Over the next few months, join us looking back on all the wonderful projects Plymouth Dance has delivered over the years. First up, let’s throw it back to the nationwide projects we have been a part of from here in Plymouth.

Also coming up; schools projects, professional development projects and city-wide community engagement work.


Project: Dance Explosion                               2010

On 8th July 2010, at over 56 different locations across Plymouth, approximately 7,000 people performed a choreographed dance, by Jules Laville, to Michael Jackson’s remix of ‘Black & White’. Groups within community settings that participated in the performance included; residential homes, dance fitness groups, 42 primary schools including special schools, Devonport High School and their dance leaders, and from the University of Plymouth a group of dentistry students. This project was in partnership with Change4Life.

“I heard there was a ‘dance explosion’ that was supposedly for school children, but the newspaper said anyone could join in, and being a dance fanatic I came with a friend and we joined in, I hadn’t done the routine before but it was good fun.” – 68 year old participant.

Project: The Big Dance                                   2012

Hundreds of children across the city put their dancing shoes on to take part in an attempt to break a world record for dance. Children from 9 primary schools, colleges, special schools and learning centres took part; City College Plymouth, Oakwood Primary, Highview Primary, St Paul’s Roman Catholic Primary, Stoke Damerel Community College, Brook Green Centre for Learning, and Courtlands Special School. All gathering on the Piazza, in the city centre, they took part in a five minute dance routine as part of the worldwide warm-up to the Big Dance 2012, within the London Olympics 2012 Festival.

“The whole thing has been a fantastic opportunity for students of different ages and abilities to come together and celebrate the school community, the Olympic values and the amazing opportunities that the London 2012 Olympics bring to this country.” – School Dance Teacher


Project: U.Dance                                            2015

In 2015 the national U.Dance festival was held in Plymouth and hosted by Plymouth Dance. U.Dance is an annual festival that celebrates youth dance and brings together groups from across the country to share their dance in performance, to experience different dance styles and approaches in classes, workshops and seminars, and to network and socialise. Through an intensive experience of diverse activities, U.Dance celebrates and promotes excellence, best practice, innovation, the voice of young people, and dance created by and with young people. Over 4 days in July, U.Dance 2015 included:

  • 3 performances in the Plymouth Theatre Royal featuring 323 young performers and watched by 1,527 audience members
  • 21 workshops and classes for young dancers
  • mass dance on the Civic Centre Piazza

20% of the groups involved comprised of young dancers with disabilities, and 44 Teachers, leaders and dance professionals engaged with the festival as well as 43 Volunteers helping out.

“One of the most valuable and education dance experience of my life.”U.Dance participant

“I’ve been in Plymouth for three days and I’ve had such a great time. I can honestly say that every time I come to U.Dance I always get really excited, but I think this is the best U.Dance yet!” – U.Dance participant

Articles written by Martha Scholefield [2022]
To read the other articles looking back at the archive of Plymouth Dance’s projects click here.