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Tea Dance With a Twist!




Volunteer Programme

The Plymouth Dance Volunteer Programme 

The programme will run between October 2017 and March 2018 with participants having the opportunity to attend monthly training and support and engage with both Plymouth Dance and external organisations’ projects.


The programme includes opportunities to attend training delivered by specialist professionals within the sector. Previous training sessions have covered aspects such as: Child Protection, First Aid, Project Management, Time Management, Networking, Marketing and Social Media, Fundraising, Hospitality and Customer Service.  


Additionally, the volunteers have the opportunity to work with and volunteer on events for a range of external partners.  These have included: The Philharmonia Orchestra (iOrchestra), Whitleigh Words festival, Theatre Royal Plymouth’s Armed Forces Day and Funky Llama projects, Barbican Theatre, Plymouth University, Plymouth City Museum and Art Gallery, Theatre Royal, Youth Dance England and The Eden Project.


Plymouth Dance projects have included: U.Dance 20015 Community Engagement Programme (January to July 2015), The National Youth Dance Festival in July 2015, Tea Dances with a Twist! 2016/2017 and 2017/2018.


Volunteers taking part come from a variety of backgrounds, including Plymouth University dance, physiotherapy, law and international students, Plymouth City College students, graduates and those that are employed or in early career development.


A number of volunteers have gained employment in the sector in the region since undertaking our programme.  This has included dance teaching at secondary schools, internships and employment with dance companies and organisations, setting up their own (successfully funded) dance company, leading workshops and outreach programmes in dance.


Since 2015, we have worked with 61 volunteers; with a number opting to continue with us from year to year.


Since starting the programme in 2015, across the teams over two years volunteers have given 1,464 hours to Plymouth Dance taking on roles as diverse as enablers, tour guides, advocates, ushers, historians, backstage crew and bloggers.  


All our volunteers receive a reference, letter of recommendation, certificate of participation and a log of their hours so that we can truly reflect and celebrate their achievements and involvement with the programme.


The training programme Plymouth Dance has developed is bespoke and designed each year to work with the individuals taking part to ensure that alongside skills that can be taken into future volunteering or employment that the skills are relevant to their interests and needs within the sector.

This years programme training dates are:
The Plymouth Dance Volunteer Programme exists to offer people in the city the opportunity to access a wide range of training and skill-sharing experiences which help to build a skill-set relevant to the arts.  
There are two aspects to the programme- training and project support. 
The training focuses on developing skills relevant for working in the arts sector and for individuals to develop their understanding of working in the arts.  Training is offered to 18-25 year olds.  Of the utmost importance is that the training offered is relevant, useful and that the skills being developed are transferable with the potential to contribute to the cultural sector across the city more broadly.
The volunteers team is hugely important in making our projects successful.  Over the programme there are numerous opportunities to support and develop events and projects with Plymouth Dance and other cultural partners in the city.  There is also the potential over the year to support projects with professional dance artists.  Project support opportunities are open to everyone over 18.
Volunteers induction for 2017/2018 will be on: October 5th 2017
The key facts:
19th  October
2nd      November
16th   November
30th  November
11th  January
25th  January
8th    February 
22nd February
8th    March
22nd  March
Volunteers do not need to attend all sessions but must be available for most, sessions which will include - Self employment training, teaching dance, child protection, project management and many more. Additionally there will be events and projects to volunteer on throughout the year.

For any more information about the Plymouth Dance Volunteer Training Programme or to sign up for training contact : Gem - or 
07809 870709


Help! I Can’t Teach Dance

Plymouth Dance, in consultation with primary school dance specialists, has devised a programme to support the teaching of Dance in Primary Schools as part of the Physical Education Curriculum but also as a tool to deliver cross-curricula work.

Dance helps support children's emotional, communication, creative and social development as well as being a physically health activity. Children who are exposed to quality, enjoyable dance activity are more likely to include regular physical activity as part of their adult lifestyle.

Because Help! I Can’t Teach Dance is a bespoke package focused on developing the skills of primary school teachers to deliver dance with more confidence, it is the perfect use of the School Sports Premium funding available until 2020. The programme will help dance become embedded both within the curriculum and as extra curricular activity.

