Half Term Funk.

If you're aged between 7 - 12 years then why not join us as we go old school with a day of funk and hip hop!

Taking place on Wednesday 17th February (half term!) at the Dance Centre in Llandrindod Wells.

Check out the poster below for more information, only 10 places left, nab one now before it's to late!


What do the Youth do?

We have been working with our Builth Youth dancers to create their own duets this term, thinking not just about dancing with a partner, but using your partner to create and influence movement. Here are Meg and Caitlen starting to experiment with some ideas! [wpvideo tPgfM38E]

Builth Youth Dance, Mondays 5.45 - 6.45pm, at the Jubilee Hall, Llanelwedd.

Gathering Senior Moment(um)

Senior Moment(um) is the name of our programme of dance for adults with 50+ years life experience, and this year we've expanded our classes into Welshpool. These are lively and varied drop in dance sessions for all abilities. The groups also enjoy socialising over coffee afterwards and the occasional performance opportunity in Cardiff!

SENIOR MOMENTUM 15-16 L'DOD SENIOR MOMENTUM 15-16 LLANFAIR SENIOR MOMENTUM 15-16 WELSHPOOL

Dawns Powys Dance Quick Steps Forward as Independent Charity with Launch Party

Having recently registered as a charity, we celebrated a new dawn with an energetic launch showcase on Thursday 17th September. The open door event was devised to celebrate the success of the past 30 years but also present a clear vision for the future.  In attendance were Chris Davies MP, Ken Skates AM, Deputy Minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism, Cllr Barry Thomas, leader of the Council and a host of arts organisations and Dawns Powys Dance participants.

Two Llandrindod High students, Carys Power and Elleah Smith performed a duet, preceded by impassioned speeches made by Ken Skates AM, local business owner and Dawns Powys Dance trustee Elwyn Davies, Amanda Griffkin, Director of Dawns Powys Dance and Cllr Graham Brown, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member with responsibility for Culture at Powys County Council.

In his speech Ken Skates AM said, “It is a pleasure for me to be here today at the launch of Dawns Powys Dance as an Independent Charitable Organisation, as it moves forward on the next stage of its journey as one of Wales’ most exciting and reinvigorated dance companies.”

The Minister went on to comment, “The transition that you have gone through in moving from an in-house service to a charity is something that a number of other authorities in Wales would do well to look towards. You should really congratulate yourselves.”

The transformation from Local Authority-run service to an independent Charitable Incorporated Organisation has taken over a year, to ensure the smooth transition which would enable  Dawns Powys Dance to commit to continuing to deliver classes, performances and exhibition dances without interruption.

Jennifer Owen-Adams, Director of Teach First Cymru and Chair of the Board of Trustees comments:

“Since the very first board meeting we have been driven by a shared vision to ‘get more people dancing’, we have approached each task with that in mind.  We’ve also been working closely with the Director Amanda, key stakeholders, Powys County Council, Powys Association of Voluntary Organisations and independent consultants, which has enabled us to make a great leap forward in the organisation’s history.  We are united in our desire to continue to provide opportunities for more people to make, create and watch dance together as families, as communities, as friends and as schools.”

The launch was followed by the announcement that Dawns Powys Dance has been included in the provisional portfolio of Revenue Funded Organisations (RFOs) drawn up by the Arts Council of Wales, for the period 2016 - 2019.

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Conversations – explorations into participatory dance practice

Our colleagues at Rubicon are undertaking some research with Cardiff Met University and are seeking dance artists to join them in conversation: "Rubicon Dance and Cardiff Met Dance have been awarded funding from ArtWorks Cymru to explore the question – What is Participatory Practice?

We plan to do this by having 3 conversations over 3 days. Each day will involve practical exploration, dialogue and debate.

Our intention is to bring together makers, creators and facilitators to contribute to this conversation. We would like to invite dance artists and also artists from other art forms who have an interest in dance and participatory practice, and are curious about their own practice, to contribute.

We have the money to pay a fee of £200 to two people each day to contribute to our research.

  • SUNDAY 29TH NOVEMBER, 2015
  • SUNDAY 31ST JANUARY, 2016
  • SUNDAY 20TH MARCH, 2016

Expressions of interest should include:

  • Brief pen portrait – the essence of you

- and –

  • Why you are interested in being part of this research?

Please ensure you include contact details (name, email, phone number) and email to:

Kathryn@rubicondance.co.uk; sfisher@cardiffmet.ac.uk; svarrall@cardiffmet.ac.uk

by Friday 23rd October, 2015."

