There are many types of dance from around the world that can include elements beyond the music and the steps. One of the most famous of these is musical theatre, a combination of songs, spoken dialogue, dancing and acting. Taking musical theatre lessons is a great way for kids to learn a variety of skills and even set themselves up for a career in the theatre.
Discovering Musical Theatre
Musical theatre is about telling a story through the use of music, dance, speech and song. The emotions are as much a part of the story as the words and these are convened in a variety of ways while the technical aspects of the theatre add to this. These productions are often just called musicals and are one of the most popular types of stage show around the world.
Musical theatre has an ancient heritage but in its modern form emerged in the 19th century through the works of Gilbert and Sullivan in the UK and Harrigan and Hart in the US. Edwardian musical comedies became popular and these gave way to breakthrough musicals such as Show Boat (1927). These were followed by some of the big name musicals that we all still enjoy today including West Side Story (1957), Les Miserables (1985) and The Phantom of the opera (1986).
Musicals can be big budget events such as those held in Broadway or the West End productions of London. But they can also be small, held in fringe theatres, regional productions or even by touring companies. Amateurs and school groups can easily access this form of dance and performance and host their own musicals so it is a great way for kids to get involved in dance.
Musical Theatre Lessons
Muscial Theatre Lessons in North Tyneside are held at Jade Harrison School of Dance and they include teaching children and young adults a range of performance skills to develop an eventual professional skill, increase confidence in performing or just have fun. Musical Theatre Lessons are held by a trained teacher and include a range of different skills.
The exact syllabus of musical theatre lessons can change depending on the teacher and the school but can include a number of the following elements:
- Small scale project performances to learn the basics of a role and getting used to working with others in a production
- Singing lessons including working on speaking while on stage
- Dance and movement lessons including different dance styles depending on the focus of the course
- Acting lessons including building a character, improvisation and sight reading
Once the basics have been learned, then the work becomes to integrate everything together and make their debut on a show, even if it just behind closed doors.
The Benefits of Studying Musical Theatre
This all helps children build their confidence and learn a range of skills that move beyond dance and can help them in life even if they decide not to follow a career in musical theatre. Performing in front of others is a great stepping stone for public speaking and interviews while self-confidence and the ability to express themselves build on areas that children often find difficult.