conditions can give a performer the upper hand in the entertainment and performing arts industry.
One of the most rewarding aspects of the day was seeing runners’ faces light up at the students’ fun chants, impressive tricks, or just joyful cheering (and pompom waving!). Offering support to those who were running for a reason was a great privilege for our young performers, and we hope it instilled a sense of belonging and community, as well as pride that they could share their artform with others, working together for a good cause. By the end of the day, even the most shy of students was puffed and happy after spending the morning cheering for the runners – to see the confidence and joy in each student’s performance really reinforced how wonderful these charity and community performance opportunities are for dancers of all ages.
To find out more about community performance opportunities at WAPS, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org!