Yorkshire Dance

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Artist Support

We invest in dance artists to make sure their practice can thrive:

1 to 1 Artist Advisories

We offer creative and practical advice to dance artists based in and making work in Yorkshire, providing support for artist’s individual needs, at any stage of their career.

Our Producers have a wealth of experience in project- and artist-development and in community and participation work, and are able to help with areas such as:

To register your interest please email João Maio (JoaoMaio@yorkshiredance.com) and Tammy Tsang (Tammy Tsang@yorkshiredance.com) with a short statement on what you would like to discuss

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Company of People

Company of People are an intergenerational community performance company, creating high quality dance work.

The group is rooted in the communities of Chapeltown and Harehills and works closely with four key partners: RJC Dance, Feel Good Factor, House of Flava and Space2. The company is shaped by its members and celebrates humanity and personal stories, histories and identities.

The project began in the summer of 2021, establishing 4 groups that meet weekly to socialise and dance together. From January 2022, weekly and monthly workshops invite all groups to come together to create performance work.

 

In 2022 Company of People performed their first work, ‘In Your Shoes’ to a sold out audience at Leeds Playhouse as part of Yorkshire Dance’s Ageless Festival.  The Company also performed at Yorkshire Dance’s 40th birthday in October 2022.

In summer 2023 Company of People returned to the stage as part of a Double Bill at Encounters Dancing in Your Shoes Festival with their new work ‘Epic Everyday’.

Meet our Company of People Artists:

 

Bakani Pick-Up

 

Izzy Brittain

 

Kate Cox

 

TC Howard

 

 

Company of People is funded by Paul Hamlyn Foundation and Creative Europe and sits within a wider European Project called Performing Gender: Dancing in Your Shoes.

Dance in the North

Dance in the North is an informal network of organisations based in the North West, Yorkshire and the North East who are committed to programming dance and supporting the development of independent dance artists and companies. The network began to form in 2021, through a series of conversations amongst a growing group who found shared interest in artist development.

The network currently includes Yorkshire Dance, Kala Sangam, Dance City, Cheshire Dance, The Civic in Barnsley, Together (previously Merseyside Dance Initiative), The Lowry in Salford, Northern School of Contemporary Dance, Lancaster Arts, CAST Theatre in Doncaster, Dance Consortia North West, Culture Warrington and Absolutely Cultured in Hull. We are working together to explore ways in which we can further support the development of dance across the North of England.

The Dance in the North brochure collates information on what dance organisations in the North can offer to artists. View and download the brochure below to find out more.

 

Dance On

Dance On is a fantastic opportunity to try something new, get active and meet new people. There are currently 24 classes taking place across Leeds and Bradford. Whether you’ve always danced, or you’re wanting to try something new, everyone is welcome and your first taster session is always free.

Please click here for class timetables and contact Hannah Treharne to join a class: hannahtreharne@yorkshiredance.com / 0113 243 9867.

For Dance On updates and opportunities, you can follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

Dance On is currently funded by National Lottery Community Fund which distributes money raised by National Lottery players for good causes, Leeds Public Health in Leeds and Bradford District Council in Bradford.

Click here to watch and join in with our recorded sessions created during lockdown!

Please consider joining our regular supporters to help us get back on our feet following lockdown. You can make a one-off donation or join our regular supporters by clicking here.


More about Dance On, our partners and research:

Dance On was established in 2018 in partnership with One Dance UK, regional partner Yorkshire Dance and local delivery partner darts (Doncaster Community Arts). Funded by Sport England, Dance On aimed to establish at least 30 new dance groups aiming to support over 55s to stay active whilst also having fun.

The University of Leeds carries out research on the programme which looks into how dancing can improve mobility, prevent falls and enhance mental wellbeing and brain function in older adults. The Dance On programme also has the potential to make cost savings for Health and Social Care.

Read our latest research pamphlet (November 2021) to find out more about the health and wellbeing benefits of the programme.