To discuss Help! I Can’t Teach Dance being delivered in your school from April 2015, across 1, 2 or 3 terms respectively, or in 2015/2016, please contact June Gamble at or call 07818 518079.

GCSE and A Level Curriculum Project

Plymouth Dance, in consultation with secondary dance specialists, has devised a programme to support the teaching of GCSE and ALevel dance.

Schools can choose from a 2 hour workshop or a full day of tuition.

For more information please contact

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Gerhard Richter Commission

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In 2015, Plymouth City Museum and Art Gallery invited Plymouth Dance to commission a choreographic response to the Gerhard Richter exhibition (part of Tate’s ‘Artist Rooms’ programme).


As a result, both partners discussed and devised a 4 part project that was financially supported by Tate, Plymouth City Council, The Art Fund and Arts Council England.


Gerhard Richter Choreographic Commission Performances

  • Charlotte Eatock was commissioned to create a solo performed by Jane Castree in the exhibition.
  • The 4 performances took place at lunchtimes and were attended by a total of 124 people, including members of the Friends of Plymouth City Museum and Art Gallery, Plymouth University Dance students and Primary School children.
  • Many of those who attended had not visited the Museum before and had come along specifically to see the performance.
  • Some of the attendees visited the Museum café and shop after the performances for lunch.
  • Several of the Dance students from Plymouth University had not seen dance choreographed in response to visual art before.
  • 26% of the audience who completed feedback questionnaires confirmed that they had been introduced to the work of Gerhard Richter for the first time.


Gerhard Richter Choreographic Commission Film

Charlotte Eatock and Jane Castree also created a film that has been shared on the Plymouth Dance website and YouTube channel


Gerhard Richter Choreographic Residency

  • Jane Castree delivered a 3 day Choreographic Residency at The House in January 2016.
  • 7 young people attended including Plymouth University students and members of youth dance companies.
  • The residency resulted in a performance at the Museum on the final day of the Gerhard Richter exhibition.

U.Dance 2015



Taking place in the South West region for the very first time, Youth Dance England in partnership with Plymouth Dance presented U.Dance 2015, the national festival that celebrated and showcased the very best youth dance work from across the country. Featuring a different programme of new works each day, participating companies have been selected at 10 regional platform events and will be joined by the National Youth Dance Companies of England and Wales.

Watch the collection of U.Dance 2015 films here

Read the evaluation report here






Volunteer for U.Dance 2015

Plymouth Dance is looking for a dedicated team of volunteers to support and deliver the U.Dance Festival 2015.

The role involves being a key part of the festival, acting as a source of information and help for those attending the events. You will be looking after people, taking people to the correct places for the festival, helping to manage festival venues, ushering at performances, helping host events linked to the festival and generally being a friendly and approachable face.


You will need to be available for the 4 days of festival 22nd – 25th July and to attend a training briefing with Youth Dance England on June 20th.
You will have to opportunity to gain skills and experience, see performance, be an advocate for the city of Plymouth and be involved in something really amazing.
You will receive full induction training and also be offered the experience to work on other cultural events in Plymouth. All volunteering hours can be logged and used towards VInspired awards.

Accommodation can be provided for the duration of the festival for those not local to Plymouth. 

For more information or to apply please contact Gemma Ward


U.Dance Films

As part of U.Dance 2015 Plymouth Dance has commisioned a series of  site specific films created by 6 youth groups in the city - each month we will release a new film.
Please feel free to share the videos to spread the message that U.Dance 2015 is coming to Plymouth.

Wheelfever Outside-Inside-Plymouth

Company B Outside-Inside-Plymouth

South Dance Company Outside-Inside-Plymouth

Street Factory Outside-Inside-Plymouth



In the news

Young dancers from across Northamptonshire to perform in N. Dance at Royal & Derngate - read more

Young dancers making waves - read more

400 young dancers to come to Plymouth for major event - read more


Plymouth Accomodation List

Click to download

Exploring Ballet

Exploring Classical Ballet

Teacher - Maryam Pourian

Dancers - Street Factory students aged 12yrs +

The Exploring Classical Ballet project was set up to give local hip hop dancers the opportunity to develop technical dance skills and knowledge. Over a 30 week course, the dancers explored the basics of the classical technique such as alignment, posture, turn out and extension, as well learning the structure and movement vocabulary of a ballet class. 

