Flashmob celebrating dance and friendship

Flashmob celebrating dance and friendship.

The event took place in Ruse, Bulgaria, under the auspices of the “Teachers for SwanZ” project.

         “Why did 70 dancers from Bulgaria, Romania and Austria organize a flashmob?” – the National Bulgarian Television (NBT) was asking Friday afternoon, on June 3rd at 17.30, during the “Bulgaria in 60 minutes” broadcast. Here is the answer: the learning, teaching and training activities organized by the National School of Arts Prof. Vesselin Stoyanov of Ruse, Bulgaria, held under the “Teachers for SwanZ” project, ended with a flashmob involving all the participants – teachers and pupils. Four partners from three countries were represented in the Ruse flashmob, transmitted live by the NBT: the Floria Capsali Choreography High School from Bucharest, the Hellenic Union of Romania and Attitude Studios from Vienna, Austria. 

         Why? Because the “Teachers for SwanZ” project, an initiative co-funded by the Erasmus+ programme of the European Union, offers the participants from different schools the opportunity to meet, to work together in  workshops and training sessions, to create common experiences, to improve together skills and performance in the partner schools and in the region.

         After the similar events hosted by Bucharest in May, the Bulgarian partner organized the second round of training activities in Ruse, between 31st May and 3rd June, 2022: a session for the students – “Speak, dance and learn with me” – and a session for the teachers and dance instructors – “Teaching dance together”.

         The teachers’ training agenda was very interesting, addressing not only the dance teachers and instructors, but also the persons teaching other subjects in dance schools. Some of the training modules were organized in museums, at the library, at the theatre, showing an effective and friendly collaboration of the host school with the main educational and cultural institutions of the Ruse town and region.

         The teachers and instructors from all the partner entities appreciated a lot the modules presented by the Bulgarian colleagues: Pedagogical challenges and project based teaching and learning, with English teacher Tanya Borisova; Inter-institutional dialogue workshop, with Denitsa Krastanova, deputy principal; Flashmobs – a means of expression and modern form of art, with traditional dance teachers Radko Prokopiev and Yanitsa Dobreva; Digital resources for dance teaching, with ballet teachers Stanislava Spasova and Denitsa Ancheva; Z generation and their online educational habits and desires – a case study, with Tanya Borisova; General education and special education (how to teach compulsory subjects to dance pupils in particular) – a Geography lesson presented by  Dessislava Draganova and Stela Encheva; Emotional intelligence, gestures, acting, problem solving, with Tanya Borisova; Storytelling at the theatre, with Kalinka Doshkova.

         But dance was all around: Denitsa Ancheva, Stanislava Spasova, Yanitsa Dobreva and Radko Prokopiev conducted the warm up sessions for traditional dances and ballet, organized workshops on specific Bulgarian dances such as Parvo horo, Ratchenitsa, Daychovo horo and conducted several flashmob rehearsals. 

         On the 1st of June, the International Children’s Day – celebration! All the kids took part in the “Teach me your dance” session, dedicated to them, a peer to peer workshop where students taught each other their traditional dances, under the coordination of Yanitsa Dobreva.

         The evening was dedicated to the Greek traditional dances and dance techniques, a session run with the contribution of Iulian Pirvulescu, Alexandru and Cristina Spiridon, Andreea Virtopeanu, Codrin Rotaru – Diaconescu, Cristina Chiriacopulu and Daniel Mocanu. This time, the dance instructors and pupils from the Hellenic Union of Romania, association representing the persons from Romania with Greek origins, were the protagonists. Dance steps specific to different Greek dances from Macedonia, the Ionian Islands and other regions were presented and, of course, all the participants – pupils and teachers from the three countries – became for two hours the best Greek dancers.

         Another extremely appreciated moment was the concert offered by the Bulgarian team, mixing instrumental music, ballet and traditional dances performed by the best students of the National School of Arts Prof. Vesselin Stoyanov – Ruse. 

         The last day, after receiving the attendance certificates from Maria Dukanova, the school principal, all the 70 participants gathered in the city central square, where the TV team was ready for the live broadcast. The audience saw some children jumping in the middle of the square, opening the performance. Everybody present at that moment in the park enjoyed a 13 minutes show, the flashmob – alternating ballet, traditional Bulgarian dance and, at the end, Sirtaki. You can see it here: Защо 70 танцьори от България, Румъния и Австрия организираха флашмоб? – Българска национална телевизия (bnt.bg)

                Without words, by dancing together, the children and teachers expressed their message of collaboration and friendship, their respect for our common European cultural heritage and values.