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Grace journeys to the big stage

Fri 3 November 2023
Part of: Company of People | Performing Gender: Dancing in your Shoes
Image: Grace at Theaterfestival Boulevard, Company of People © Yorkshire Dance

Company of People, our intergenerational community company based in Chapeltown, Leeds, was originally set up thanks to the support of our amazing donors.

This year the Company received a Creative Europe grant to travel to the Netherlands, to perform at Theaterfestival Boulevard as part of the ‘Performing Gender: Dancing in your Shoes’ project.

Grace, 14, is the youngest member of Company of People. She is passionate about dance, particularly street dance, and had taken part on our Street Styles class each week. When she joined Company of People, Grace had performed for family and friends but she had never tried any other dance styles and had never performed on a professional stage.

“I decided to get involved in this exciting project because I wanted to try something new. I thought that a chance like this doesn’t come along often.” 

As part of the Company’s new work ‘Epic Everyday’, Grace worked alongside professional artist Bakani Pick Up to develop and perform a contemporary duet. When the opportunity came up to travel to the Netherlands to perform ‘Epic Everyday’ at a renowned European arts festival Grace threw herself into the challenge.

“Going to Holland has made a massive impact on my life because it has taught me to try new experiences, be myself and love every moment when performing. Also, I’ve learnt contemporary dance due to my duet performance in Holland.  This experience has given me the confidence to be more independent.” 

This unique opportunity for Grace, and the rest of Company of People, to perform professionally wouldn’t have existed without donor support to establish the Company back in 2021.

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