Read our latest research pamphlet


Click the images below to find out more!

 

The Dance On Toolkit

Whoever you are, and whatever has brought you here, we hope you find the tools you’re looking for to apply the Dance On approach in your own setting.

Dance On is a highly successful community-based dance programme for older adults in Yorkshire. Dance On is a partnership project, created by darts, Yorkshire Dance, One Dance UK and University of Leeds, to increase physical activity and reduce isolation.

In this toolkit we share our practical experience and knowledge of delivering Dance On, backed up by academic research, from across seven years. Having a dance programme for older adults in your area can increase physical activity levels, overall well-being, balance and mood as well as reduce fears of falling. Read on to learn more.

Dance On Toolkit(low)

 

Dance On, 2023 © David Lindsay

Encounters Festivals

Yorkshire Dance Encounters Festivals address some of the big questions of our age.

Encounters brings together inspiring dance artists and audiences to share food, conversation, participation and performance in Leeds. We welcome everyone – whether you’re a seasoned regular or it’s your first time watching a dance performance.

We believe dance can make the world a better place. We’ve tackled big subjects from climate change to gender identity exploring feminism and Dandyism. We know dancing together can create new connections with people you may not otherwise meet.

We run 3 biennial Encounters Festivals:

Ageless Festival which reimagines age through dance.

Children & their Grown Ups which invites families to explore imagination and playfulness with work created for children and young people.

Gender Encounters which explores gender and LGBTQIA+ identities through dance.

Our next Encounters Festival is Ageless Festival in July 2024. Sign up to our Get Involved Newsletter to find out more about all our upcoming performances, festivals, classes and workshops.

Follow us @yorkshiredance and search #EncountersLeeds to find out more.

FRESH 2025

FRESH is our annual festival of high quality youth dance from across Yorkshire.

The date, location and application details for FRESH 2025 will be announced later this year.

FRESH offers an exciting opportunity for youth dance groups, schools and individual young people to perform on a professional stage. Youth dance companies from every corner of Yorkshire, with members aged between 11 and 19, are invited to submit applications to perform live or to have their dance-film screened. A full day’s programme of workshops in a wide range of different dance styles, led by professional dancers, culminates with an evening of performances of the youth companies’ own dance pieces, to audiences of hundreds of dance-lovers.

You can expect high quality dance routines showcasing anything from street dance to Bharatanatyam (and everything in between). 

FRESH is part of the national U.Dance Festival. Some of the youth groups who perform in FRESH will go on to perform at U.Dance  2025.


Watch our highlights from previous years!

Fresh is free to take part in and open to any style of dance from groups aged 11-19 (25 for any young person with additional needs or a disability) from Yorkshire.

 

 

Featured image credit: ‘Explosive’ Leeds City College at FRESH 2019
Photographer: Brian Slater

In Mature Company

In Mature Company works in partnership with care homes to deliver creative movement sessions for older adults. Following the huge success of its launch in 2018, the project will continue into its fourth year. We will be delivering weekly in-person and online group sessions in care homes across Leeds, bringing the joy of dancing and moving to new communities.

The programme is designed to improve the lives of care home residents who are frail and who may be living with dementia. This project aims to have a meaningful impact on participant’s overall wellbeing by building confidence and social connection through sustained engagement in a shared space. Dance artists and musicians facilitate creativity by delivering person-centred sessions that respond the resident‘s needs and interests. Our online Zoom sessions allows staff and residents in different homes to connect and share in a joyful experience with each other.

Yorkshire Dance have reflected on the project so far to think about how best to support care homes, residents and staff. The team are measuring the impact of the programme on improving strength and balance in participants to reduce their falls risk, number of hospitals admissions and the amount of time spent asleep during the day.

Care homes residents’ wellbeing has been drastically impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. In Mature Company artists will support care home staff to develop skills and techniques that can help implement creativity within everyday care.

