Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Mayor joins pupils’ dance class

Youngsters from Dilkes Primary School in South Ockendon had a chance to try their hand at some Asian dance — and meet a local VIP on Wednesday (22 June).

The school, in Garron Lane, played host to the Royal Rarhi Chhau Dancers from India and Mayor of Thurrock, Cllr Charlie Curtis was also there to join in the fun.

The dance visit was part of the school’s continuing work with the Connecting Classroom Project.

The dance group — in the country with the Asian Music Circuit which Promotes Asian music events and concerts across the country — ran a series of workshops with both Dilkes Primary School and Ormiston Academy.

Dressed in elaborate masks representing gods, monsters and animals, the Chhau dancers execute powerful acrobatic movements and mid-air somersaults, bringing together breathtaking gymnastics, exhilarating rhythmic drumming and dazzling costumes in a spectacular display for the senses.

Cllr Curtis said afterwards: “The colour and the enthusiasm of the dancers quickly transferred to the children who were having a great time trying some of the less acrobatic moves.

“It’s always good for young people to work with organisations and people from overseas, to see the differences and the similarities of our cultures.”

The Royal Rarhi Chhau Dancers’ were also at East Tilbury and Little Thurrock schools later in the week.

Connecting Classrooms is a global programme that creates partnerships between clusters of schools in the UK and others around the world. These partnerships bring an international dimension to young people’s learning, to improve their knowledge and understanding of other cultures and prepare them for life and work as global citizens.

Connecting Classrooms partnerships are supported by local authorities/federations of schools (or in some cases, other affiliated bodies) in the UK and district education offices/ministries of education in other countries. This endorsement, in all countries, provides a platform from which broader, strategic links can be formed between areas or districts in the partner countries.


  1. What a pity there is not a video record of the event. With the Mayor there to “join in the fun” it would have been a treat to see him “executing powerful acrobatic movements and mid-air somersaults”. Who knows! perhaps the Mayor will encourage other Councillors, under his leadership, to form a Councillors “acrobatic” team performing u-turns and back-flips galore. lol!


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