A NEW dance company joined Risca comprehensive pupils yesterday in a bid to bring joys and benefits of dance to the community.

Koi Dance Company was started in November 2013 by partners Billy Kennedy-Brown and Rowan Fairclough. It was set up to work within the local community encouraging dance participation and engagement.

Mr Kennedy-Brown, 25, said: “It was this that drove me to begin the company as the area has a particularly poor engagement and very limited dance opportunities.

"At Koi Dance we aim to experience the journey and be part of it, not just let it pass us by. This approach we have taken to heart and it has been part of everything we do as a company.”

Mr Kennedy-Brown approached schools, but had little response until John Kendall, head teacher at Risca Comprehensive, got in touch. Yesterday morning, the dance company led hour-long sessions with pupils from years 7 -10.

“It went really well. They all engaged and got really involved. We did two main sequences and then warm-ups and exercises. It’s contemporary dance, but it was mixed with ballet and a bit of hip-hop too.”

The dance teacher graduated from a dance degree in Cardiff just over a year ago. He said: “dance engages your mind. It’s not just doing something, but thinking about why you’re doing it. It’s not exercise for the sake of it.”

Mr Kennedy-Brown is hoping to be able to return to the school to offer after-school clubs in the new term.

The company are currently offering classes in Risca and Crosskeys. To find out more go to www.koidance.co.uk