‘Unforgettable’ is how supported learning students at Walsall College described their stage performances at the 2022 Commonwealth Games Opening Ceremony.
The eight students joined dance collective, Critical Mass at Birmingham’s Alexander Stadium. They accompanied local artists, Indigo Marshall and Gambimi who sang ‘Hear My Voice’ as well as professional dancers from Birmingham Royal Ballet, wheelchair dance group, Freewheelin Dance Company and students from Elmhurst Ballet School.
The Critical Mass Collective is an inclusive dance collective, based across the West Midlands for young people aged 16-30. It is made up of disabled and non-disabled young people to show how genuine inclusion can be achieved in mega-events such as the Commonwealth Games.
Alice Sault was one of the students involved in the performance. “It was all so exciting,” she said. “It was only after we had come off stage that I realised 30,000 people were in the audience and a billion people were watching us on screen.
“Something like this only happens once in a lifetime so it’s all been special.”
Alice continued: “Being at college and involved with Critical Mass Collective has boosted my confidence. I used to be shy and not very talkative. Now I’m more comfortable around other people and want to try new things.
“I’m studying Level 1 performing arts next year and I’m looking forward to developing as a dancer and learning more about acting.”