Dramatics and Debate Workshop helped students to shed off inhibitions

A group of students moved their arms forward and backward and swung to the beat of music. Another group tested tongue-twisting skills. Fun, music and energy dominated the sessions at the three-day Dramatics and Debate Workshop held in Mahatma Schools.

“The sessions on fusion zumba and belly dance exposed the high energy quotient of students and helped them to bury their inhibitions that earlier played a spoilsport,” said Shanthi Ramoharan, vice-principal.

“Sharing is the right method in order to develop one’s intellect. That is why we are here,” said Geetha Crefield, Head of Arts at the Anglo-Chinese Junior College, Singapore.

She said in theatre, , performance involvesboth physical and vocal aspects. “While dance, she adds, is a platform to express oneself with a wide range of emotions and moods.” In her opinion, d dancing with friends strengthens bonds and is a fun way to work out. Similarly, one can become a self made tech-savvy but theatre teaches to deal with humans.

Tongue twisters increase the muscularity and dexterity of the mouth, jaw and other facial muscles. According to Ms.Geetha, this helps to achieve accuracy in enunciating tricky words. “It also helps to ensure that your throat is fully open and your voice is resonant.”

Since artistic and linguistic education should go in hand with school education, Ms.Geetha noted that “debating helps children in problem solving and negotiating and not in fighting.”

The session focussed on the use of style in debates, speaking skills, content, strategy, projection of the topic and presentation. Speech exercises and introduction to body language were the other elements discussed. The programmes aimed at honing the skills of students.

To make such workshops interesting, says Geetha Crefield, her team members follow the “short, stop and review” pattern. “Students will lose interest, if the sessions are long. Review helps them understand what they had learnt,” she explains.

She brought 41 students of debate and dramatics from the Anglo-Chinese Junior College for the workshop which is also a part of their overseas enrichment tour. . As many as 400 students studying in IX and XI Standards in Mahatma Schools attended the workshop. In the next academic year, Mahatma School students will visit Singapore as part of the exchange programme.