Plymouth Dance Schools Newsletter

Plymouth Cultural Conference!

The Plymouth Cultural Conference, organised by RIO in July 2014, provided an exciting platform where the Plymouth Dance Partners had the chance to pitch to local schools with regard to how dance as a tool is so pivotal in educational development as well as allowing school teachers to ask questions which would assist in their delivery of dance.

The event allowed the dance collective in Plymouth to truly express to schools the aims, benefits and truth about dance involvement in schools. The event kicked off with Plymouth Dance, Barbican Theatre, Exim Dance, Attik Dance and Street Factory setting up stalls of information ready to be marketed to the school teachers of Plymouth.The arrival of the teachers into the room was met with smiles and a sense of energy, passion and eagerness surrounding the subject of dance in schools. Each spokesperson from each organisation spoke passionately with regards to their stance on dance in schools, speaking about the engagement of many subjects including focus on male and female engagement and breaking down stereotypes along the way.Jules Laville got teachers on their feet and showed them an easy practical way to weave the curriculum into dance. This was exciting, because the teachers had to do something scary, which allowed them to engage as a pupil and to become more confident themselves.The teachers reciprocated with questions and in the end there was a greater sense of understanding from the organisations and the teachers in terms of how the dance community can help. This created confidence and faced the fears around teaching dance in schools.This was followed by an exciting and vibrant speech from Dom Jinks who spoke clearly and excitingly about the cultural potential of Plymouth. He assessed the historical foundation and made it clear how undervalued it was and what an asset it was, that it amounted to any other great city historically, with particular emphasis on Mayflower 2020 as a target. There was also emphasis on sports, society and other aspects that may not be traditionally viewed as culture, which allowed a fresh approach. Particularly as all these aspects can be infiltrated and collaborated within the realm of dance.Furthermore, the collective of individuals that were present allowed for a great social interaction between the school representatives and the cultural organisations within the city. Overall, the food, workshops and conversations created a flavour of vibrancy that would benefit the city for years to come.James Nuttall (Intern for Plymouth Dance) July 2014    

Emma Pendle talks about Plymouth Dance’s ENGAGING SCHOOLS  Pilot Project at Marine Academy Plymouth:

I am extremely excited to be working on this project and after experiencing my first session within the school that I am working, I already feel the enthusiasm to engage with the young people and share with them what I know and the experience I have as a working dance practitioner.Also learning how dance is taught within a school curriculum is going to be a huge learning experience for me and therefore, I, myself will benefit from the programme, so also will Gemma [Ravenhill], the teacher I am working alongside at Marine Academy and therefore the young people that she teaches . We will be able to help each other out massively, bouncing ideas off of each other and generating, hopefully, a much more creative environment for the young people to learn and build their own passion for dance in.Engaging Schools pilot project is also taking place at Stoke Damerel Community College where Charlotte Barnes is working with Hannah Hawkey. Jules Laville is the Artistic Co-ordinator for this project which is managed by Plymouth Dance and funded by Arts Council England. Big DanceInterview with Olivia Lockwood about Big Dance- The Giants’ Story.

What was the project about?It was a regional mass participation/ dance platform event, teamed with summer reading challenge. Approached and worked with different libraries in different regions who were asked whether they wanted to be a part of Big Danceand have that integrated into their summer reading scheme. Mythical Maze (Summer Reading Challenge) was the title thatBig Dance adopted. There were a series of books that children had to read and the concept being the kids would learn the characters and mythical theme. Plymouth region was the chalk giants ,Gog and Magog identified as short giants, they used localised myths  to apply them to mythical maze. This was brought together to create a mass community thing involving dance and literature. I was lead creative representing Exim Dance company, they had the pitch, I was lead creative, Claire Summers was logistics and Admin.

What did you feel went well?We had a target of people we had to involve and we reached that target and beyond. I feel like we applied the projects to other aspects of the community, worked with local libraries/ secondary schools, there was a real buzz that was created about the day. Final product/ entity was great because many people were involved and had a positive response.

Who benefited?The public benefited because they were able to see different styles of dance that existed in the city, it exposed new companies and artists in the city. It gave opportunity to young and emerging artists/ professionals. The Library kids also benefited because they were promoting the library in The Piazza.

How much of an impact do you feel it had?It has had a more vast impact than Creepy House, because it is not just limited to the library but rather linked to lots of different communities, schools, youth dance companies, like Attik, Wheelfever and Adapt were involved. It Impacted on the public. A lot of people were watching. Encouraged people to look more into dance in Plymouth. Probably encouraged people to attend classes or something as well. Help put Plymouth and Plymouth Dance team on the map. 

If you could do it again what do you feel could also be done?I think that the Plymouth side went well, The initial planning meeting in Bournemouth  felt a little late, should have been done sooner. Very fast turnover, things were hurried and rushed. 

How did the children feel about the dance?They really loved it, there were some that workshopped in the morning and came back in the afternoon. They enjoyed the phrase and the concepts , they responded to its openness which allowed them to be creative and have lots of fun.Big Dance was a national programme of events co-ordinated by Foundation For Community Dance with the South-West Project being managed by Pavilion Dance South-West. The project in Plymouth was delivered in partnership with Exim dance Company, Plymouth central Library and Plymouth Dance. Big Dance was funded nationally by Arts Council England. 

