Body Language 2022
The return of Body Language was an incredible occasion for us. With our last big production two years ago, there was much anticipation for its return and we were blown away by the response.
A huge well done to all the outstanding dancers who took part. We are incredibly proud of you all and would like to thank you for making Body Language 2022 one that we will remember for a long time to come. If you were lucky enough to enjoy a performance during please do take a moment to let us know how much you enjoyed it here. We celebrate the students and volunteers who have made this week such an inspiring experience for all involved.
It was so wonderful to all come together again to celebrate the work of our feeder primary schools for Primary Body Language Week. Every year we have a theme and this year's was COP26. At the start of January the seven schools each selected aspects of the main theme: mitigation, adaption and collaboration - to explore ideas for their dance. It was lovely to see how passionate, motivated and inspired the pupils were about their planet. The schools involved were Ashburton, Blackpool, Bovey Tracey, Buckfastleigh, Ilsington, Moretonhampstead and Widecombe-in-the-Moor.
The atmosphere on the day was a mixture of nerves and excitement for both students and staff alike. During the afternoon a mini show was performed to SDCC students. This certainly inspired them and set the tone for the day. They then rotated around a dance technical rehearsal, an art workshop and a music workshop. The technical rehearsal enabled the pupils to experience the SDCC space on the dance floor and for our lighting and sound operator Robin Alexander to see the dance and make sure his cues were correct and ready. During the art workshop, led by Miss Wilson (PE trainee teacher), the pupils all made hand shaped leaves and wrote environmental pledges on them to display on our pledge tree in the hall. For the music workshop the brilliant Mrs Lewis and the SDCC band led the pupils through the song they were to sing in the finale together.
Then show time! Not only one show, but two: 5.15pm and 6.45pm to maximise audiences. I don’t think there has ever been such a slick and smooth show. Backstage our SDCC dance leaders got school organised onto and off-stage under the watchful eye of ex-student Rosie Robinson, Mrs Slater and myself. All seven schools performed brilliantly, each piece was so powerful.
After the finale bows all 198 pupils were on stage and all sang ‘This Could Change Everything’ (by Francesca Battiselli). Their faces lit up as the wall of noise boomed around the hall. It was such an awesome moment to be part of. I looked back up into the audience with so many proud parents smiling, many with tears in their eyes.
With so many additional pressures teachers have in primary schools I am so thankful that they are still really keen to be involved in the show. We are so fortunate to have such talented and committed staff in our learning community. It is a massive commitment of time and energy and without the primary staff the children would miss out on such a wonderful opportunity. They are all such a pleasure to work with.
Huge thanks to all the SDCC staff and students for all their contributions that made the day such a success. It certainly is a team effort. It was great to have lots of staff supporting front of house and for Mrs Veal and FOSDA to meet the next cohort of pupils and parents for this September.
It was so good to be back and we can’t wait for the next one already!
School Sport Coordinator for SDCC
Dartmoor School Sport Partnership
If Body Language 2022 has left you with dancing feet, you can place your DVD/Blu-Ray order now for the Thursday 17th March (7pm show).
• SDCC students can order this via Parent Pay
• Leap Ahead and Boys Dance Project families can order via our Parent Pay shop using this link -
It has been a privilege to share Body Language 2022 with our incredibly supportive community. I am beyond proud of every dancer that performed with passion and dedication throughout Body Language week. It gives me great pleasure to be celebrating a hugely successful re-launch of live dance performance.
The vision of Body Language began more than 27 years ago and to think that it continues to bring such joy to all involved, whichever side of the curtain you are on, is really unique. This stage has been a place of celebration and growth and it has been such a huge part of so many different pathways into the world beyond South Dartmoor.
It would seem wrong to ignore the immense challenge we have all faced since the doors closed on Body Language 2020. Little did we know that several days later we would be asked to stay at home to keep each other safe. It is also no secret that the world of the Performing Arts collectively has suffered at the hands of the global pandemic. The opportunity for live performance has been significantly reduced and with this comes an unquenchable thirst for the magic and escapism that Dance, Drama and Music gives to us. Body Language 2022 has been an opportunity for members of our student body to show audiences just how important live dance performance is when it comes to sharing and celebrating the work they create in the Dance Studio every single day.
We have enjoyed a diverse range of choreography from children in Year 3 to Year 13. Our Primary Dance Projects provide children and families from our local community the chance to establish deep rooted working relationships with us, whilst also creating opportunities for our Dance Leaders to support and inspire their younger peers. Extra-curricular Dance clubs have been the hive of activity in recent months, learning and rehearsing choreography that bring their dance ideas to life. Our annual dance production has also provided opportunity for our students to share their Dance Curriculum Learning Journeys with audiences like no conversation or data ever could. Providing our learning community with a platform to bring their classroom experiences to life is at the heart of what Dance strives to do at South Dartmoor. It challenges students in every year group to investigate their own work and professional dance work a little deeper. Furthermore, it encourages the students to recognise and develop performance and choreographic skills way beyond their use in Dance. It does this by placing Dance within the students ‘real world’ making it accessible, relatable and achievable.
One of the many highlights of Body Language Week was seeing our students share and celebrate their hard work with older members of our community at the Community Celebration event on Friday 18th March. This event closed the week and it was fuelled on a buzz of appreciation and a feeling of togetherness at its very best.
It has been wonderful to share the ‘Pin Your Praise’ from our audiences; the students left feeling appreciated, proud and ready to start preparing for Body Language 2023. Here are just a few things that our live audiences had to say…
We would be delighted to hear more about your Body Language 2022 experience. Please take a moment to complete the feedback form and help us to continue to build on its successes.
Whichever performance you were lucky enough to enjoy during Body Language week, you will have seen the passion and dedication that each performer exhibited on that stage. Thank you for allowing these incredible dancers to take you on a journey that required you to immerse yourselves fully into what was before you.
Body Language 2022 is our ‘Thank You’ to you all.