We also incorporated pilates and yoga into the classes to develop muscle strength and flexibility, working on key areas that would develop and enhance their urban work. The improvement in their body awareness has been apparent not only in ballet class, but also in their hip hop styles. Both students and tutors have reported cleaner lines, sharper footwork, higher leg extensions and a new focussed discipline.

The students have been a joy to work with. Their determination to master a new technique and develop their skills has been incredible. They have taken on board all the exercises , corrections and new ideas I’ve thrown at them this year with enthusiasm, really showing a mature and professional approach in their training. 


Mayflower 2020

Plymouth Dance and Plymouth Music Zone were commissioned by Destination Plymouth to present a dance and music programme for Illuminate 2014 on Thursday 20th November. This was the first event leading up to the 400 year celebration of the Mayflower departing from Plymouth, UK to Plymouth, Massachusetts.

The following dance groups performed:

Plymouth Morris Men
Attik Youth Dance Company
Wheelfever Projects
Atomic (Rhythm City)
Incramium (Rhythm City)
Beat Breakers (Rhythm City)
Tonality and residents of George Downing House
DCRS (Devon and Cornwall Refugee Support)
Natasha's Bollywood Dance School
Street Factory

79 dancers and 15 singers performed to an audience of approximately 400.


Big Dance 2014

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On Saturday the 12th of July we held a Big Dance event: The Giants Story Event on The Piazza in Plymouth. This was the culmination of two weeks of workshops in libraries and schools lead by Exim Dance Company in partnership with Plymouth library service Pavilion Dance South West and Plymouth Dance. 

The day saw 5 youth companies coming together learning the Big Dance routine and performing on the Piazza; Street Factory, Attik Youth, Wheelfever, Rhythm City and ADAPT performed to crowds totalling 1170 people throughout the day. Over the two week period 657 people were taught the Big Dance routine, on the day there were 101 performers making the total number of people engaged in the project 1928.



In the news

Young people and shoppers get into the groove at dance event - read more


The World at Your Feet - Schools Tour

The World at Your Feet was a city-wide theatre and dance project that celebrated the many people who have made Plymouth their home.
In addition to The World At Your Feet Performance that was held at a unique maritime location, youth dance companies across the city toured work based on the theme of migration to venues across Plymouth and performed on the Piazza, in Plymouth City Centre on the 14th and 15th July.

Through The World At Your Feet Youth Dance Schools Tour, a variety of dance styles were performed to audiences from 17 schools at 10 venues across the city, reaching over 700 young people and their families and involving 50 young performers and 18 professional practitioners.

The World At Your Feet Big Dance Weekend saw 6,000 people experience the variety of dance that Plymouth and the region has to offer with performances on the Piazza, in Plymouth City Centre from a range of dancers and dance companies based within Plymouth and the region.

Paralympic Torch Relay

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In celebration of the London 2012 Paralympic Games, the Paralympic Torch has been journeying across the country.
Whilst in Plymouth, the Paralympic Torch stopped off at the Plymouth Life Centre where Wheelfever Projects, an inclusive youth dance company, performed to an invited audience of over 200 people.

Following Wheelfever’s performance, Plymouth Dance arranged two free dance workshops that were led by professional dance practitioners from Wheelfever Projects and Attik 360, to encourage people of all abilities to get involved with dance.


In the news 

Plymouth Mela

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Building on the success of the 2010 Plymouth Mela, a subsequent Plymouth Mela is being programmed for Sunday 23rd September 2012.
The Plymouth Mela will showcase a vibrant variety of performance, music, film work, and dance with work featured by national, regional and local artists alongside a platform of research and debate about the importance of Mela. There will also be opportunities to shop and taste some fantastic food at stalls flanking Plymouth city centre’s Piazza.

Symposium: Mela - Culture and the Diaspora in Performance


In the news



Photo credits: Kevin Clifford and DeGroot


Marks Set Go!

Marks Set Go!  image 1


Mark Set Go! premiered at the BBC Big Screen on the Piazza, in Plymouth City Centre on the 14thJuly coinciding with ‘The World At Your Feet Big Dance Weekend’.

