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Welcome back Yorkshire Dance Youth!

Wed 19 February 2020
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Yorkshire Dance Youth offers free weekly dance sessions for young people in east Leeds, who might otherwise struggle to attend a dance class. Established in 2010, the project also offers live performance opportunities. A few years ago, the group even wowed the crowds at the Rugby World Cup.

While our main aim is to provide a space for creativity, fun and personal expression, we are genuinely delighted that some past members have really discovered their passion in life and gone on to become professional dance artists.

Sadly, 2019 was a challenging year for the project and the group had to take a break for several months due to a lack of funding. Now Yorkshire Dance Youth is back for 2020, thanks to the incredible donations made by our friends and supporters before Christmas.

In January, we relaunched in the beautifully refurbished Kentmere Community Centre, with its brand new dance floor! There are relatively few after-school opportunities in east Leeds. Kentmere community centre are on a mission to change this by providing a new venue which is fast becoming a hive of activity.

In partnership with the ‘Your Place, Your Words’ theatre group we are running a Wednesday evening of drama and dance for young people. Assistant dance artist, Ione Barton, explains ‘Working with the ‘Your Place, Your Words’ theatre group has been a really positive way of enhancing performing arts opportunities for young people in the area. With the newly renovated centre I feel like Kentmere is an exciting place to be right now and we’re so pleased to be part of it.’

We kicked off the New Year with a visit to Bishop Young Academy where dance artists Steph Donohoe and Ione Barton inspired the pupils to get creative with a dance taster. Working with schools is one of many ways we are spreading the word and with around 16 young people attending there’s plenty of space for anyone who wants to join. Ione explains ‘I feel really excited about restarting the youth company and even though we’re just 5 weeks in we have a brilliant and enthusiastic group developing.’

‘If I’ve had a bad week I can just come here and I feel like aaaaaaaaaahhhh!’ – Youth Company member

Thanks to all the wonderful people who supported the relaunch – we think you’re fabulous!


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