Earthfall brings Iain back to Powys!

That's right, former Powys Dance dance practitioner Iain Payne, is back in county with dance company Earthfall! Iain Payne with Earthfall, Rehearsal Photo 2015

Performing at Theatre Brycheiniog in Brecon tonight and tomorrow night, 30th September and 1st October.

Earthfall will perform 'Stories From A Crowded Room' which celebrates their 25th year of creating and performing immersive and exciting dance work. Don't miss out on seeing them for yourself and enjoying a night of quality dance performance.

Pob Lwc Iain!

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Welshpool, here we come!

Following a storming Let's Dance day in Welshpool in the summer we've had lots of requests from parents asking if we could introduce regular classes to the area. Our new vision is of more people dancing, and our mission is to bring dance where there is a demand so here we go, two new groups for children starting at the Armoury on Brook St. on Monday 28th September. Hope to see you there!

WELSHPOOL CLASSES 15:16

Director's statement

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In August 2015 we took our first steps as an independent charity, with a refreshed vision and determination to get more people dancing. Along with this, we are making some changes to our programme. While some classes will remain, others will be adapted, new ones will emerge and some will disappear from the calendar.  Periods of change can be unsettling and I wanted to speak up to help you understand that this is not complacency, this is our attempt to move forward strategically – to expand our offering in new areas and to reach out to more areas of the community. We are in the process of widening our focus to better serve our communities in creative, dynamic and interesting ways, focusing on children and young people; families; older adults; vulnerable people; and hard to reach groups. Another area in which our practice is expanding is dance for health and wellbeing.

The bedrock of our charity is our community class programme. With classes for children and young people, adults with disability and those with specific health care needs we aim to provide access to dance in a large geographical area that is not typically well served by cultural offer. We will continue to develop this and while some classes have been suspended we are working on others to take their place.

We are also developing new projects, including a new touring show to schools, a performance group for adults with learning differences and community projects in Llandrindod Wells and Welshpool. Watch this space for news and opportunities to take part.

Our search for freelance dance artists and practitioners to help us deliver our vision continues - if you’re one and live in or around Powys then do get in touch!

We are committed to inspiring healthier, more imaginative and better-connected local communities through dance but to build higher we need to get our foundations right, so join us on our journey to get more people dancing in Powys.

If you have any queries or comments, I would love to hear from you.

Amanda Griffkin

Summer Activities/ Gweithgareddau Haf 2015

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It's that time of year again, summer is just around the corner, 6 weeks of freedom... so why not spend your summer with us and have loads of dancing fun!

With workshops across Powys for ages 0 - 18, you are bound to find something to suit your young ones this summer! With our exciting 'Haf Fun' mornings going on a mini tour around Powys this year, to our amazing opportunity, 'Fflwcs', for all those youth dancers out there, have a read on and book up!

DC BIG POSTER 2015 ENGLISH

DC BIG POSTER 2015 WELSH

Let's Dance is in 3 locations this year, Ystradgynlais, Welshpool and Llandrindod Wells!                  LETS DANCE TUESDAY 2015       LETS DANCE WEDNESDAY       LETS DANCE THURSDAY

Youth Dance: Fflwcs is our exciting opportunity for any Youth dancers out there to create a piece together to perform at the Eisteddfod 2015

YOUTH DANCE FFLWCS

Upbeat and Street is a day full of street dance for anyone 7 - 12 years!

 UPBEAT AND STREET 2015

Haf Fun goes on tour this year, in Llanfair Caereinion, Llandrindod Wells and Brecon, bring your little minis and join the fun! HAF FUN - WEDNESDAY    HAF FUN - THURSDAY    HAF FUN - FRIDAY

Booking is essential for all summer schools, but have no fear we have that covered as well, click below to fill in a booking form online.

English Booking Form

Welsh Booking Form

Alternatively, to download a booking form to print please click below

Booking Form

We look forwarding to dancing with you this summer!

For anymore details contact us via Facebook or email powys.dance@powys.gov.uk or call us on 01597 824370

Fflwcs 2015

FFLWCS HEADER

We are so excited to announce that we will be producing a Youth Dance platform at the 2015 National Eisteddfod in Meifod!

As part of the National Eisteddfod celebrations this year in Meifod, Dawns Powys Dance will be producing a Youth Dance platform, Fflwcs, to showcase groups from across Wales in celebration of young people dancing in Wales. This event will be held on Thursday 6th August during the national Eisteddfod in the dance tent and will be the first ever Youth Dance platform at the Eisteddfod.