‘Mark, Set, Go!’ is an electrifying fusion of film, dance, sport, music and live performance especially created for the BBC Big Screens and Live Sites across the South West as part of the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad.

Created by film-maker Peter Anderson and choreographer Jules Laville, ‘Marks Set Go!’ brought professional dancers, Olympians, Paralympians and youth dance groups together in a mesmerising mix of film and live performance, blurring the boundaries between art and sport.

Plymouth Dance was one of the commissioning partners for ‘Mark Set Go!’ which continues the legacy of the sports and dance fusion piece ‘On Your Marks’, which was recently performed as part of the Torch Relay celebrations in Plymouth.



The Boys are Back in Town

A season of dance performances from a vibrant collection of male choreographers, including an electrifying package of workshops/education packages and commissions. The season kicked off with Theo Clinkard at the Barbican Theatre and included Attik’s community platform at the Goschen Centre, Jonathan Burrows at the Roland Levinsky Theatre, Company Chameleon and Rationale at Barbican Theatre. Bringing the season to an end Hofesh Shechter Company performed at the Theatre Royal. 



Creepy House

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Following on from the success of the Creepy House South West Libraries tour, commissioned by Pavilion Dance South West and created and performed by 2-nd Dance ( Plymouth Dance has been commissioned by Plymouth Central Library to provide a One Day Creepy House Dance Party in the Autumn Half term. If successful, this project will be developed for the 2014 Summer Reading Challenge.

Children from 8 to 11 are being invited to participate:
Love spooky stories and dancing? Join professional dancers for this one day workshop where you’ll learn some new moves and create a Creepy House Dance to some specially chosen music. Then you’ll perform the dance as a group to an audience at the Central Library Creepy House party in the afternoon. Workshop numbers are limited to 20.

Dance for Cancer Patients

Plymouth Dance, The Mustard Tree and Plymouth City Council and are working together to improve the opportunities for people with cancer to engage with physical activity. Lead by Sue Smith the group meets weekly at The Life Centre Thursday 12.30-1.30pm in the Performance Studio.

For more information please contact 07713 485806



Ignite, Engage & Inspire Through Dance

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Funded by the Big Lottery Fund, the aim of this three year project is to use dance to improve the health and well being of the disabled communities in Plymouth and raise awareness of this group through artistic engagement. Across the City of Plymouth, we take dance into every special school, create, develop and expand contemporary dance classes for adults with physical and learning disabilities and create a performance company

5 practitioner and one training practitioner have been based in six special schools around the city. The practitioners have been joined by research students from Plymouth university throughout each year of the project. The practitioners have built a relationship with each school looking at delivering dance based on the schools individual specific focus,this may range from improving fitness, developing social engagement and encouraging positive behaviour. 


In the news





Race For Life- The Cancer Slam

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On the 5th April Plymouth Dance sent Exim Dance Company to help promote the Race For Life event in Plymouth. Exim spent the day performing and teaching the “Cancer Slam” outside Drake Circus Shopping Centre to the public.

The Plymouth Race For Life will take place on the 22nd June 2014 for more information please visit

Big Dance Schools Pledge Live Site Performance

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This event was coordinated “locally” by Plymouth Dance, and featured a live contemporary dance performance at the Plymouth Piazza, City Centre, Plymouth by children and teachers from local schools who had signed up for the Big Dance’s 2012 Schools Pledge.

The participants performed choreography, based on the Olympics, created by Wayne McGregor CBE of Random Dance, simultaneously with other places in the country and the world at precisely 1pm.

The idea was to beat the Guinness World Record for 'The Largest Dance Routine – Multi Venue' across the world.The BBC’s Big Screen screened the choreography and afterwards showed the Olympic torch arriving at Lands End.


In the news

Plymouth children to take part in Olympic dance record attempt


Dance and Dive Project

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Ben Dunks, Artistic Director of Attik Dance, has been working as Artistic Coordinator of the Plymouth Dance Dance Team for the Dance Conditioning Project funded by SLM's Plymouth Beacon Project with Plymouth Diving.

Attik have been working with Plymouth Dance, Paris Payne, Sue Smith, Jules Laville and the Plymouth Diving Elite Junior Squad for the past 3 months on this dance conditioning project. The project involves taking members of the squad through contemporary dance movement training, focusing on exploring the body in a different way. This is a very exciting project that is already showing fantastic results. 


