CHILDREN at a York primary academy have been putting their dance skills to the test.

Park Grove Primary Academy pupils have taken part in an innovative dance and arts-based project as part of York Mediale 2018 festival – and now a video has been released of their performance.

Charlotte Platts, class teacher, said: “This was a new and exciting opportunity for Park Grove children and offered experience of working with arts professionals whilst also being involved in a new, internationally recognised festival."

York Mediale, a new international media arts festival, brought world premiere commissions from leading digital artists to the city and celebrated York as the UK’s first UNESCO Creative City of Media Arts.

Together with York Dance Space, lighting designer Mark Johnson and past Master of the Guild of Media Arts, Mat Lazenby, classes 8 and 9 explored the basics of coding through contemporary dance and light.

The children then developed their own digital performance, working together to create patterns with their bodies using rhythm and repetitive dance moves, incorporating elements of light and shadow for their performance.

Miss Platts said: “Coding can seem like a difficult and inaccessible language.

“We wanted to give the children a step up in understanding the basics and as well as computer science, the project included PE, art, science and citizenship.”

One of the Park Grove pupils, Holly, said: “I most enjoyed the science and technology elements because all the lighting was mesmerising and that links in both of my favourite subjects.

"The technology behind the lights wristband controller seems so advanced and interesting and the science behind it was so intriguing that I wanted to know more.

"The best part of the lights was actually using the wristband to control them because it felt like I was powerful and important – even though I only got to use it for less than a minute!”

Another pupil, Rylie, said: “It was a really fun and exciting experience because it is something you don’t normally do in school for PE or science.”

York Mediale is a media arts festival which ran for the first time this year and will run biennially this year with the aim to galvanise the region’s media arts capacity through participation, talent development and co-production.

Park Grove is part of Ebor Academy Trust.

You can watch the video here.