RNZB Education Goes Digital

RNZB Education Goes Digital

Royal New Zealand Ballet might not be hitting the road to go on tour until later this year, but that has not stopped them from pursuing digital growth and exploring new platforms to reach audiences. The RNZB Education Team has been delivering an incredible suite of online classes and resources to continue engaging with students, teachers and young dancers across the country. 

Driven by the need to innovate during the ongoing pandemic, RNZB Education has turned to the virtual environment to find new ways to connect with schools in Aotearoa New Zealand. The Step Online Ugly Duckling primary schools’ resource offers compelling evidence that this initiative is meeting a need that the RNZB is ideally placed to address. 

This new digital resource, designed for year 1–6 primary school students, includes a performance of The Ugly Duckling (a ballet adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale) and a step-by-step tutorial where the children learn a sequence from the ballet. It supports curriculum delivery and brings the joy of dance to the students, all while exploring the fascinating world of ballet. 

RNZB Education, Community & Accessibility Manager Pascale Parenteau says, “We’ve been excited about such an amazing response! It demonstrates the impact RNZB Education is having on the sector, as we keep the world of dance open and accessible to teachers and their students in the face of a pandemic that continues to disrupt the best-laid plans for any return to normality.” 

Following the success of Step Online Ugly Duckling primary schools’ dance resource, the RNZB’s Education team has offered teachers and their students the chance to connect with the national ballet company on an even deeper level. They’ve offered access to live Q&A sessions with RNZB Dancer and Dance Educator Jamie Delmonte, as well as free Zoom dance workshops with RNZB Dance Educator Lauren Byrne.  

Additionally, the Open and Ballet for Boys online classes have been proving to be very popular with 828 views recorded so far.  

For the first time this year, the twenty-nine mentees selected for the RNZB National Mentor Programme had the opportunity to meet their RNZB Dancer virtually, rather than in person when the company is on tour.

With all the amazing digital and online work accomplished in the first three months of 2022, the RNZB Education team has: Created six videos, delivered ten live online events, and reached a grand total of 37,551 people so far. 

These unprecedented numbers and the overwhelmingly positive feedback received so far is proof of the impact RNZB Education is having on dance in schools and especially on teachers and their students, opening the world of dance to new audiences in ways that challenge, excite and inspire. 

The next project in the pipeline is the development and creation of a brand-new resource – the RNZB NCEA Teacher Support Resource. This resource is being designed to support teaching and learning related to performance, choreography, and dance perspectives in secondary schools. Based on the ballet genre, it is not aligned to a specific assessment but rather a series of tasks and material to support teaching and learning in various contexts.

Visit https://rnzb.org.nz/education/ for more information.