Are you tired of buying things that you only end up using once then it goes into the murky depths of your storage cupboards? Have you ever wished that there could be a place where you can rent household items and then hand back once you’re done? If the answer’s yes to either of those questions then sign up online and get yourself down to your local Library of Things.
Whether it’s a pasta making machine or a sewing machine you’re after, you’re bound to find something you can borrow. There are a number of places in London (which I am sure will soon expand rapidly!) which have opened up over the years and it’s now arrived in the neighbourhood of Woolwich.
Greenwich Dance has been awarded £192,820 as part of the Government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund (CRF) to help face the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic and to ensure they have a sustainable future, the Culture Secretary announced on Saturday 17 October.
Greenwich Dance is one of 588 cultural and creative organisations across the country receiving urgently needed support – with £76 million of investment announced over the weekend. This follows £257 million awarded earlier last week to 1,385 organisations, also from the Culture Recovery Fund grants programme being administered by Arts Council England on behalf of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. Further rounds of funding in the cultural and heritage sector are due to be announced over the coming weeks.
Throughout the pandemic Greenwich Dance, already operating peripatetically, has reinvented itself as a dance organisation ‘without walls’, building a dynamic online home for itself and the artists it works with. Within this the team will create a revolutionary new creation space which has the potential to transform the way dance is created and presented. Using this model Greenwich Dance will restart the creation of original work safely with 70% of the grant amount going directly to artists and freelancers.
Melanie Precious, Chief Executive Officer of Greenwich Dance said “This grant will be transformational for us as well as for the artists we work with. In applying for this grant our concern extended beyond our own future to that of the independent freelance workforce, without whom Greenwich Dance would have no purpose or mandate. Whist we recognised that this fund was not being offered for experimentation we also felt certain that without new ideas the sector could not survive. We are thrilled and relieved to be in receipt of this funding so that we can work to keep artists creating.”
Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said: “This is more vital funding to protect cultural gems across the country, save jobs and prepare the arts to bounce back. Through Arts Council England we are delivering the biggest ever investment in the arts in record time. Hundreds of millions of pounds are already making their way to thousands of organisations. These awards build on our commitment to be here for culture in every part of the country.”
“Culture is an essential part of life across the country, helping to support people’s wellbeing through creativity and self-expression, bringing communities together, and fuelling our world class creative industries.”
Sir Nicholas Serota, Chair of Arts Council England
Sir Nicholas also stated: “This latest set of awards from the Culture Recovery Fund builds on those announced recently and will help hundreds of organisations to survive the next few months, ensuring that the cultural sector can bounce back after the crisis. We will continue doing everything we can to support artists and cultural and creative organisations, with further funding to be announced in the coming weeks.”
You can read the original press release on the Greenwich Dance blog here
This financial injection will be the lifeline booster our local arts and cultural businesses need to stay afloat during the ongoing pandemic, which continues to cripple other businesses and sectors around the world.
Looking for dance classes online? Greenwich Dance have a wide range class styles online from African Fusion, Ballroom, and Latin to family dance and kids hip hop. Click below for more info.
With Halloween night just a week away, there’s plenty to do this October half-term. There’s lots going on in the Greenwich area but if you fancy venturing out a little more, here are some of the best events that I’ve come across so far that’s suitable for the whole family, some are free and some are paid so there’s something to suit everyone!
Eltham Palace Gardens, SE9 (events throughout the week)
From creepy crafts and a fancy dress competition for the kids to pumpkin carving for the whole family, head down to Eltham Palace one day this week for some fun-filled entertainment. Pumpkin carvings cost £4 and on at select times; see here for more info
Discover Stratford Children’s Centre, E15 (events throughout the week)
2pm – Chris Wormell Dinosaurium book signing event. If your little one is dinosaur-mad then this is event is not to be missed. Chris Wormell will be reading from his book and the book signing will be at the end of the event. If you’re only free for the morning, don’t miss out on
11:30am – The Gruffalo film screening. For one day only, it’s going to be a popular one so pre-booking is essential. Entry to events includes admission to Discover’s story world and storytelling space. While you’re there, why not book to see the Gruffalo and other stories exhibition? It’s on throughout the week and at different times during the day. See the full list of events at Discover Stratford here
Greenwich Market, SE10 (events throughout the week)
Kids Halloween craft workshops will be on at Greenwich Market from Monday to Thursday. They are drop in sessions so no need to book in advance. There will be other workshops and events going on throughout the week (see below). More info on Greenwich Market events here
Greenwich Market, SE10 (events throughout the week)
2pm – Free Flying Mat Kids yoga (also on Wednesday). Time to downard dog and rest in child’s pose. Treat the kids to a fun yoga flow in a bustling environment. No need to book, just turn up and have fun!