Elaine, Leeds Care home commented: “Residents who would normally not engage or be involved were dancing away to the music and what we noticed was that the residents were interacting with each other too, which was very special and not a normal occurrence.”

Our Lead Dance artists for 2023: Kirsty Arnold, Rachel Clarke, Tora Hed and Thom Mckeon

Musicians: Will Turner, Georgie Buchanan and Dave Mitchell

Lead Dance Artists will mentor new artists to build a specialism in working with people living with dementia. This will encourage more artists to deliver creative care home work and foster an increased interest in this area.

Assistant Dance artists: Thilde Andreasen, Alex Garland, Vanessa Grasse and Shauna McSwiney.

The team will continue to use Dementia Care Mapping as a research tool to better understand the impact of the sessions on mood and levels of engagement. From this information staff, dance artists and Yorkshire Dance can see what is working well and identify areas for development. The Mappers then work with the artists to develop an approach that delivers person-centred care. You can find out more about their work here.

Dementia Care Mapper: Jess Sache.

Find out more about the project in our podcast series Yorkshire Dance Presents: Dancing & Dementia which can be listened to (and downloaded) below and in our animated series, Dancing the Small Moments.

Previously funded through Time to Shine, Yorkshire dance were able to secure further a 3 years of funding from the NHS. With this funding we hope to make a significant impact on the care sector as a whole. Dance interventions are evidenced as reducing distress amongst residents in care homes by bringing joy and meaning to people’s lives rather than clinically managing the consequences of profound boredom and loneliness.

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Dance & Dementia Podcast

We are pleased to share these podcasts that reflect and discuss our 3 year care home project ‘In Mature Company’, which explores the impact of dance and music in reducing the loneliness and isolation of residents living with dementia. The project specifically looks at the impact of touch and how creative sessions can promote a sense of community and wellbeing.

The use of Dementia Care Mapping (TM) as an evaluation tool for an arts intervention is ground-breaking and gives a unique insight into the levels of participation and enjoyment. In these podcasts Lauren and Lily (our Dementia Care Mappers) interview a series of people that have been instrumental in bringing the project to life and how this work has effected them as artists, professionals and people. The team talk about their experiences, thoughts and hopes for the future.

Our podcasts are now available for download on all major streaming services (including Spotify, iTunes).

Episode Five: Project Reflections and What’s Next?

In this bonus episode, we want to reflect on Yorkshire Dance’s “In Mature Company” project so far and discuss why Dementia Care Mapping is a good tool for evaluating people living with Dementia. We also want to address the current pandemic’s impact on this type of work and look ahead to the future of this project or a similar arts project. This episode was co-hosted by Lisa Fearn, Monitoring and Evaluation Officer from our funder, Time to Shine.

Episode Four: An exchange with Care Staff and Family

In this episode, we speak to the Wellbeing Development Manager at Springfield Health Care and Andrew, a relative of a resident. We talk about their relationship with In Mature Company Project from both perspectives. All episodes were recorded live from our homes. Download and listen to episode four now.

Episode Three: A Closer Look at Dementia Care Mapping

This episode we delve into the research tool of Dementia Care Mapping with expert and mentor Lisa Heller. We discuss previous Yorkshire Dance care home project We Danced and our current care home project In Mature Company. All episodes were recorded live from our homes. Download and listen to episode three now.

Episode Two: Dancing the Small Moments- An Artist’s Insight

This episode we are joined by the wonderful dancers and musicians who deliver the creative work in care homes. Join us as we speak to the artist’s about their different approaches, modes of practices and highlights of delivering creative sessions for people living with Dementia. All episodes were recorded live from our homes. Download and listen to episode two now!

Episode One: In Mature Company: A Care Home Project

Hosted by Yorkshire Dance, this is a podcast series about Dance and Dementia. Join Lily and Lauren for this first episode. They talk to Project Manager Adie Nivison and Programmes Director, Hannah Robertshaw about ‘In Mature Company’ – a project that takes dance into Yorkshire care homes – chatting about how it came to be and the importance of this work. All episodes were recorded live from our homes before the COVID-19 pandemic. Download and listen to episode one now!

