PUPILS at Peterhead Academy are in for a rockin summer as they battle it out with teams from across the UK to take the title of Rock Challenge Champions.
Rock Challenge invites primary and secondary pupils to devise their own unique eight minute dance-drama performance, based around a theme or concept which reflects the group’s personalities, concerns, hopes, dreams and interests.
This year, the 70 strong Academy group will showcase their brand new routine, at the Scottish Inaugural finals in Dundee in June.
The group have already trialled their brand new routine, which is choreographed entirely by the students, at Aberdeen’s Exhibition Centre, as part of the North-East heats.
The colourful and inspired interpretation Explorer Ernest Shackleton’s journey to the South Pole in 1908 delighted the audience, building hopes that the team could have what it takes to take the title.
Second year pupil Callum Anderson, along with some help from his parents, came up with the theme after pupils were asked to pitch their through a short presentation at the beginning of the school year.
The real challenge is set for this summer, however, as the dedicated team of performers take on some of Britain’s best acts at the three yearly Northern Premier Finals in Grimbsy on June 23.
The Academy automatically qualify for the final stages of the competition after placing a very respectable second in 2008. Regional finals are held every three years.
Physics Teacher Emma Marshall, who took over the running of the team in 2008. said: “Everyone has been working really hard. As well as auditioning more than 100 kids this year, we also auditioned a choreography team who have worked on the routine from summer until October.”
“Each pupil is different in their technique and experience, quite a few of the girls have a background in Highland Dancing and we have some gymnasts too.”
“They make quite mature decisions. They can look at the routine and see whether they need to tweak something.”
Rock Challenge really is a team effort.
Along with Emma, PE teacher Paula Trail and former pupil Stuart Cameron assist with the routine while funding comes entirely from fundraising and generous donations from local businesses.
The costs can be high for costumes and travel, but here’s hoping the team’s efforts pay off when they take to the stage in Grimsby.