Dancing The Horizontal is an international exchange/collaboration funded by the British Council. Yorkshire Dance are working in partnership with Comune di Bassano del Grappa (an Italian public body, dedicated to the development of culture and contemporary performing arts in the Veneto Region).
Dancing The Horizontal proposes a deepening of artistic practice through exchange between 3 exceptional artists and their local communities of older adults. Innovation lies in the investigation of how working with non-professional dancers informs the practice of choreographers and expand definitions of beauty and excellence in dance. Working across digital and physical spaces with local communities, artists will deepen their practice and research in the field of co-production. The project will engender a shift in perceptions of hierarchies, challenging engrained attitudes towards community and professional practice; enabling the real-life realities of participants to expand choreographic work.
Acclaimed artists Silvia Gribaudi (Italy) and Kate Cox and Rachel Fullegar of Gracefool Collective (UK) each have a strong feminist, multi-disciplinary, practice around making professional work with non-professionals using humour as a powerful tool. Feminist, forthright, and fiercely funny, Gracefool Collective make wildly entertaining interdisciplinary contemporary performances about the absurdities of modern existence. Silvia Gribaudi’ s choreographic language intersects performing art, dance, and theatre, focused on enhancing the diversity and uniqueness of each person.
Dance On is a fantastic opportunity to try something new, get active and meet new people. There are currently 23 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.
Dance On is currently funded by Leeds Public Health in Leeds and the Together Fund (Sport England/National Lottery funding in partnership with EMD UK) in Bradford.
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.
Click the images below to find out more!
We invest in dance artists to make sure their practice can thrive:
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 Tanya Steinhauser with a short statement on what you would like to discuss: email@example.com
Yorkshire Dance is proud to introduce Company of People – an intergenerational community performance company, creating high quality dance work to be performed in 2022 and 2023.
Company of People is a 3-year project which explores the creation of a community performance company representing the intersections of ages, genders, abilities and ethnic backgrounds, with support of Paul Hamlyn Foundation and Creative Europe.
The project 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 project began in the summer of 2021, establishing 4 groups that meet weekly to socialise and dance together. From January 2022, a weekly workshop invites all groups to come together and a monthly workshop enables a smaller group to begin to create work for performance. Further groups will be established in 2022 to enable new participants to enter the project.
Company of People is a project that will be shaped and developed by its participants. Company of People is a celebration of humanity and a representation of personal stories, histories and identities.
Company of People sits within a wider European Project called Performing Gender: Dancing in Your Shoes.
Meet our Company of People Artists:
Performing Gender – Dancing in Your Shoes is the third edition of the European project which Yorkshire Dance has been involved with from the start. It focuses on connecting dance and performing arts to gender issues and LGBTI identities. This third edition of the project is focussed on audience development and aims to work for three years with dancers and local communities from 8 different European countries.
We will be working in the UK, more specifically in and around Leeds via our Company of People project, which explores the creation of a community performance company representing the intersections of ages, genders, abilities and ethnic backgrounds. We will be doing this with the support of Paul Hamlyn Foundation and Creative Europe. The project 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.
In October 2021, our CEO & Artistic Director, Wieke Eringa; our Programmes Director, Hannah Robertshaw, and our Creative Projects Producer, Kirsty Redhead, travelled to Bologna, Italy for a partner meeting. As the project started in 2020, this was the first face-to-face partner meeting.
“The visit was an absolute confirmation of how important it is to meet in person, how much more connection, trust, joy and commitment is created and special the depth of exchange when you meet, walk, dance, eat and watch performances together. Bologna is well known as being the LGBTQ+ capital of Italy, with a long history of supportive organisations as well as a well-respected LGBTQ+ organisation (Cassero) in the most stunning, large, historical building slap in the middle of the city, and an internationally famous festival. For two days, we had meetings, movement workshops, led by the 2 Italian lead artists, and performances. Hannah did a public presentation in the most incredible space in the centre of the old centre of Bologna; the Palazza Accursio; a cavernous old renaissance room. Hannah, Kirsty and I felt a tremendous sense of inspiration and connection as a result of the visit and we had some great conversations with all the partners.”
– Wieke Eringa, CEO & Artistic Director, Yorkshire Dance
Over three years (2019-2022) are working with an all-female line-up made up of Gracefool Collective, Lydia Cottrell & Sophie Unwin of 70/30 Split, and Madeline Shann.
Yorkshire Dance & Jerwood Arts are investing in these three exceptionally talented dance artists/ companies based in the north of England through a long-term artist development opportunity. This will take place over a 30 month project period, offering extensive opportunities to invest into new dance projects and further develop and increase the sustainability of their careers at a crucial stage.