So we are calling all youth dance groups in Wales to participate and be a part of this exciting platform, to celebrate youth dance in all its variety of styles and creativity. We would love to have a varied and diverse programme to showcase, and there is no better way to do that than by creating a show combining community youth dancers from all across Wales, to share the stage together.

We want to offer our youth dance participants an opportunity to share their work as part of a national event and create a platform through which youth dance can be celebrated, shared and at its grassroots be a non- competitive opportunity for dancers to perform and showcase their passion for all things dance.

If you would like to be part of this fantastic opportunity and event, download more information and guidelines here.

 Similarly if you have any questions or would like more information please don't hesitate to get in touch with us using any of the contact information provided. To apply and register your interest, please complete this online form 

Fel rhan o ddathliadau'r Eisteddfod Genedlaethol eleni ym Meifod, bydd Dawns Powys yn cynhyrchu llwyfan Dawns Ieuenctid, Fflwcs, i roi sylw i grwpiau o bob cwr o Gymru i ddathlu pobl ifanc yn dawnsio yng Nghymru. Bydd y digwyddiad hwn yn cael ei gynnal ddydd Iau 6 Awst yn ystod yr Eisteddfod Genedlaethol yn y babell ddawns a hwn fydd y llwyfan Dawns Ieuenctid cyntaf erioed yn yr Eisteddfod.

Felly, rydym yn galw ar bob grŵp dawns ieuenctid yng Nghymru i gymryd rhan a chyfrannu at y llwyfan cyffrous hwn, i ddathlu dawns ieuenctid yn ei holl arddulliau a'i greadigrwydd amrywiol. Byddem wrth ein bodd o gael rhaglen amrywiol i'w harddangos, ac nid oes ffordd well o wneud hynny na thrwy greu sioe sy'n dod â dawnswyr ieuenctid cymunedol o bob rhan o Gymru at ei gilydd i rannu'r llwyfan.

Rydym am gynnig cyfle i'r rhai sy'n ymwneud â dawns ieuenctid i rannu eu gwaith fel rhan o ddigwyddiad cenedlaethol a chreu llwyfan i ddathlu dawns ieuenctid.  Mae hwn yn gyfle heb fod yn gystadleuol i ddawnswyr berfformio ac arddangos eu brwdfrydedd dros bopeth sy'n ymwneud â dawns.

Gallwch lwytho i lawr y Canllawiau yma

Os oes gennych unrhyw ymholiadau – bach neu fawr, os hoffech fwy o wybodaeth neu sgwrs am rai o agweddau'r dydd / logisteg, cysylltwch â ni yn Dawns Powys! Cofrestrwch eich diddordeb drwy lenwi’r ffurflen ar-lein fer hon. 

'Youth Dance, Spectrum!?...Huh....whats that?

Ok, so if your anything like me, you hear the word 'spectrum' and immediately I'm singing, (badly in my case!) Florence + the Machine, dancing around the office like a complete goon demonstrating moves my dad would showcase at a wedding party. Its wild the effect music can have on us, there's certain tunes, love or hate, that can spark something inside us like; emotion, debate or sometimes a physical response. In this scenario our physical response is to dance! So you see a poster, for a dance workshop, over the Summer Holidays, what do you do? Ignore it? Now we all know just how amazing the Summer holidays can be, chilling out with friends, going into town, no school, the freedom you get feels amazing, major lie ins, late night film watching, however lets not forget those days you spend, perhaps when the weather isn't to great or when your mate is away on holiday and your trawling facebook, updating your status for the 5th time that day. Sometimes when you've got to much time on your hands, you just don't know what to do with it. So would you want to come and dance instead......hmmmm?? So lets break it down...

What goes on at a dance workshop? Well without stating the obvious, dancing. OK, so maybe I did state the obvious, but really the word dance can be so intangible and mean so many things to different people, I mean what was your first thought when dance was mentioned, ballet? Leg warmers and sweat bands? Diversity? We all have stereotypes and first impressions affect how we see things, and would perhaps make us not want to do something, when really we probably would've enjoyed it, I wonder if thats the case here, fear of the unknown? I'm not being funny but in a studio full of mirrors think about all the selfie potential! #studioselfie .....see i'm already obsessed....

winter selfie....

new hat selfie....

sore throat so loads of scarves selfie.....

Less talking/ typing then, more dancing!! Let me show you a sneak peek of what you can expect if you did, see a poster for a dance workshop and decided to be brave and do it!

[wpvideo YHP1H3c8]

So you've seen the type of thing you can expect, good music and moves in an amazing studio, and I promise it will be a lot of fun dancing, laughing and having a good time. Learning some great choreography and developing your dance skills! Youth Dance: Spectrum is for over 11's and will run on the 5th and 6th of August from 11am til 4pm on both days! Spectrum will be led by Iain Payne and myself, Jemma Louise, we so look forward to dancing with you! Don't miss out guys, its gonna be good!!

BOOK NOW!

 

 

Summer is getting exciting!

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Our courses are booking up fast, and Jemma has been busy working on some cracking choreo to keep everyone entertained and on their toes. Altogether now, "Money on my mind! Money on my mind!"

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Video edit of PYDC's 'What Feels Real?'

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NLbhul5czO0]A short clip of the piece made for the U.Dance Wales platform 2014 at the Sherman Theatre, Cardiff. The 13 dancers worked over an intensive period of 3 days to create this piece. We hope you enjoy watching! More images and videos of our rehearsal process to follow shortly...

Kayleigh's visit to the NDTA Conference 2013: 'Moving On: A New Era for Dance in the School Curriculum'

On the 23rd of November, Kayleigh our Welsh Language Apprentice Dance Practitioner travelled up to London to attend the annual National Dance Teachers Association Conference. Here’s what she had to say about the day…  Up bright and early on a fresh and frosty London morning, I couldn’t wait to spend the day in the ever fascinating Laban building, attending workshops and talks, gaining more knowledge in a field I’m keen to progress and pursue post Powys Dance apprenticeship.  Morning class was up first, fast paced contemporary! It was a highly refreshing class with clarity and precision both in structure and delivery. Also used were some great examples of music choices that can help accentuate the purpose of particular exercises. Fast paced it most definitely was, before I knew it the hour and half had flown by.  Now that I was all limbered up and feeling energized I was ready for the day ahead.   

With the NDTA Celebrating its 25th Birthday it would have been easy for the conference to look back on its success, however, the focus was aimed at looking toward the future and how dance can continue to thrive in education.   Due to the changes to the national curriculum, through keynote presentations, we were able to gain a deeper understanding of what implementations can be made to adhere to these curriculum changes for best practice in dance education. A particular highlight was guest speaker Geoff Barton, head teacher at King Edward VI School, Suffolk.  His passionate speech about the central importance he places on dance in schools left all attendees inspired about the possibilities of what we can deliver as teachers, artists and thinkers. Where so much of education is seen to be measured almost robotically by following criteria, assessment and examination, the importance of encouraging an enriching, creative and imaginative experience within schools is being underrated and more importantly, undervalued.  Despite his enthusiasm and positivity, Barton did not ignore the issues surrounding dance on the curriculum either. Needless to say, Michael Gove’s name cropped up once or twice. With the constant challenges and questions that dance continues to face to prove its purpose and worth, there was one quote mentioned within the speech that stood out and resonated through and above all else, reminding us that even in times of difficulty, where there is hope there is faith. “When it is dark enough, you can see the stars”  

After lunch it was time to get back into the studio for a class with Hofesh Shechter company dancer Chris Evans. It was a personal pleasure to have the opportunity to learn professional repertoire from Uprising (2006) and Political Mother (2010). I took away some complex exercises and phrases that will most definitely challenge the pre-vocational youth age range. In addition, hopefully it will give them a taste of a very particular style of movement that is so established within contemporary dance today.  It was time for seminar number 2 and on the agenda was ‘Teaching an 'outstanding' dance lesson using Ofsted inspection criteria.’ Presented by Judy Evans (Chair NDTA) and Sue Trottman (Dance Education Consultant) it was a highly interesting insight into the main features of what is considered as outstanding dance practice and also provided the tools to improve the quality of teaching and overall effectiveness of dance in schools.  

Finally, to end such a non-stop day was an inspiring performance of young people’s dance from around the London area. Four very different groups sharing one main commonality: their passion and enjoyment for dance. The level of commitment and dedication that the groups put into the performance was clear, not to mention the outstanding work on behalf of the teachers also.