Museum of London Docklands, E14
Dear Zoo storytelling for under 5s – this storytelling of Rod Campbell’s Dear Zoo looks at the animals that arrived on London’s docks years ago. At the end of the storytelling, an interactive session of learning how to build crates with different materials should have the children interested and excited. Best of all, the event is free and there’s three time slots for the day. More details on the Dear Zoo storytelling here
Charlton House, SE7
10 to 1pm (drop-in) – Holiday Histories: Haunted Houses. This fun workshop is ideal for kids wanting to exhaust their creativity and craft skills. Learn how to make a haunted house using a variety of different materials. Create something extravagant like a centrepiece or something smaller as decoration. The session cost £1.50 per child and the price is inclusive of all the materials for the session. Suitable for age 4+, more info on the haunted house craft at Charlton House here
Trinity Laban Conservatoire for Dance and Music, SE8
11am and 2pm (BSL interpreted performance) – Cia Maduixa presents DOT digital dance performance. If your kids are more of a culture vulture or love the performing arts, head down to Trinity Laban to watch this amazing dance performance by dance company Cia Maduixa. Press releases describe the performance as “blending precise digital projections, with dancers’ bodies and a bespoke score, DOT is as mind-bogglingly clever as it is charming.” Want to see a snippet? Watch the DOT performance trailer here
Greenwich Market, SE10
10am to 4pm – Miss Libby Rose Sewing workshop. The sewing costume workshops are for kids only and due to popularity we must state it is just one costume per child. The costume making choices for this year are: Spooky Pirates, Wicked Witch, Curious Cat, Halloween (or Frozen) Princess, Zombie, Dracula, and Day of the Dead. There will be a fashion show of all the costumes at 4pm and a winner will be chosen for best design.
Greenwich National Maritime Museum, SE10
11am to 4pm – Halloween party: Lost in the ice! Join us on a horrifying journey through the icy depths of the Maritime Museum at our annual family Halloween party. There will also be a spooky story parade, a portable photo booth to take scary selfies for memories and a trick or treat trail. Tickets cost £8. Read more about the Halloween party here
The Vanbrugh Pub, SE10
12pm to 4pm – The Vanbrugh Funday. A fun day for all the family; there will be face painting, best dressed competition, apple bobbing, pumpkin carving, lots of frightfully good food and live music from 8pm to end your night in a fangtastic way! More details here on The Vanbrugh pub’s website
Cutty Sark Gardens, SE10
10am to 4:30pm – Halloween in Greenwich by Events Inspire: The event is aimed at families and offers lots of Halloween themed activities each day. On Sunday, there will be craft activity (Halloween mask making), storytelling, a magic show, Punch & Judy puppet show, costume parade and finish off with some spooky music. There will also be street food and drink stalls, jewellery and craft stalls. The full programme can be seen on the Eventbrite page here where you can register for your free tickets.
The Albany Deptford, SE8
2pm to 5pm – Disco Kids: Spooktacular party. Get dressed in your spookiest get up and head over to The Albany this Sunday for a fantastic disco party! Suitable for kids age 7+ and adults too! Expect fun, fun and more fun! Tickets cost £6, family tickets £20.
It’s World Ballet Day on October 5th 2017 and I’ve booked myself a ticket to the Royal Opera House on the 4th to see Alice in Wonderland. I’m really excited as ballet and opera are two things on my bucket list that I need to tick off. I’ve been theatre a few times now but really excited to watch my first ballet show.
Last week I was invited to an adult beginners ballet class at the Trinity Laban Conservatoire for music and dance. They don’t normally offer a drop-in class for beginners so you’d need to sign up for the half-term (6 weeks) or full term (12 weeks) course which is held on Thursday evenings. I didn’t really know what to expect – I wasn’t sure if I wanted to purchase ballet shoes or a leotard but decided not to as it was only the one class I was attending. If I decided to book the course then I think the ballet shoes would be a good investment.
Adult Beginner Ballet Classes at Trinity Laban
I arrived early at Trinity Laban after work and changed into my gym clothes – just a black vest and leggings were enough. I bought pilates socks with grips on the sole and wore those, in hindsight I think ordinary socks would’ve been better as we had to pivot on our feet which is really hard to do if you’re socks won’t let you.
The teacher’s name is Vicki Busfield. She trained at the Northern Ballet School and London Contemporary Dance School so I knew I was going to be in good hands. Vicki introduced herself to everyone in class (there was around 15-20 of us a mix of men and women) and asked us the usual questions, do we have any injuries, medical conditions, pregnancies etc before she started us off with the warm up practices.
Warm-up consisted of feet and ankle stretching exercises, some core work ie. single and double leg raises, pilates scissor legs, reverse plank, forward and sideward folds to get us warmed up before we hit the barre.
After our warm-up, Vicki got us to stand by the barre and she counted us in to rise up on our toes (well, more like the balls of our feet than actual toes) along with some piano music to help with the counting. After that, we learnt to plié and place our feet in first position; Vicki showed us the difference between a demi-plié and a full plié. After this, that placed us into second position.
There was a lot to learn as it was the first task and Vicki wanted us to be able to cover the basic techniques and ballet movements which was great. I felt like a ballerina – not joking! I don’t think I looked like a graceful one but oh wells. Vicki made a point that her classes are all about enjoyment so we shouldn’t focus on what others are doing, more just listening to her and listening to what our bodies are capable of doing and work to our own limits. It did put less pressure on me when I wasn’t thinking about it.
Vicki also showed us how to ‘walk’ in ballet, also known as the classical walk. It involved leg and hand coordination which I lack tremendously but somehow managed to keep up. (I’ve also been practising at home every now and then!) By the end of the 90mins class, we had learnt the names of all the basic movements, learnt all the ballet positions from 1 through to 5 as well as learning more technical things like the different variations of pliés, the ‘classical walk’ and balancing on leg.
I really want to go back and book the half-term session which will start at the end of October. Trinity Laban also offers level 1 and level 2 adult ballet classes so if you already have dance experience and are confident in your dance then the level 1 may be more suited for you but best to ask the Trinity Laban staff to be sure.
NB. I was invited to a complimentary adult ballet class by Trinity Laban Conservatoire in exchange for a review post. All words and opinions are my own. Photos have been credited to their sources respectively.