** Plymouth Dance would like to congratulate Team GB, Tom Daley and Andy Banks for a great performance at London 2012 **

James Square Commission

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The University of Plymouth has commissioned a new dance work to celebrate the unveiling of a sculpture located in James Square, within the University of Plymouth’s grounds.

The site-specific performance, choreographed by Gemma Kempthorne, will explore the themes of ‘Arrival and Departure’ and will feature Plymouth based dance practitioners and dancers from local schools and community groups on the 13th September 2012.

Torch Relay

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On 19th May 2012 55,000 people gathered on Plymouth Hoe whilst awaiting the Olympic Torch’s arrival. As part of the day’s entertainment a small company of young dancers performed the dance and film piece ‘On Your Marks’.

‘On Your Marks’, which was choreographed by Jules Laville and filmed by Peter Anderson, explores the synthesis between sport and dance as elite sports people and dancers appear to spin, jump, leap and dive from iconic buildings and location in the South West.

This integrated dance piece highlighted the spirit of the Olympic celebrations on the countdown to London 2012.

In the news

Live music and entertainment in Plymouth for Olympic torch arrival

Local performers get a chance to shine

Packed line-up of events to mark Olympic torch relay



The World At Your Feet

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The World at Your Feet was a city-wide theatre and dance project that celebrated the many people who have made Plymouth their home. The largest participatory project Plymouth has ever hosted was an un-missable opportunity to celebrate the 2012 games.

There was a full programme of events celebrating the richness and texture migration brings to our city including a schools tour, a free dance weekend in the city centre Piazza and ten outdoor performances in a spectacular maritime location.

This unique partnership project was presented by WIRED, a consortium of Plymouth’s leading arts organizations including: Attik Dance, Barbican Theatre, Plymouth Music Zone, Plymouth Dance and Theatre Royal Plymouth in collaboration with Plymouth City Council.

The World at Your Feet was one of the outstanding projects granted the London 2012 Inspire mark, the badge of the London 2012 Inspire programme, which recognised exceptional and innovative projects inspired by the 2012 Games.

For more info:

Click here for photo slideshow


In the news

Welcome to our World 

Dance event defies the elements

World at your Feet dance weekend in Plymouth

Breakin’ Convention


Breakin’ Convention, the critically acclaimed International Festival of Hip Hop Dance Theatre returned to Plymouth Theatre Royal on Friday 11th and Saturday 12th May 2012.

In addition to Breakin’ Conventions’ performance at Plymouth Theatre Royal, there were a variety of Breakin’ and Hip Hop workshops that were held in the weeks leading up to the performance for beginner and intermediate levels at the Plymouth Life Centre.


In the news

Mall given a sneak preview

Truly enjoyable hip hop festival


Life Centre


The multi-purpose Plymouth Life Centre opened in 2012 and is a state of the art cultural sporting and aquatics centre situated in the heart ofPlymouth. As part of the Life Centre’s offer to Plymouth, Plymouth Dance worked closely with the operating company Everyone Active to ensure that a full and varied programme of dance activity took place within the multi-purpose studios from opening until August 2014.

There is still a programme of dance resident in place at the Life Centre including Wheelfever dance projects, dance for the over 50’s and a weekly street dance class which are open to all.

If you are interested in booking dance studio space at the Life Centre, please contact our dedicated Life Centre Dance Coordinator on



In the news

 Sport in Plymouth 'transformed' as Life Centre opens for first time

Download the latest press release here

Double honour as city to host paralympic flame - more

Fitpro August Article


Trouble and Strife

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Trouble and Strife

Trouble and Strife was an evening of cross –art performance work created by Plymouth based female choreographers in celebration of International Women’s Day.

Trouble and Strife featured new works from choreographers Sue Smith, Jules Laville, Jane Castree and guest choreographer Sally Robbins that challenged both dance and its audiences.

Trouble and Strife toured to a variety of venues across the South West which included the Barbican Theatre Plymouth, University College Falmouth, Exeter New Theatre, Barnstaple Fringe Festival and Dartington Hall between March – July 2012.

Trouble and Strife was commissioned by Plymouth Dance, supported by the Barbican Theatre and Dartington Hall Trust and funded by the Arts Council England.