This podcast series is part of Time to Shine, a six-year programme delivered by Leeds Older People’s Forum and funded through National Lottery Community Fund’s Ageing Better.

Leaps and Bounds

We deliver regular creative dance sessions in person in Kirkstall, Garforth and at our studios, here in Leeds city centre, for adults with learning disabilities. Participants are challenged to extend their experience of mind-body connection through raising awareness of the body’s expressive, creative and dynamic abilities, as well as raising physical confidence and skill. The sessions are currently led by dance artists Charlotte Jones, Ellen Turner and Mati Torres Laborde. Please see the timetable below to find your nearest class:

Wednesdays:

10.00am – 11.30am at Kirkstall Leisure Centre

12.30pm – 2.00pm at Garforth Leisure Centre

Fridays:

1.oopm – 2.30pm at Yorkshire Dance

Over the past year, we have been delivering a weekly session via Zoom on a Friday lunchtime, 1.30-2.30pm. To find out more information, and how you can join in, please contact Ione at ionebarton@yorkshiredance.com, or give us a call on 0113 243 9867 as some of the classes have a waiting list.

During the pandemic, the tutors Charlotte Jones,  Sara Ribeiro, Mati Torres and Ellen Turner created an exciting four part series exploring the natural world and universe (water, wind, the stars and the sun). Follow along with our videos and have the tools to create and build your own improvised routine.

This project is funded by Aspire Community Benefit Society .

If you enjoyed this video please consider making a donation, if you can, to support Yorkshire Dance following the lockdown. You can make a one-off donation or join our regular supporters by visiting our online donate page or text LEAPS to 70450 to donate £5.00 Thank you.

Before taking part in any of our online activity please read the following carefully:

Make sure that you’ve got plenty of space around you to move, and you’ve cleared anything which you could injure yourself on out of the way. It’s really important that you listen to, and take responsibility for, your own body – please don’t do anything which hurts or which feels a bit difficult in the space you have. If you’re on a slippery floor, like tiles or wood, take your socks off, and if you’re on carpet, keep your socks on to protect your feet from carpet burns. Make sure you’ve got some water handy and that your body feels ready to move! If you have any specific health issues or medical conditions, please check with your parent/carer or your GP before joining the class. Have fun and enjoy!

Leeds International Screendance Competition

Yorkshire Dance is a long-term supporter and partner of the Leeds International Screendance Competition, presented annually in November at the Everyman Cinema, as part of LIFF (Leeds International Film Festival.)

Contributing to the selection panel alongside Andy Wood, Gitta Wigro and Julius Ayodeji, Yorkshire Dance’s Creative Director, Hannah Robertshaw brings passion and knowledge for this exciting medium.

Selected films are presented in a 90-minute screening which includes a Q&A with filmmakers and panelists. An international jury selects one film for a cash prize whilst the audience take part in a live vote with the winners announced on the night.

To watch and vote as an audience member in the Leeds International Screendance Competition, check the LIFF listing for details of the screening and don’t forget to pre-order your ticket. The event usually sells out!

To enter a screendance into the competition sign up for our artist newsletter to be the first to hear when the open call goes live. Entries usually open in late Nov or early Dec after the screening. Entries are managed by FilmFreeway and LIFF.

No Dress Code | Scratch Night

No Dress Code is our informal scratch night for artists working in Yorkshire. Once a year we invite audiences to our studio theatre to watch new dance works-in-progress* by up-and-coming dance artists and companies. This is a pay-as-you-feel event, and all donations go to the artists and companies performing.

After the performances there is a chance to share your feedback and insights in a relaxed setting.

Artists can apply to show works in progress* at No Dress Code each Spring. Sign up for our Artist Newsletter to find out when our next round of applications open.

*By works in progress we mean new work which has already undertaken research and development and is being structured into a performance.

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