Dance in Devon and Plymouth Dance are currently unable to continue operating because of a lack of sustained organisational funding. This is despite recent successful funding applications and commissions for projects, which cannot now go ahead without sufficient funds to cover core costs and staffing.
Sadly, for Dance in Devon there is no option but for the organisation to pause operations from the end of February for a period of 6 months while the Board considers future options. Plymouth Dance will cease operating from the end of July 2022.
Dance in Devon and Plymouth Dance work with a range of partners to provide dance activity which is vital for the creativity of artists, for community wellbeing and for the health of individuals. Both organisations work with dance practitioners to facilitate their professional development and to ensure that the people of Plymouth, Devon and further afield can benefit from high quality dance activity.
Both organisations have successfully existed and navigated the changing environment for over 15 years, operating expanding and contracting business models; and there is no doubt that there is still a demand and a need to continue this strategic activity that they have a strong reputation for delivering.
However, we recognise that with the absence of both organisations the current dance support infrastructure for the South West peninsula is destabilised. We face a situation where there will be a significant impact on support structures for dance and dance professionals in the region because Dance in Devon and Plymouth Dance are both currently unable to operate.
In the period up to July 2022, both organisations are keen to engage with key partners and funding agencies to explore, design and build a new, appropriate model of support for dance in the South West. We want to ensure that the people of Devon and Plymouth can participate in dance activities for their own creativity and wellbeing, and that dance professionals can continue to thrive in the region. We invite you to contribute to the conversation to gather your views on what is needed to support a thriving dance ecology going forward in Devon and Plymouth. The online consultations will be held on Tue 5th April at 10:30am and Wed 6th April at 6:30pm; please click here to register. You are also welcome to contribute to the conversation via our Google Form.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank everybody who has ‘danced’ with us over the years!
Statement from Dr Chris Turner, Chair of Trustees of Dance in Devon
“It is with huge regret and sadness that Dance in Devon has had to make the decision to cease their activities and support for dance in the region. This will leave a great gap in support for dance practitioners as well as for the communities which have benefited from our pioneering work. There is no doubt that the work in schools, in community halls, for people in residential care, for aspiring dancers, and for those experiencing dance for the first time, will be hugely disadvantaged. During this time, when taking care of our individual and collective wellbeing and mental health is particularly important, the loss of dance activities and opportunities will be felt even more acutely.
The Board of Trustees, and all its many supporters, desperately want to seek ways of continuing our work – rest assured we will seek every means of doing that. Meanwhile, we would like to extend our heartfelt thanks to partners, organisations, funders, practitioners and staff who have supported our work over the last 19 years.”
Statement from Board of Directors for Plymouth Dance
“We would like to sincerely thank June Gamble, who has led the organisation as Coordinating Producer since 2009. June’s passion, commitment, adaptability and resourcefulness, alongside her dance industry national and regional networks, have ensured a vibrant offer of dance at all levels. While we believe that June’s legacy is one that will lead to further and varied development within the city, it is with the deepest regret that we must now announce that given the changes now taking place, that Plymouth Dance will cease operating from the end of July 2022.”
Dance in Devon – Mission Statement
Supporting expression, connection and well-being through dance and challenging historic barriers to participation, our vision is for an energized and activated county where people’s lives are enriched by the possibilities of dance. Through collaborative dance opportunities we listen, support biodiversity on a neighbourhood and global scale and shine a light on the choices we make about how we relate to others and connect with the world around us.
Dance in Devon was established in 2003 and has worked extensively with social, health and cultural organisations across Devon and beyond to co-create joyful dance for people of all ages and from all walks of life. Over 19 years there have been many highlights including; ‘artswavedevon’ (2013-16) a collaborative project reaching 14,000 Devon residents – 8,000 of them young people, ‘Devon Dance Compass’ (2012) bringing dance, crafts and communities together in the farthest corners of Devon and our award-winning ‘Best Foot Forward’ (2017-20) a falls prevention project with older people. Our valued artist support programmes including ‘Space to Play’ and ‘Watch This Space’ have supported many professional artists from Devon and the SW delivered in partnership with our venue partners across the county and with contributions from internationally acclaimed companies/artists.
Plymouth Dance – Mission Statement
Engaging people and communities within Plymouth with the transformational power of dance. Connecting, creating and celebrating dance in Plymouth by delivering citywide partnership projects that use dance as a vehicle for individual, cultural, organisational and social change.
For the past 15 years Plymouth Dance has been at the heart of dance development and delivery across the city of Plymouth working in partnership with key arts, cultural, educational and health organisations/sectors to deliver high quality inclusive dance practice. Highlights during this time have included; ‘Plymouth Dance Explosion’ (2010) – a mass participation event involving 7,000+ participants, ‘Ignite, Engage, Inspire’ (2011-2014) – a wonderful 3-year project in Special Education Schools, the hosting of ‘U.Dance2015’ – the national youth dance festival and ‘Tea Dances with a Twist!’ (2016 to 2022) delivering an inclusive community service project, reducing social isolation and exclusion for people over 50. Plymouth Dance also built a reputation nationally and internationally for delivering high-quality professional development training for dancers from around the world.
15th March 2022