Trouble and Strife in the News:

Download performance flyer 


Health in the Workplace

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Lunchtime Salsa Classes

Working in partnership with the Business Health Network, NHS Plymouth Public Health, Plymouth Dance supported the delivery of regular lunchtime salsa classes for Plymouth City Council employees.

The classes, which ran every Wednesday lunchtime, were fantastic for those new to the dance form.

The initial pilot project began in April 2011, but due to its success continued to run on a weekly basis up until June 2012.


In the news

BBC Performing Arts Fund

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Professional Development through the BBC Performing Arts Fund

Through the support of the BBC Performing Arts Fund, a post has been created which supports the professional development of a Producer through a tailored fellowship programme.

Chloe Hughes, Plymouth Dance’s Producer Fellow will be involved in all areas of the company’s work. In particular Chloe will assist on a citywide dance project, be the Project Coordinator for a professional development project as well as devise, plan and fundraise for a new project.

You can see how Chloe is getting on by reading her blog;

Visit Chloe's page on the BBC Performing Arts website below


In the news


Dance In The Park

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Plymouth City Council commissioned Plymouth Dance as part of the Public Art Programme to create a unique and exciting dance project that took place in Central Park on Monday 29 August 2011.

Choreographer Ben Dunks worked with a range of people involved in dance and sports in the City to develop dances that were rehearsed and performed in various locations in the park during the weeks leading up to ‘Dance In The Park’. On the day, as people strolled through the park they were able to see these dances being performed and encountered one or two surprises along the way in the form of strolling drummers and dancers and gorilla picnics.

Over 60 dancers performed and over 300 people witnessed ‘Dance In The Park’.


Groups and Organisations involved in Dance in the Park - download

In the news


Tea Dances with a Twist!

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From October 2010 to April 2011, Plymouth Dance offered FREE monthly social event for the over 50’s living in Plymouth.
The invitation was to dust off your dancing shoes and join us for Tea Dances with a Twist!

Whether a complete beginner or just fancied brushing up on your footwork, participants enjoyed Waltz, Jive, Cha Cha Cha and many more dance styles each month with experienced dance teachers who led them step-by-step from the moves of the roaring 20’s through to the swinging 60’s. No experience or partner was necessary.

Participants tripped the light fantastic down memory lane with friends old and new - tea and cake was provided to complete the tea dance experience!
We also offered something different - a ‘hip hop tea dance’.

There were 6 locations: Street Factory Studios, Weston Mill Oak Villa Social Club, St Budeaux Methodist Church, Devonport Guildhall, Astor Court and All Saints Academy.
This project was in partnership with NHS Plymouth Community Public Health Practitioners and was funded by The Big Lottery as a South West Well-being project and financially supported by the Devonport Regeneration Community Partnership.


More photos

Plymouth Dance Explosion

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Lets Dance - Change 4 Life Plymouth Dance Explosion


Let’s Dance with Change4Life – Plymouth Dance Explosion

On 8th July 2010 at 9.30am, Heart FM played Michael Jackson’s remix version of ‘Black or White’ and over 7,000 Primary school children, teachers, parents, siblings and friends danced the same dance at the same time to the same piece of music. There was dancing in the classrooms, the playing fields, the libraries and the Piazza!

This project was in partnership with Theatre Royal Creative Learning, the Barbican, Attik Dance and NHS Plymouth. It was commissioned by Let’s Dance with Change4Life as one of four regional mass participation projects.

Change4Life encourages people to eat well, move more and live longer. Let’s Dance with Change4Life helps people to Get up and About and to move for 60 active minutes.

More photos


In the Press 

Commissioned photos

Plymouth Dance commissioned photographer Kevin Clifford to create a set of iconic photos. The dancers selected represent the Steering Group members of Plymouth Dance:

Jane Castree
PD Teacher for Weekly Advanced Dance Classes 

Kuldip Singh-Barmi
Plymouth Youth Dance Company and MID at the Barbican.

Maryam Pourian
PD Dance Schools’ Coordinator.

Sally Robbins
PD Board Member 

Adam Benjamin
PD Board Member – Senior Lecturer at University of Plymouth.

Jules Laville
Dance Animateur at the Barbican Theatre .