Street Factory

Street Factory runs a week of Equality and Diversity workshops at Plymstock School (and many more primary and secondary schools). They tackle Racism - Consequences - Stereotypes, offering a safe space for the young people to be truthful and find their own solutions, embracing differences and finding similarities?They use Hip Hop dance as a tool to achieve these outcomes which is very successful and they have been delivering these issue based workshops for 4 years. In addition, they have run Anti- Bullying – Self-esteem workshops at numerous schools across the city, ranging from one off sessions to 8 week programmes; working with the children who are bullying as well as the victims, the outcomes of using Hip Hop dance to tackle these issues are extremely effective.

Exim Dance Company

Exim Dance Company runs afterschool clubs and workshops suitable for all ages; specifically designed to enhance and support your curriculum. We have facilitated both regular and individual workshops and classes in a range of primary and secondary schools across Plymouth and the surrounding area including St Peters, Mary Deane, Widewell, Hooe, Oreston, Morris Town, St Marys, Goosewell, Eggbuckland Community College, Kingsbridge, Callington College and Brooke Green. We aim to give students fun and interesting classes that empower their own learning through movement. We have more availability for both regular and individual classes to support all areas of the curriculum. For more information or to book a session please contact Claire Summers at[email protected].  

Ignite, Engage, Inspire (2011-2014)

Igniting the imagination of young disabled children

Engaging Special Schools within Plymouth in a three year dance programme

Inspiring Futures and challenging perceptions to create new horizons 

3,022 workshops, 495 dance days across 9 terms in 6 special schools

16,000 dance opportunities experienced by 1,500 children

7 dance practitioners and 12 student researchers involved through the I.E.I. project

81% of children who accessed the I.E.I. project demonstrated improvement in communication and social interaction skills

£303,076 invested into the local economy of which 50% was invested into local schools

I.E.I. was a joint project with Attik Dance, delivered by Plymouth Dance, funded by Big Lottery.

INTERVIEW WITH OLIVIA LOCKWOOD with regards to 'Creepy House party' one day workshop  (Commissioned by Plymouth Central Library) 

  • What was the project about?

It was 2013 Summer reading challenge and it was about a series of books that children were reading as part of this. They wanted a dance element included as a reward for completing the challenge. It was also about creating an awareness of libraries in the area and building a relationship with libraries in Plymouth. I think another important factor was that it created a community hub which allowed more children to be involved. I was the lead and Becky (Rebecca Miles) was my assistant. 

  • What did you feel went well?

 We worked really well with the library and the library staff and built up a sustained relationship and rapport, the parents of the children and the children all responded well and thoroughly enjoyed it. Moreover, it had a good turnout of people. 

  • Who benefited?

 I feel myself and Becky benefited hugely as it was our first opportunity we had to work with Plymouth Dance as we were both new to the area (in terms of working as dance professionals).It has been quite a nurturing environment to be in, with a lot of support from June Gamble, Ben Dunks etc. As well as giving us a new skill set, it definitely benefited the kids in the library and brought in numbers. It also made people more aware of the Summer Reading Challenge, plus the Kids had a good time! 

  • How much of an impact do you feel it had?

 The impact was positive, because the library has done similar things with regards to Big Dance and they brought me back! This is also the case because in future, Plymouth Dance hopes to work on more projects with the libraries. Furthermore, numbers were high for subscribers in terms of children. As a result of this project I have been in to further schools since.  

  • If you could do it again what do you feel could also be done differently?

 It would have been beneficial to have more access for props etc. but I only needed a couple of things, but it may have been nice to get more things for the kids, but other than this just more time, but then again, a longer duration may have been too much for  the kids. 

  • How did the dance impact the children?

 The dance enhanced their educational experience and brought them together as a group and encouraged them to make something, it gave them a freedom to be creative and share what their takes on the book was. It gave them an ability to express everything they picked up as well as enhancing the way they saw the books. It would be interesting to see if they also took part in further dance activities.Olivia and Becky have subsequently delivered a 2-day Creepy House  project at Fourlanesend Community Primary School, Cawsands. If you are interested in booking a Creepy House workshop or project for your school please call Plymouth Dance on 07818 518079.U.Dance working party meeting (Pictured Below):Description: U.Dance 2015 will be hosted in Plymouth, the team has initiated a series of meetings with regards to the national youth dance event which is going to be exciting for the city as a whole, especially for youth dance.This picture was from the second meeting. The third meeting saw a huge increase in numbers and positive plans were created towards the run-up to U.Dance.  





Street Factory 


Dance in 

Pavilion Dance South 

Foundation for Community DanceNational College for Community Dance Publication: Dance, Health and 

DanceLinksA guide to delivering high quality dance for Children and Young PeopleDfes Publications[email protected] 

U.DanceYouth Dance England[email protected] 

Dance in Education 

For information regarding other Plymouth based dance organisations and dance practitioners or dance opportunities and events, please visit and/or contact Plymouth Dance at [email protected]

Upcoming Events

PSSP Steering Group Meeting

Date: 3rd June 2020
Time: 15:00 PM - 17:00 PM

**Level 2 Mini-Red Tennis** CANCELLED**

Date: 3rd June 2020
Time: 15:30 PM - 17:30 PM

Yr 10 CV Rounders

Date: 3rd June 2020
Time: 16:00 PM - 18:00 PM

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