Since 2012, HSC has worked in Hastings, originally invited to perform and work in schools by Michael Hambridge (formerly Arts & Cultural Development Officer for Hastings Borough Council). Over the years we have formed a long-standing relationship with Elaine Vanner and her dance students at Ark Alexandra Academy (formerly Helenswood Academy).

See Archive Projects for more detail.

In summer 2019, HSC worked with 4 local schools on a new project – Hastings Reimagined – which evolved from the existing partnerships built in this region. The project aimed to introduce Hofesh’s repertoire to new groups whilst deepening our relationship with existing partners, ultimately creating work inspired by Hofesh Shechter’s Grand Finale. Dancers from the company visited the schools involved to share repertoire, which the dance teachers and students then developed into their own Hofesh-inspired pieces. As well as supporting better attainment among pupils, the project also provided CPD for teachers by helping to embed creative learning skills into their programmes. The project culminated in an intimate sharing between the four partner schools – Ark Alexandra Academy and Sixth Form, Bexhill College, Hastings Academy and The St Leonards Academy.

Hastings Reimagined was supported by Arts Council England, Hastings Opportunity Area Programme and HRAEN.

“Projects like this are so important. I think it’s so good to have different opportunities in schools as it shouldn’t just be about Maths, English and Science. There are other things out there and by doing this, you’re getting skills in confidence, communication, teamwork, and it’s wonderful bringing everyone together.” – Project participant

“Your company has Inspired me, and my students, and kept the enthusiasm for the subject beating during difficult times of arts cuts in education. You are literally the heart of the dance world – exciting, innovative, and thought provoking: allowing students to question and understand social, political and historical elements, all through the power of dance. We are extremely grateful and proud to hold the title of a Hofesh Shechter Partner School. You have given us a wonderful new creative direction, and may we continue to keep moving together.” – Elaine Vanner, Ark Alexandra Academy

“For HSC, supporting some of the creative contemporary dance teaching that is taking place in schools is hugely important.  Being ongoing partners, over some years, to the extraordinary work that is being achieved and seeing, through these collaborations, young people grow as young artists and people, is a huge privilege.” – David Steele, Learning Associate – Hofesh Shechter Company