In this week's reading test we are going to use the Telegraph article A power station and a Reading leisure centre- What happens when your child’s hobby dictates your holiday to practise the multiple choice reading comprehension sort of task.
Read the article and choose the option A, B or C which best completes each sentence.
A power station and a Reading leisure centre -What happens when your child’s hobby dictates your holiday
A converted nuclear power station near Düsseldorf isn’t the kind of venue many look for in a family holiday but, as I’ve found out, being the parent of a child in a street dance crew can pitch you up in places you’d never usually visit.
Wunderland - an amusement park on the edge of the River Rhine, built on the site of SNR-300, a nuclear plant that never went online due to protests - is the latest dance competition venue we’ve visited on a family trip.
We travelled there a few weeks ago, via Amsterdam, for the European Street Dance Championships where my son’s group, Defiance, and his hip hop dance school, Streetfunk, were competing.
Last year’s big competition took us to Glasgow; next month it’s a regional qualifier in a leisure centre in Reading – destination wise, competition travelling runs from the surreal and marvellous to the mundane.
As a family, it’s a different kind of travel that has opened us up to new places and new feelings as we ride the emotional rollercoaster of the competition circuit. There’s a solidarity with parents, teachers and children in your group, and it’s a complete change of scene, giving you the opportunity to reconnect – the last competition a refreshing getaway after Y6 SATs week.
The new film, Streetdance Family, explores this life on the journey of one under-16 UK crew from East London all the way to the World Hip Hop Championship in Germany. Made by award-winning documentary filmmakers Debbie Shuter and Adam Tysoe, it brings to life the intense, behind-the-scenes emotions of the trainers, crews and their families in their bid for glory.
It’s a funny, sad and uplifting story that captures individual characters’ quirks well and in its portrayal of commitment, raw highs and lows, anxiety and celebration, is sometimes reminiscent of the seminal 1994 American basketball documentary, Hoop Dreams.
As the competitions begin there’s a lot of running around - to get registered, to get the right wrist band, to get matching crew hoodies, to get hair and make-up done, assess any injuries and hunker down for a final team talk. On the floor, everywhere you look, people from Belarus to the Netherlands are dancing: practicing in corridors, drilling in the hotel lobby, flipping and break dancing in corners. That’s even before the routines and results…
Travelling like this can be invigorating and exhausting but becomes a tight bonding experience as a family, visiting new places that leave a lasting impression. We’d never heard of Kalkar, Rees or Kleve before visiting Germany, and loved exploring these small areas by the bucolic Rhine. I never imagined, either, that we’d be visiting a nuclear museum inside a theme park where, just outside, one of the old cooling towers now painted with a mountain scene, has a swing ride that pops out the top. Planned Plutonium has given way to pony express train rides, flying elephants and a speedy log flume. And the kids love it.
Other destinations such as Glasgow may not seem a big deal, but it’s a city I wouldn’t have got round to visiting if it wasn’t for a competition. Getting there meant being able to escape for a little while to The Glasgow School of Art and take a tour to learn about Charles Rennie Mackintosh and the city’s incredible art movements.
Just as I tapped up an German ex-flatmate for Rhine travel tips, you also find yourself re-connecting with other old friends around the country. In Glasgow, we took on a friend’s restaurant recommendations to eat delicious Haggis Pakora at The Wee Curry Shop and Tuscan and Ligurian food at Fratelli Sarti, both of which we still talk about. It was slightly pre-planned (dancers need fuel, so food becomes a priority) but there still seems a large amount of serendipity on trips like these that add to the excitement.
Travelling for a pastime (such as sport, performance and activity clubs) helps you uncover another corner of the world afresh. And you move as a unit - when we broke down off the M25 on the way to a competition, the other crew parents were there to rescue us faster than the RAC. It may just be street dance, but it’s taken us down new roads. Where have your child's hobbies taken you?
A is the place where the writer’s child competed.
B stopped working as a nuclear power station a long time ago.
C used to be a fairground.
2 The writer
A finds it difficult to engage with other parents.
B is fed up with travelling around so much.
C welcomed the last competition.
3 Streetdance Family
A can be described as a road movie.
B is starred by the writer’s son and his team.
C was directed by the writer himself.
4 In Hip Hop competitions
A appearance is as important as performance.
B everybody seems to be rushing about.
C dancing isn’t the main priority.
5 According to the writer,
A Hip Hop competitions bring the family together.
B his family found the Rhine area unpleasant.
C you can see some animals in Wunderland.
6 The writer
A became familiar with Glasgow’s cultural life.
B had always intended to visit Glasgow.
C managed to escape from his busy lifestyle by visiting Glasgow.
7 The writer says they
A ate with a friend in Glasgow.
B enjoy discovering pleasant things by chance.
C visited an old friend in Germany.
8 Travelling for a pastime
A can sometimes be dangerous.
B has made them familiar with a lot of roads.
C promotes solidarity among the families.
1A 2C 3A 4B 5A 6A 7B 8C