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Writing Dance: Artist CPD | 2020

Writing Dance was a workshop series as part of Dance Transports. The first took place in 2020, and below you can explore the poetry and reflections created by the participants.

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About Writing Dance: Artist CPD | 2020

I’ve always been intrigued by the relationship between writing and movement. I meet many dancers who regularly write and writers who regularly dance. I see dance theatre which embeds spoken word and poets and songwriters who bring physicality to their performance. During the pandemic, I noticed more dancers were turning to text and this inspired the first Dance Transports: Writing Dance exchange. With the careful and considered leadership of Kayo Chingonyi and Ella Mesma, we spent two workshops collaborating and exploring the cross-over of these two practices. The reflections and outcomes are shared on this page. I would like to thank Steve Dearden and the Writing Squad for joining Yorkshire Dance on this project.

– Hannah Robertshaw, Programmes Director, Yorkshire Dance.


In Novemeber 2020, the first Writing Dance workshop as part of Dance Transports was held, led by dance artist Ella Mesma and poet/writer Kayo Chingonyi.

Below you can read the poetry and reflections created by participants.







Teamwork, freedom, and surprising myself by Elizabeth Gibson

I had a gut feeling that 2020 was the year for me to apply for the Writing Dance workshops. During lockdown, I suffered a lot from loneliness, which was probably why my work as a poet really leaned into the collaborative and experimental… Read More


Choreopoetry by Hannah Finniemore

I was incredibly excited to be selected for the Dance Transports workshop with Yorkshire Dance, as I come from a dance background but want to incorporate text and spoken word into my practice. I was also looking forward to meeting writers and poets and learn from dance artist Ella Mesma and poet/writer Kayo Chingonyi… Read More 


Writing Dance by Salma Lynch

In November 2020 I had the privilege of partaking in a series of workshops called Writing Dance, with Kayo Chingonyi and Ella Mesma. There were twelve of us in total (some dancers, writers, and others both) all ready to explore writing and dance as part of our creative practice. As someone who loves to dance for fun, I was excited to explore it in a more formal setting… Read More


Dance Transports is a Portal by Izzy Brittain 

If this pandemic is a portal, as Arundhati Roy suggested in an article back in April 2020, perhaps unexpected developments in practice are the silver lining for us artists? Forced to find other ways of working, we explore radical new diagonals. Initiatives like Dance Transports support this, offering portals of possibility in the form of paid professional development opportunities for artists… Read More


Letting the body speak, with Yorkshire Dance and The Writing Squad
by Jasmine Simms

I’ve never written directly to my body before. A couple of years ago, Hannah Hodgeson’s wonderful debut pamphlet, Dear Body, made me aware of this as a possibility, and I’ve been thinking about it on and off ever since…. Read More

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