To celebrate World Teachers Day, we wanted to highlight the work Birmingham Hippodrome do with schools to make a difference.

A teacher at one of our HEN (Hippodrome Education Network) schools wanted to talk to us about the impact our work with his school has had on his students, but one in particular. Sebastian is a student who joined our AeroBreaks project where we teamed up with Break Mission to offer free, weekly break dance classes where young people could explore their interest in hip-hop culture by working with professional artists

His teacher said: “Sebastian has always been keen regarding the creative arts, but by his own admission he at times lacked the maturity to work well with peers and communicate ideas in classes generally. Often he would mess around, be distracted and be a bit of a ‘windup merchant’ to others.

But then, when he joined the AeroBreaks group, he gradually learnt to become more disciplined and focused. Led by Michal Glasgow (‘Silence’) from Break Mission, AeroBreaks was a group set up with the Hippodrome, to support schools that had an interest in Hip Hop dance and culture. With weekly classes, student developed their fitness and performance work, commencing in a performance of work and ideas at the B-Side Festival in May 2018.

Since joining the group, his skills as a performer are sharper. He is more confident with presenting himself. He is more confident when reading our loud, and this is now with a renewed sense of vigour and command. Regarding lessons generally, he came off the school’s pastoral reporting system, and is more motivated.”

The student Sebastian said: “Ever since AeroBreaks, I’ve focused more with my studies and I now have a clearer plan of what I want to do when I leave school, which is to do what Silence does, as a dancer, choreographer and DJ.”

His teacher added: “The hard work seems to be paying off. Especially when, due to his successes, he’s going to Lyon, France on an exchange programme with Silence, representing Sports Birmingham, the Hippodrome and the school.”

Find out more about our work with schools and our HEN online here.