Step out with Swindon Dance

There are lots and lots of reasons why we can be proud of Swindon – many of which I’ve posted about on this blog as regular listeners will know. Starting with the obvious, there is Swindon’s multi-faceted industrial heritage.  Then of course there’s all the public art about which I’ve banged on ad nauseum, the host of parks and green spaces and the bewildering range of artistic talent that Swindon hosts. And much, much more.

The old town hall, Regent Circus - home of Swindon Dance

The old town hall, Regent Circus – home of Swindon Dance

But now listeners I’ve discovered a new reason to be Swindonian and proud: Swindon Dance.  Well, when I say ‘discover’ – I should perhaps refer to Mary Louise Pratt who I believe, in ‘Imperial Eyes’, describes the ‘anti-conquest’ which she defines as “the strategies of representation whereby European bourgeois subjects seek to secure their innocence in the same moment as they assert European hegemony” . Or – put another way – when we Europeans went stomping around the world claiming and naming rivers, rocks, islands, and countries for King, Country and Empire we weren’t actually ‘discovering’ anything. Because of course ‘it’ (whatever ‘it’ was)  was already there and well-known to the indigenous populations without whose help we Europeans might never have ‘discovered’ anything much at all and which we then proceed to steal from said indigenous peoples dressing it up as we did so in a discourse of scientific discovery.

So it is then, in that vein, I’ve recently discovered – or, to be more precise, learnt about – Swindon Dance – who are lovely folk  of discernment and intelligence being fans of this blog.  😉  They invited me to visit them to do a post about them – an invitation I was delighted to accept. It’s taken a while with illness and various domestic crises getting in the way but at last here we are.

The lovely Lizzie sent me lots of fab information which is way better than my scrawls so, with no further ado, dig out your leg warmers and prepare to be, as I most certainly was, duly illuminated! For a start it was news to me that there’s a 100 seat theatre in the old town hall which is the home of Swindon Dance. Nor did I know there was a mural in the building painted by one Carlton Attewood of ‘The Watcher’s’ fame.

ABOUT SWINDON DANCE

Swindon dance is a registered charity that operates as a not-for-profit dance organisation dedicated to creating and developing the dance, dancers and audiences of tomorrow.

Swindon Dance is firmly embedded in the national dance sector and has a 35-year track record and national reputation for providing high-quality dance training in Swindon and the south-west. Their expertise in dance along with a focus on participation and access has ensured that they facilitate quality dance experiences for anyone willing and able to take part.

Swindon Dance are providers of:

  • A programme of community classes for all ages and abilities in Jazz, Ballet, Tap, Urban and Contemporary.
  • Both amateur and professional performance opportunities to dance artists via our unique 100-seat theatre. 
  • Artist and talent development in the form of mentoring, networking, career-training and space provision.
  • More in-depth dance development for young people, as one of nine Centres for Advanced Training (CAT) in the UK via our Youth Dance Academy (YDA), which is funded by the Department for Education and has the only YDA Urban stream in the country.
  • Numerous opportunities for our YDA students to work with new and current professional artists, including award-winning hip-hop group Plague, internationally acclaimed choreographer Russell Maliphant, Matthew Bourne protégé John Ross and award-winning, rising star Aakash Odedra.
  • Opportunities for primary school children to experiences ballet as one of five organisations working with the Royal Ballet School on their primarySTEPS programme.

 As a charity, SD are committed and dedicated to our vision for anyone to access high-quality dance development, regardless of age and experience, economic, social, geographic or physical disadvantage. As a result of our vision, we have seen dance change lives time and time again, including those who are over 60; those who never stopped wanting a purpose in life and an opportunity to learn, grow, create, achieve and contribute.

Are these not great reasons to be proud of Swindon Dance?

Swindon Dance – did you know? – Yet more reasons to be proud:

  • Our Youth Dance Academy (YDA) is funded through bursaries by the Department for Education, as a Centre for Advanced Training (CAT) for exceptionally talented young dancers aged 11-17 years.
  • We are one of only nine centres in England, providing access to 100 plus young students across the South West.
  • YDA is the only CAT providing an Urban stream in the whole of the UK.
  • Swindon Dance is one of only three places outside London providing the Diploma in Dance Teaching & Learning for Children & Young People (DDTAL), as one of the first registered centres and training providers for Trinity College London.

https://youtu.be/2nXdHZtnh2k

  • We are one of five UK centres working in partnership with the Royal Ballet School through their primarySTEPS programme.
  • We are have been funded by Arts Council England and Swindon Borough Council since 1979.
  • Annually, we have some 19,000 attendances by children and young people at 1,300 dance activities led by Swindon Dance.
  • 50,000 people come to our events, classes and performances each year.
  • Longest standing resident producer of dance events for an area serving a population now exceeding 3 million as the only dedicated dance theatre space in Wiltshire.
  • One of the few dance organisations left in the UK that is building-based.
  • Early careers that have begun at or been supported by Swindon Dance includes Yael Flexer, Wayne McGregor, AMP, Motionhouse and, more recently, James Wilton and Protein Dance, among many others. Matthew Bourne and Russell Maliphant both presented early work in our theatre.
  • A diverse range of artists have also been supported through our partnership with The Association of Dance of the African Diaspora (ADAD), including:  Brenda Edwards, Jonzi D (Artistic Director of Breakin’ Convention) and Bawren Tavaziva.
  • Other artists, including filmmakers, musicians and videographers, have also been nurtured through multidisciplinary arts at Swindon Dance, including Barry Ganberg (composer and musician and now head of music at the Rambert School of Ballet and Contemporary Dance), David Yates (director of a number of the Harry Potter films) and Rannel Theatre Company (who have just finished a sell-out show at the Tobacco Factory, Bristol).
  • Our YDA has nearly 5 times more BME students than the national average (22% in comparison to 14.5%), based on 2011 Government figures.
  • Since 2006, 96 dancers from the YDA have gone onto full-time training at vocation college &/or a conservatoire. In 2012, the Swindon Dance CAT achieved 100% success rate for students auditioning for entry into vocational training &/or conservatoires.

And finally – some further facts about Swindon Dance – consider yourself educated. And hopefully very proud. 🙂

  • We are a National Portfolio Organisation, funded by Arts Council England (ACE). We have been funded by ACE and Swindon Borough Council since 1979.
  • Annually, we have some 19,000 attendances by children and young people at 1,300 dance activities led by Swindon Dance.
  • 30,000 people come to our events, classes and performances each year.
  • Early careers that have begun at or been supported by Swindon Dance includes Yael Flexer, Wayne McGregor, AMP, Motionhouse and, more recently, James Wilton and Protein Dance, among many others. Matthew Bourne and Russell Maliphant both presented early work in our theatre.
  • Other artists, including filmmakers, musicians and videographers, have also been nurtured through multidisciplinary arts at Swindon Dance, including Barry Ganberg (composer and musician and now Head of Music at the Rambert School of Ballet and Contemporary Dance), David Yates (director of a number of the Harry Potter films) and Rannel Theatre Company (who have just finished a sell-out show at the Tobacco Factory, Bristol).

 

 

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About amaatk123

Owner of AA Editorial Services - www.aaedits.co.uk #Digitalcopywriting #proofreading #writing Blog about Swindon as Born again Swindonian #BAS Joint English Hons graduate 2014 http://about.me/amaatk123

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