Anno's Africa Workshop 2013

By Bee Gilbert

The workshops went very well this year, in spite of a few hiccups, the worst being that 3 days after we arrived, without any warning, Spurgeons School was pulled down around our ears for a "rebuilding" programme! This meant we had to find a substitute ballet hall in the slums and the circus had to train in the dusty car park outside the school, whilst the other disciplines crowded into the few remaining classrooms that were accessible - although dark and gloomy owing to the corrugated barricades that had been erected to keep the kids off the building site. The noise was appalling and the filth and dust totally intolerable - but as usual our resilient trainers battled through and the kids were not deprived or any classes and came up with some AMAZING work. This was most notable with the wonderful art - and also the music and traditional dance who created a spectacular musical, working first of all, in a room about 12 foot square and finally in the small piece of courtyard that hadn't been dug over. But we struggled on and the Spurgeons children impressed everyone on the final open day with the progress they have made over three years with Anno's Africa. We will not be doing further workshops with them but One Fine Day clubs will continue the weekly clubs so the kids can carry on improving their skills.
learning silks and tightrope did a great job at open day with the school hall decked out with balloons and two silks and a hoop strung from the rafters. Two kids came from Valley View to demonstrate how amazing hoop can be after three years of training and we hope that their presence might have persuaded a few girls into circus skills since currently we have none at the new school and at Spurgeons the girls have moved on to class 8 and were not allowed to participate, due to impending exams. 

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