audience builds a child’s self-confidence. Children often take this benefit with them long after their childhood shows are behind them: in public speaking, attending interviews, even building

“Visiting the thea their careers.

tre (and shows such as Disney

On Ice) has a realm of benefits. Shows provide pure enjoyment and escapism. In addition, older school children can develop their analytical and critical skills, while younger children can gain inspiration for their own shows.Watching thought-provoking live entertainment can encourage debate with primary and secondary children. All of which helps broaden children’s knowledge and helps them become better citizens.”

donkeys. The donkey in the opera is the ‘clever one’, helping to break down stereotypes and elevating the perceived status of donkeys. “Finally, the project gives young people a chance to participate in creating new music. Not only can they give the first performances of an opera, but they and their families and schools can raise funds to pay for it, and have their names on the work forever, which I’ve seen can be a source of great pride. At the same time, their fundraising will also support The Donkey Sanctuary, Born Free Foundation and LionAid, so youngsters’

participation will have a tangible impact on the welfare of lions and donkeys around the world.” For iChild Editor CeciliaWeiss, it is important to offer all children, of whatever background, the opportunity to take part in activities they would not usually have access to.

“According to a landmark Arts Council study in Ireland, children who participate in artistic and cultural activities cope better with schoolwork, have more positive attitudes towards school and enjoy improved wellbeing. The research also shows that less advantaged children don’t participate as much in after-school activities and that boys are less likely to read and take part in role play and empathetic play than girls.

“Insights like these led the team behind Disney On Ice to create Fit to Dance, an education programme inspired by the shows.

“Disney On Ice offers families the chance to engage with wonderful worlds of magic, music and dance. Starring many beloved Disney

characters, the show allows children to celebrate the most memorable Disney tales. Disney On Ice is produced by Feld Entertainment, who bring this theatrical ice skating show to delighted children across the country.

“Fit to Dance, inspired by Disney On Ice,

enables children to create their own imaginative and magical stories and brings dance and theatre into the classroom. The curriculum-linked programme encourages creativity and physical movement, and is developed and distributed to primary schools across the UK by iChild.

“The programme uses the beloved characters from Disney On Ice to engage both boys and girls.

December 2017 2017 ya 33 www

Fit to Dance gives the entire class the opportunity to create their own stories and tell them through dance, allowing all children to share in some of the Disney On Ice magic. This has also wonderful for those children who don many opportunities to visit the theatre participate in out of school drama, mu classes.

sic or dance , nor to ’t have been

“Creating a story together encourages boys and girls to collaborate and use their collective creativity and imaginations. In acting different roles, children step into others’ shoes, which encourages empathy and compassion. Teachers can help children develop their stories, and in doing so help them explore different peoples and cultures.

“Creating a show is fun! Plus, learning songs, dialogue and dance moves improves children’s concentration, which impacts positively on their overall learning. Singing and dancing supports children’s physical development.Without realising it, they are developing muscles and enjoying cardio-vascular exercise. Performing to an

To apply fo

for a free 2018 Fit to Dance

education resource pack for your school, please There are 1,500 packs to give to schools on a first come, first serv

rved basis.

Formore information on #lionopera, please visit

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