Gracefool Collective is a feminist performance collective making ‘post¬-intellectual-pseudo-¬spiritual- feminist-comedy¬-dance’ for the modern day era. Described as “fierce”, “farcical” and “offensively powerful” Gracefool mix sharp observation with quick wit and playfulness to create performances which provoke, delight and defy convention.
With their first professional piece well received and second about to tour, we will support Gracefool Collective as they build momentum and start their third work, as well as develop their stature as an internationally touring female led dance company.
Gracefool Collective say: “Working closely with Yorkshire Dance will allow us to benefit from their vast experience in allowing artists to interrogate the art form as a practice. We are particularly interested in who we are as regional versus international artists and how Gracefool’s ethos/methods can influence on a micro and macro scale. We’re interested in how this ties in with our vision of being a company interested in undermining and upending social convention.”
Lydia Cottrell & Sophie Unwin of 70/30 Split have been making, performing, producing and curating performance works collaboratively since 2011; crafting ‘brave and boundless’ work which is frank, observant and accessible. Informed by a background in dance, their work traverses traditional forms creating a hybrid language of performance, theatre, dance and cabaret.
“Cottrell and Unwin are as touching as they are resolutely fearless.” – The Guardian
70/30 Split say: “Having guaranteed and dedicated support for three years is something that is not often seen but is greatly needed! As performers, performance makers and directors of a festival we are excited at the prospect of being able to refine, reflect on and deepen our practice and collaborative relationship. Dance for Art’s Sake will be an opportunity for us to really get our teeth into making and researching new work, getting current work out into the world whilst developing our future shaped vision for the company and all its different strands.”
Madeline Shann creates challenging yet accessible solo and group dance theatre for people who are afraid to try it. Her performances are an interplay of movement and words, laugh-out-loud entertainment while addressing uncomfortable political questions.
About her selection for the programme Madeline says: “I have experience working with Yorkshire Dance and I admire their progressive, diverse and experimental programming, and the way they support artists. I am incredibly excited to have the opportunity to build a closer, longer-term working relationship with them. It is hugely valuable to me to have the opportunity to be making work in a properly supported environment which still gives space to play, experiment and think outside the box. In particular I am interested and keen to explore further how I can renegotiate the relationship with my audience.”
Yorkshire Dance & Jerwood Arts are very excited about starting a 3 year journey with these talented northern artists in response to the significant need for longer-term, more varied and in-depth artist development opportunities.
Jerwood Arts is the leading independent funder dedicated to supporting UK artists, curators and producers to develop and thrive. We enable transformative opportunities for individuals across art forms, supporting imaginative awards, fellowships, programmes, commissions and collaborations. www.jerwoodarts.org
Dance Transports brings high quality continuing professional development (CPD) opportunities to Yorkshire. We run three Dance Transports each year which are open to artists from across Yorkshire. Artists are selected via an open call out. To be notified about our next Dance Transports call out join our artist mailing list.
COVID-19 changed our Dance Transports Programme significantly in 2020/21. We commissioned three artist-led exchanges following an open call-out. These exchanges took place online.
You can find out more about these commissioned exchanges following the links below:
FRESH is our annual showcase of high quality youth dance from across Yorkshire.
FRESH 2022 took place on 1 and 2 April
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 Kathak (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 2022 which takes place 22-24 July in Glasgow.
Watch our highlights from last year!
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 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 2022: Kirsty Arnold, Thom Mckeon, Rachel Clarke, Ellen Turner.
Musicians: Will Turner, Georgie Buchanan, Luke Wilson
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: Alex Garland, Shauna McSwiney, Lucy Dyson, Thilde Andreasen.
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 Mappers: Lily Craig, 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.
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
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.
We deliver regular creative dance sessions in person in 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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org, or give us a call on 0113 243 9867.
During the pandemic, our Leaps and Bounds 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!
As a host for the UEFA Women’s Euros, Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council is curating a range of activities to take place on match days. All events will be held in the town and open for local people and visitors to get involved. This includes performances at the. UEFA Fan Party Main Stage in All Saints Square.
Yorkshire Dance are honoured to be invited to programme a series of outdoor dance works as part of this line up. All the pieces programmed reflect the passion, strength, and inclusivity of women’s football and include: DAMAEDANCE’s Irma-Sister & Curious Arts’ Wildflower, Folk Dance Remixed’s Step Hop House & Ceilidh, Mimbre’s Lifted and Stopgap Dance’s Frock
More information about the match day events can be found here.
This programme is commissioned by Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council and South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority.