Curious, confident and creative!

We are so excited to be back working with Sennybridge Primary School on a new project enabling learners to explore the questions they have about the world around them through dance, drama and poetry. Each week every class spends time with our three artists actively thinking about the questions they created the week before.

The aim of the project is for learners to be more curious, to be confident in their own knowledge and for them to have the skills and tools they need to find answers to the questions they have. We believe that we are all (children, artists & teachers) learners, artists and scientists therefore we aim for the adults involved to have time to explore their own creativity, share practice and be inspired by the children’s curiosity and explorations.

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So how does this actually work? In week one the question was ‘Why do leaves fall?’ This led to discussions about the seasons, life cycles and habitats. To give an insight into the project, here’s an example of a warm up activity that the artists facilitated. All the children stand in a circle and there’s a small box with lots of photos of leaves, trees and blossom. A learner puts in their hand and chooses one at random. They respond to the photo with a movement and everyone copies. Several do this and then all the movements are linked together. Another example, is in small groups children are given a season each, they produce a mind map of everything they can think of related to that season. They bring those words and phrases together into sentences and produce their first instant poems.

During the feedback of each exercise, the artists are able to bring together the learning and further this by asking more questions. Children answer with both facts and imaginings. All are validated however we do introduce the vocabulary of facts, beliefs and opinions which is an important part of the KS2 science curriculum.


We’ll sign off with some of the interesting questions the children have suggested for next week’s explorations!

We are looking to appoint an artist to support the children to create an installation that will communicate the questions collected over the course of the project. The work will be displayed at Theatr Brycheiniog on 5th & 6th April then travel to Imperial College London for display at the end of June.

This project has been made possible with funding from Arts Council Wales!

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All that JAZZ!

After a fun 4 weeks of Salsa dancing in Hay on Wye, it’s now time to stretch and flex with 4 weeks of Jazz!

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Our adult dance classes continue on Monday 11th February in Hay on Wye but we’re changing the style to Jazz! This class will be a combination of fun and upbeat warm ups, working on Jazz technique for all abilities. Carolyn will introduce you to the world of musical theatre jazz, expect kicks and flicks, fancy footwork and A LOT of fun!

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All Powys Dance classes are inclusive, we know coming to a new class can be daunting at times but we’re right there with you, participant enjoyment and community spirit is at the heart of all we do!

New Year, New Term!

So it’s time to dig out our jazz shoes and boogie on into another exciting term of Powys Dance Classes.

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This blog is quite simply a one stop shop for all the information you’ll need to join us at one of our classes, the PERFECT link to share with your friends and family members to get them dancing too!


START DATES

For anyone out there wondering when their class is back…..

TIMETABLE

A complete timetable of all our sessions, including price…….

POSTER OVERLOAD

All our posters, for all our classes……

DANCE CENTRE CLASSES

All sessions you’ll find at our Dance Centre in Llandrindod……..


If you want to be on our mailing list to find out first hand about all things Powys Dance, please add your details below!

A Very Merry Christmas To You

Powys Dance would like to wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

We've had a wonderful year filled to the absolute brim with all things dance! There's been performances, workshops, CPD opportunities, classes, taster workshops, mentoring and a tour!


We would like to thank you all for being part of it, whether you're a participant, audience, parent/ carer, partner, funder, contributor, collaborator, liker, sharer, mover or shaker, it's you that makes everything worthwhile! 

We're looking forward to 2019 where Powys Dance will celebrate it's 40th birthday, we're planning some birthday events throughout the year as well as more opportunities to get people dancing in whatever way they want to!

All Powys Dance classes will start back between 7th January and 22nd January, please check our classes listing for when your class is back in the New Year!

This blog has also gone out as a newsletter to our subscribers, if you would like to receive the Powys dance newsletter and information about dance opportunities in Powys then please sign up and join the family!



NEW for 2019 - Hay on Wye Adult Dance Taster Sessions!

After a successful winter term of children’s dance sessions in Hay, Powys Dance are bringing a new groove to Hay on Wye in the form of dance sessions for adults!

Something brand new to get 2019 started well, 12 weeks of adult dance sessions, offering an array of dance styles to anyone looking for a new and fun challenge to kick the new year off with!

On the dance menu will be Salsa, Jazz and Contemporary dance in 4 week blocks over a 12 week term, starting on Monday 14th January with 4 weeks of Salsa!

Our Marketing and Programme assistant Jemma is thrilled to be bringing these sessions to Hay on Wye:

‘After establishing children’s sessions in Hay, with thanks to the local community, we’ve now lined up 3 practitioners to take participants through these different styles and what a variety! We’re hoping we can open up a conversation with the adults of Hay to ensure these adult sessions can continue in terms to come - we can’t wait to get dancing with you all!’

We’ve already had a lot of requests and enquiries from adults in Hay about these sessions, so we do advise that you pre book to avoid disappointment!

We’d love you to get in touch if you wanted more information on these classes, we’d be happy to talk all things dance with you!

01597824370 / hello@dawnspowysdance.org


Welshpool Dance Classes - STARTING January 2019

We’re going out to more communities than ever before with our new dance programme for the New Year!

Sometimes at PD HQ we feel like matchmakers, (not the chocolate unfortunately!) we try our best to find a great practitioner, in a great location and team them up with a brilliant venue, sometimes it works, other times the pieces don’t all work out together but when you team up with a great company like Freedom Leisure and meet a brand new and exciting dance practitioner who both have availability in the same town at the same time, that’s when the Powys Dance magic can really happen!

We are extending our reach across communities in Powys and are finding a home in….

WELSHPOOL

….with brand new children’s dance classes for a brand new year!

In partnership with Freedom Leisure and with funding from Sports Wales these new sessions will provide youngsters with a creative space to develop their interest in dance every Tuesday evening at the Flash Leisure Centre in Welshpool. These sessions will also offer children an opportunity to perform at Theatr Hafren on Friday 29th March as part of a big celebration of community dance in North Powys.

Sessions will run on Tuesdays, 4 - 4.30pm for ages 4 - 7 years and 4.45 - 5.30pm for ages 8 - 11 years. Sessions will start w/b 14th January to w/b 8th April 2019 excluding half term week, 25th - 1st March.

If you have a little one who may be interested please get in touch with us!

Powys Dance

01597 824370

hello@dawnspowysdance.org




Professors on Tour - The Lowdown

Across two and a half years, Flying Atoms has reached over 4,000 people in schools, venues and at festivals in England, Scotland & Wales. We’re really proud of these big numbers but we’re really interested in what each individual took away from their experience of the show.

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In 2016, Amanda Griffkin (Director of Powys Dance) had an idea to bring together dance and science to inspire children to enjoy both. Flying Atoms combined aerial dance, theatre, original music and an impressive set to open up the world of physics to children aged 7 - 11 and their families. One audience member in Cardiff this year told us,

"I brought my granddaughter in the hope that she would get interested in science and now she wants to fly!"

When the show visited Newtown in Autumn 2018 as part of a Wales wide tour, our producer Lauren Hussein visited a local school before and after the show to try to better understand the impact of the show on the little professors. She used the draw-a-scientist test, to see what gender the children saw scientists to be. Encouragingly (compared to other similar research) before seeing the show 33% of children drew female scientists. However we were really pleased to see that after seeing Flying Atoms nearly 50% of the scientists drawn were female.


We also measured increased confidence in being able to answer the key questions in the show such as…….

These 4 central questions in Flying Atoms when asked before the show, 65% of our focus group (7 - 11 year olds) said they felt confident they knew the answers. After the show this rose to 92%.

Along the way we managed to speak to audience members both young and old about the show and what they thought, here are some of our highlights…..

So it’s time to look at the numbers and the stats speak for themselves and who doesn’t love a infographic!

Our flying professors have truly taken flight across the country to inspire and delight audiences, if you managed to catch them we’d love to hear about your experience!

……and remember, never stop questioning!












TUESDAY!

Tuesdays are busy busy at PD we’re here there and everywhere, from Llanfair Caereinion to Welshpool to Llandrindod to Talgarth!



MONDAY!

Mondays look a little something like this……


The Boys are BACK in town!

After a a super sunny Summer break the boys of Llanfair Caereinion are back dancing and have got off to a flying start and they are now actively looking to recruit some new members to join their weekly dance group at the leisure centre in Llanfair with Dance teacher, Beth.

The group meet every Tuesday during term time at 4.15 - 5pm and during their class they are able to explore all kinds of movement, from Street to Break, to learning clever dance tricks to refining their own dance technique. The session is fun and relaxed and let’s boys explore dance and movement in their own group, they also get a huge say in what they want to do, they suggest the songs and styles and Beth makes it happen!

If you’re North Powys based and think you may have a budding dancer on your hands but they’re a little resistant to join a dance group then this may be the session for them. Boys are welcome to join/ drop in at any point during the term and we totally encourage anyone who’s interested to get in touch, you can always watch the first session to see what it’s all about!

If you would like to talk to someone prior to attending the session then please contact louise@dawnspowysdance.org or call 01597 824370

Hay change around!

WOW!

We’ve been so overwhelmed with the response to dance classes in Hay and are over the moon to of met so many of you and to be dancing with you each week!

At this weeks session we had to turn a few people away because the session was completely full, it’s not something we like to do but we have to ensure everyone who dances with us is completely safe. As a result we’ve tweaked the ages and the times so that there will be enough room for everyone, hwre!

So for the next 4 weeks, sessions on a Monday evening will go as follows….

4 - 5 years | 4 - 4.45pm

6 - 7 years | 5 - 5.45pm

8 years + | 6 - 7pm

Booking on by paying for sessions is the best way to secure your child’s place, you can do so below or contact us on 01597824370 if there is any confusion.

Remember these are taster sessions, the whole idea is to work out what will work and what people want, we’re adapting to overwhelming demand, how brilliant there are so many budding dancers in Hay!

Dance Centre LIVE: Fio presents The Island

Picture yourself….. It’s a cold October evening in Mid Wales and you’re inside a warm studio enjoying a TONY award winning play brought to life by stunning theatre company Fio……..

Well on the 20th October, you won’t have to dream it you can come and experience it because we are so excited to welcome Fio back to the Dance Centre this Autumn with their new show, The Island.

Our intimate venue in Llandrindod Wells gives you a unique space in which to enjoy and experience live theatre, feel immersed in what promises to be a humorous and touching performance that will be both entertaining and thought provoking.

The Island

The Island is a politically visceral piece of theatre based on a true story.

Set in the same prison where Nelson Mandela was held this universal story attacks our ability to passively accept immoral laws.

How much pain does a state need to inflict before you fight it? 

2018 marks Nelson Mandela’s centenary year and Fio want to celebrate an influential historical icon and ask .

Do we ever learn from those who came before us?

The Island by Athol Fugard, John Kani and Winston Ntshona

Two men, political prisoners and unlikely friends, stagger through days of pointless, back-breaking labour, coping with vicious beatings from the guards and spending their nights remembering a life outside their current misery. They prepare for a performance of Antigone in front of the other inmates and guards – an act of defiance from people who have lost everything...

This soaring, award-winning drama draws on the stories that linger from the notorious prison on Robben Island where Nelson Mandela was incarcerated.


Hay, let's dance!

Next week Powys Dance will be setting up home in Hay-on-Wye delivering a 6 week block of dance sessions for under 12’s!

With 2 sessions available for different age ranges we hope you’ll come and join us and let your little ones come and experience a Powys Dance class. Packed full of dancing opportunity with creativity, games and technique, there is something for every dancer of any ability. To greet you will be the lovely Miriam who cannot wait to get started and is buzzing to meet you, so spread the word folks, Powys Dance is hitting Hay!

You can drop into these sessions and pay there and then as you go or pay for the 6 weeks online which gives you 10% off the overall cost.


It's a Poster Roller Coaster!

New Term begins tomorrow 10th September and we are strapped in and ready to go, NOTHING excites us more than prepping our dance kit and getting ready to meet new faces and excitedly seeing familiar ones!

Sometimes the thought of updating and creating new posters is rather daunting but when you've got a fresh batch of Summer workshop images to choose from it's an absolute blast and to see them all together is colourful treat for the eyes.

So, these are ALL of our current community classes for Autumn Term 2018.

Please note: ALL of Carolyn's Powys Dance sessions start back w/b 17th September, so that's Senior Moment(um) Llandrindod, Senior Moment(um) Bronllys and Adult Tap in Llandrindod!

Now, there are dance in education sessions happening throughout the week in Powys too, we LOVE working in schools, AND some exciting session developments happening in other locations (woo hoo!).....AND some half term activity being planned after our successful Summer activity.......ooh AND our regular sessions at the Dance Centre led by external hirers, so lot's to get stuck in to and lot's to look forward too!

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POWYS DANCE

01597 824370 hello@dawnspowysdance.org

 

 

Big Fish Little Fish finds a permanent home in Machynlleth!

We can't wait to get dancing with Machynlleth under 4's this term as Big Fish Little Fish take on a weekly slot at Y Plas in Machynlleth. Along with our already popular under 4's dance classes in Llandrindod and Talgarth, our Mach session will start next week and we cannot wait!

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The lovely Clara will be dancing with you all every Tuesday 1.30 - 2.30pm at Y Plas in Machynlleth and looks forward to running a regular session, filled with fun, play, games, dance, music and of course some parachute play. Encouraging creativity, movement development and letting little ones find a safe place to be curious about the world through dance with their accompanying big person!

You can turn up and drop in when you can or alternatively you can pay for the term online!

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Dance exploration in Brecon for teenagers!

Joon Dance are at Theatr Brycheiniog this August offering 4 days of dance exploration for young people aged 14 - 21 years. Taking time to look at the relationship between body and self, and physically giving participants a voice and a safe place to explore it.

In their own words Joon Dance explain a bit about this project, entitled 'TONGUES'

The tongue is where the brain and the body can be most tangibly felt to intersect. It is the muscle with which we express our thoughts. It is also the place where expression can be blocked, we may be tongue-tied. The word ‘tongue’ conjures up ideas like language, identity, and sense of self. It is central to communication and understanding; without language and self-expression how can we create healthy friendships and keep ourselves emotionally and physically safe in sexual relationships? These issues are vital to supporting young people to have a voice and to use it, and to have a body and use it, and to connect the two.

TONGUES is inherently Welsh and connects young people from rural (Brecon) and urban (Cardiff) environments addressing ideas and identities emerging from these different experiences. With TONGUES, we are targeting an age group (14-21 years) not often catered to with dance and performance, and where the young people's relationship with their physical body and with the idea of ‘self’ is transient, changing and evolving.

 

If you wish to book a spot for you/ your young person please follow the link

 

About Joon

Joon Dance is a professional dance company based at the Torch Theatre in Milford Haven. The company creates touring performances, specialising in performance for young people. High-quality dance in the community is at the heart of our mission: every work by Joon Dance includes an element of involvement with audiences and participants. As well as participatory dance projects for children and young people, we run intensive workshops year-round and provide training and mentoring for young artists developing their careers.


"Our goals are to bring dance to everyone - dance as personal expression, dance as activism, dance for health, dance to connect, dance for social change. TONGUES furthers our model of high-quality professional dance work in the community, working with a new age group (young adults aged 14-21) using a model of work devised over a number of previous projects and piloted in a small test last summer."

 

Find Your Potential

Powys Dance is a charitable organisation that seeks to share the transformational power of dance as far and wide as possible, delivering dance sessions that are fun, creative and ! As we grow our participatory programme, we also need to expand our team of freelance dance practitioners.  We currently deliver weekly term time dance sessions to under 4s and their parent/cares, children, young people, adults, adults with disabilities and older adults across the county. Our programme is expanding quickly with workshops and classes delivered in community and school settings, and we would like to expand our team of freelance practitioners from September 2018.

We recognise that there are many routes through to dance teaching, and that’s why we would like to hear from you:

  • If you trained in dance years ago and are feeling rusty;

  • If you’ve come to dance later in life or not received formal training but are enthusiastic about developing your skills and practice;

  • If you have specialist skills in a dance genre but are seeking to broaden your practise;

  • If you’re a young dancer not formally trained but seeking a career in dance;

  • If you’ve got experience of leading aerobic or dance fitness sessions (e.g FitSteps, Zumba) and would like to enhance your creative dance skills.

There are also professional performance opportunities available, working on our science + dance touring productions.

What we can offer:

Training opportunities and mentoring support so that you can feel confident delivering sessions for Powys Dance.

We pay £26 per hour for session delivery, plus travel expenses.

For an informal chat and to find out more, contact our Participation Manager Louise Prosser on 07989 356690 or email louise@dawnspowysdance.org

Go on, make dance your life!
 

Taking the stage outside!

Theatre Practitioner and freelance producer Lauren Hussein has worked with Powys Dance since 2016, successfully taking Flying Atoms into Powys schools and enabling it to take flight into the world of professional touring - see Flying Atoms in theatres across Wales this Autumn!

Last weekend she attended the Greenwich & Docklands International Festival of Outdoor Arts with a bursary from Articulture, in her own words read how this trip has inspired her thinking and ideas about outdoor performance.


Taking the Art Outdoors, Lauren Hussein

My parents took me to Covent Gardens regularly as a child to see the street performers. Growing up in London, seeing performance and art in public places was fairly normal. However, this weekend I was watching not only as a spectator but as a maker too. Being able to see the amount and variety of outdoor arts on offer at Greenwich & Docklands International Festival with making in mind was overwhelming and made the performances all the more impressive. Thanks to Articulture for making this trip possible. 

An example of the many performances throughout the festival

An example of the many performances throughout the festival

I want to highlight five key characteristics of outdoor arts that became clear to me this weekend, and that I’ll be taking forward in my producing role with Powys Dance.

 

RoboPole presented by UliK Robotik was an example of precision and simplicity. A 10-minute performance displaying outstanding skill, making the audience gasp and turn to each other with raised eyebrows. The performer and robotic arm were perfectly in sync, and if I’m correct that it was all pre-programmed, the performer’s precision in standing at exactly the correct point over and again to interact with the machinery was so interesting to watch. Although the development must have been detailed and the subtext could be discussed for hours, the piece itself was simple and concise.

 

An obvious trait but one that becomes all the more significant when you set out to make is that there is no backstage, there’s no hiding, everything is laid bare. Many companies make this a focus of their work. I loved to see this embraced by Helen Eastman Production’s Bicycle Boy, and Dip by Max Calaf Seve. In Bicycle Boy, we saw the wires and audience members provided the pedal power; seeing the way things work was at the heart of the show. The Dip soundtrack was made in collaboration with the audience. Words, crisp crunching and bottle popping looped as a backdrop to breathtaking trampolining.

 

The skill in looking like you don’t know what you’re doing is immense. I was lucky enough to get some overalls and make my way into the big white tent for Plock! presented by Grensgeval. To start, I really was tricked into believing I was going to watch someone simply paint for 55 minutes. It wasn’t until I became aware of the most beautiful and subtle soundtrack, I realised that every movement, moment of eye contact and mark made on the paper was perfectly choreographed. When watching Doble Mandoble’s La Belle Escabelle, it wasn’t the final balancing on top of a step ladder by your neck spectacle that was most impressive to me (although that was pretty jaw dropping!). It was the timing and skill required to make their intricate bottle and glass choreography look chaotic and wild.

 

Connection between the performance and audience is what many artists aim towards. However, this weekend, I realised again how this is dependent on the spectator’s subjectivity not only the quality of the work. Teatro So’s Sorriso’s was indisputably beautiful and faultless but I failed to connect emotionally (despite trying!). I saw in the characters’ interactions one last dance with life and when the male figure took the largest balloon I imagined it floating to the heavens. But he popped it and I realised that what I saw was not what was intended and my connection with the piece was lost. Conversely, a scratch performance by Flintlock Theatre at the HUB called Last Words wasn’t based on a subject I felt instantly connected with. However, the skill of the single performer in storytelling and including the audience, particularly through her eye contact made the work touching and compelling.

 

Lastly, seeing 14 shows across the weekend was a wonderful opportunity to really think about.........

 

why outside?

 

This is probably best exemplified in the piece that I found myself thinking about for most of the long journey back to Wales. Rodadoras presented by Becky Namgauds could have been performed inside in terms of scale and production. Three dancers performing powerful and primal choreography in soil didn’t have to be under a tree in the corner of the gardens. So why should it be? Firstly, being situated outside added to the artistic vision. The organic movement coming from the earth amongst nature and against the backdrop of the sky heightened the performance, making it so much more interesting that had it been performed in a pristine black box with professional lighting and surround sound. Secondly and most importantly for me, there were people who saw that work that would not have seen it had it been performed at Sadlers Wells. The deliveroo cyclists that stopped to watch at the fence, the toddler who paused puzzled at the women kicking the soil and the little girl in the front row ‘face timing’ her dad to show him what he was missing. None of this would have been possible in a venue and that’s what its all about.

Lauren Hussein

See Lauren's original blog here

Big Fish Little Fish comes to Machynlleth

It's no secret that Powys Dance has been actively looking for practitioners in North Powys to enable us to offer more sessions to more people and we are delighted to be working with Clara in Machynlleth to deliver some Big Fish Little Fish sessions, hwre!

Our sessions for 8 months - 4 years old and their parent/ carer offer your little one an insight into the diverse world of dance, giving them a free space to explore movement, rhythm, song and play. These sessions have also been known to support parents/ grandparents/ carers, giving them the confidence to be creative movers at home.

So if you are near the Machynlleth area join Clara for 2 dates this term and see what Big Fish Little Fish is all about!

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Architectural Emporium come to Powys!

We are currently undergoing a Capital Feasibility Study on our headquarters, the Dance Centre in Llandrindod Wells with award winning Liverpool based architects, Architectural Emporium.

The Dance Studio at the Dance Centre in Llandrindod Wells

The Dance Studio at the Dance Centre in Llandrindod Wells

The project is funded by Arts Council of Wales and is the first study undertaken by Architectural Emporium in Wales, who recently received a RIBA award for their Walk the Plank build in Salford.

Toby Wallis of Architectural Emporium says:

“Architectural Emporium are incredibly excited to be undertaking our first major commission in Wales with Powys Dance. The designs are in the early stages, but we are looking forward to transforming their existing building with some new and inventive interventions that allow a wonderful organisation to grow and thrive.”

The study comes at a pivotal point for us at Powys Dance, as we approach our three year anniversary as an independent charity having been a department of Powys County Council for over thirty years

Director Amanda Griffkin says:

“Since becoming a charity we have grown our dance activity across the county and the time is right to develop and update our base to reflect our new vision and ambition to get more people dancing.”

The Dance Centre is a 1930s church hall in the centre of Llandrindod Wells and is currently well used for dance activity, yoga, and other local community group activities - and is always the perfect space for an infamous studio selfie!

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It was last refurbished in the 1990s, which converted the main space into a dance studio and performance space.

A little about our new friends, Architectural Emporium

Based on Hope Street, Liverpool Architectural Emporium is an architectural practice focusing on contemporary building design solutions across a range of projects including commercial, retail, residential, arts, health, education and hospitality.  Our approach to each new commission is to work collaboratively with our clients to interpret their needs to deliver bespoke solutions for each site. See www.architectural-emporium.co.uk

Awards:

2018 RIBA Award: Walk the Plank

2018 RIBA Emerging Practice of the Year: Architectural Emporium

2018 RIBA Client of the Year: Walk the Plank