Throughout August the Alexandra Palace Creative Learning department ran a Summer Camp for young people, aged 8-14. These sessions, spread across the Park and Palace and covered street art, poetry, art and fashion.

The final week reached a spectacular finale with a series of street dance workshops, housed in the East Court and Theatre.

Streetz Ahead Artistic Director, Elizabeth Lahav, explains more:

Throughout the week we worked with the brilliant group of young people through street dance and physical movement. Our themes have been developed by an outreach Carbon Footprint discussion. The young people worked towards a final piece that encompassed their own messages around environmentalism. This included ‘Help’ ’Save the planet’ ’Think before you do’ ’Stop Help Change’ ‘My house’.

The young people were focused, energetic and cooperative. We wanted them to feel empowered because the piece is based on their own ideas of the climate and their own carbon footprint and what they can each do about it. The desired outcome was to create a piece that was organically formulated through the children’s experience, suggestions, feelings and responses. Stylistically, the finished piece was a dramatic blend of street dance, physical theatre and a message of fear and hope.

The final performance was brilliant to watch. It begins with paper aeroplanes which signifies pollution through flight, but also messages of hope that have been written on the aeroplanes. The young people fly their planes out into the air, spreading their pleas to others to save the planet. During the piece, the young people are angry because they respect and love the earth but have to compromise because of the current way of life.

The opportunity to work with a new group of young people in a new space with a stimulus created by the young people is essential to our development as an organisation.  We focus on the ever changing needs of young people and we must listen and respond.

Dance is such a beneficial art form for young people as it them develop a better understanding of themselves, both physically and mentally, as well as understanding others and the world around them. It encourages them to use their imagination and ideas to grow and create. It can build partnerships in diverse communities, help them to socially interact with others and develop their creativity, self-expression, innovation and self-confidence. These are key, transferable skills that all young people need and which the economy will demand in the future.