Wonderful Windrush Dance Champions

For the second time in Headington’s competitive house competition history, the Autumn Term finished with a joyful dancing extravaganza.

The last time Headington was able to put on the House Dance competition event was back in 2019 and this year’s theme was ‘Around the world’.

The audience were treated to a selection of dance moves linked to a variety of interesting theme choices. The amazing diversity in types of dance and culture brought into the competition through the theme, made it a delight to watch. The audience heard music and saw moves inspired by nations such as Korea, Sweden, Greece, India, China, Albania and many more! It also meant girls dressed in a wide assortment of costumes including pirates, Mario & Luigi, Bollywood, animals of the Prideland, the Day of the Dead, Christmas aliens and others.

Each dance was limited to six minutes and all houses chose to focus on a range of songs, with a number of girls involved from all year groups.

The Windrush House Dance 2021 was unanimously voted number one by the panel of judges. It was delivered with stunning verve, passion, dedication and rhythm, this was a dance routine which was truly ‘around the world’.

Huge congratulations to Cherwell who were voted as very close second place. Angela (U3) even choreographed a traditional South Indian dance which was fast paced, exciting and incredibly technical. The crowd were clapping and in awe of the talent shown by Angela (U3), who was later awarded one of the star dancers of the whole competition. Evenlode prefect Fleur (U6) was also highly praised for her leadership which led Evenlode to grab a very impressive third place overall.

Overall the judges were drawn to the internationalism that symbolises the cosmopolitan nature of Windrush House. Head of House Mr Cy Webber, proudly acknowledged that the dance ‘celebrates our house’s diverse origins.’

Choreographed by Windrush Prefect, Michaela (U6), Windrush started with a tarantella that encapsulates the joy of dancing, believed to originate as a cure for a bite from a tarantula. Or as a form of madness in itself, a condition where people could not stop dancing until they became exhausted and collapsed – recorded as far back as the 14th Century. It was a spectacular start and a clear celebration of togetherness.

In the second section of their winning dance, Windrush moved across the Mediterranean Sea to the continent of Africa where they celebrated Afrobeats, traditional African rhythms with modern synth, celebrating a fusion of the traditional with the modern. Choreographed by Aliyyah (U6), there was pride and power in the dance moves that underlined a continent on the rise.

The penultimate section moved continent again, to Asia and the sound and rhythm of India/Bangladesh. Once again, traditional fused with modern sampling. Rabiah (U6 & Head of Day) wonderfully choreographed this piece, a high energy celebration of traditional dance Indian culture.

The fourth piece from the winning dance looked to highlight the crossover in culture and language between North Africa and the Balkans through the Ottoman Empire.

Judges Mr Jim Baker, Miss Vicky Huggett and Miss Zoe Hindmarsh said: “Windrush’s House Dance 2021 was spectacular, a carefully chosen selection of pieces, a sincere attempt to celebrate everything that is great about Windrush House – their breadth of culture. The dances chosen were choreographed by three U6 students with very close cultural ties to other countries and the dances – and the very large number of students who participated in the dances – really exemplify all of this cultural fusion.”

Mr David Cunningham, Head of Competitive Houses, praised the dancers at the end:

“This was a fitting end to a challenging term. A truly fun and inspiring set of dances. I am always blown away by the standard of the event, the intellectual process behind the development of the choreography to the leadership skills from Heads of Houses and prefects in order to mobilise 80+ students in an end of term event.

“This is the first time in 24 months that we’ve been able to put on House Dance, yes two years since we saw the awesome dance moves of Headington School girls and though it was a long wait, it did not disappoint. There was amazing effort put in from every house creating lots of festive fun, cheer and giggles.

“The key message was that the school community were brought together (with a few key restrictions in place to stay covid safe) once more and all the girls left for the festive break with smiles on their faces!”

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