Overall the day was both wonderful and insightful. I most definitely learnt a lot of new information which can be put into practise within my current position at Powys Dance. I look forward to starting 2014 with a fresh outlook on my teaching skills and the continued development of myself as a dance practitioner.   For more information or to become a member of the NDTA visit http://www.ndta.org.uk/  

National Dance Company Wales - Autumn Tour Review

-By Kayleigh Prescott

When embarking on my move to London 3 years ago to undertake a degree in Dance studies, I knew that I would be relocating to what is known as the dance capital of the UK. It is only since my recent return back to my Welsh homeland that I fully realise how much dance was pretty much available on my front door step. With the luxury of being able to watch live dance performance pretty much any day of the week, whether it was at Sadlers Wells, The Place, Roehampton’s Dance diary performances or even the streets of London (the list is endless) I was pretty much surrounded by dance whenever I chose to do so. Now however, in depths of Powys, Llandrindod Wells to be exact (or ‘Llandod’ as I have come to know the local lingo!) I no longer have such privileges. It is now a little bit more of a mission to find live work that doesn’t involve travelling for hours on end. So of course when I seen that one of my favourite repertoire companies, National Dance Company Wales (no biased opinion there, honest), was to perform their autumn tour in the nearest theatre, I wasted no time in booking my ticket and going to indulge in some top class dancing.

My first time to visit theatre Hafren in Newtown and I was curious as to see what kind of audience this highly acclaimed dance company would attract here in Powys. To my surprise, almost a full house. A widely varied audience of both young and old filled the auditorium. That will teach me for being so dubious about the dance enthusiasts that reside in Powys!

The evening was split into three sections, the first piece, ‘Virtual Descent’ choreographed by in-house choreographer and company dancer, Eleesha Drennan. Drennan transported us into her rather futuristic vision of the hope and faith that she holds within humanity. The added element of an on-stage staircase gave for fascinating visuals as the dancers ascend and descend into darkness. With a dramatic score written by resident composer Mark Bowden and recorded by BBC national orchestra of Wales, the dancers, robotic yet fluid, quirky but technical shift the viewers through the light and shade of the complications between the modern day and the future.

Onto the second piece and ‘Noces’ choreographed by Angelin Preljocaj saw a complete contrast in energy to that of ‘Virtual Descent’. A series of multiple shifting male/female duets saw the dancers throwing, chucking and plummeting themselves and each other across the space. The females, sharing the same malleable qualities as the bridal rag dolls used for props, are forcefully manipulated and moulded by their male counterparts. ‘Les Noces’ Stravinsky’s powerful and demanding score truly complimented the dancer’s immaculate precision and attention to detail providing for action packed and intense viewing.

The third and final performance of the evening was ‘Water Stories’ by Stephen Petronio. Being no stranger to choreographing for the company, this time around Petronio’s inspiration for the piece stemmed from the magical waterscapes and countryside that is so vivid to the Welsh heritage. The piece opened with a seamless duet by two physically contrasting female dancers. The difference in stature however, was juxtaposed with the identical intention and essence that the two shared within the space, which could have lasted for days! After two previous pieces that, in comparison to ‘Water Stories’, were somewhat bound and regimented, it was a relief to see both the audience and the dancers take more of a sedative approach to the performance. As the piece unfolded the lack of exactness and clarity that the dancers maintained as a collective only added to the effect of the intention of the piece, giving it an overall mesmerizing and absorbing feel.

The evening as a whole proved to be what I had expected from such a company who are now celebrating 30 years in the industry as an internationally acclaimed dance company. A definite 'worth a watch' triple bill. Exciting and raw are two of the many words that spring to my mind, I wonder what the people of Powys thought?

An Introduction To Play - play and creativity

When we are asked to recall some of our fondest childhood memories involving play, the answers that Dyfodol Powys Futures workforce development officer, Louise Bell, hears in response time and time again, are never too dissimilar from one another. Whether it’s climbing trees, making secret hideouts or creating our own fairy tales, there are certain elements that are important to the nature of play which will contribute to our development as adults.A quick group task involving a lot of loo roll and wrapping ended up with one Iain and one Beth looking a little mummified shall we say. However this amusing task presented itself with a rather important message; when we are wrapped up in cotton wool (or loo roll in our case) it restricts us from continuing with our everyday life. How can we expect children to grow and develop if they are constantly wrapped in a tight blanket of security?

The nature of play relies on two primary principles . The first is that all children and young people need to play. The impulse to play is innate. Play is a biological, psychological and social necessity, and is fundamental to the healthy development and well-being of individuals and communities. The second is that play is a process that is freely chosen, personally directed and intrinsically motivated. That is, children and young people determine and control the content and intent of their play, by following their own instincts, ideas and interests, in their own way for their own reasons. The elements involved in encouraging successful play include:

D evelopement R isk I ntervention V itality E xperience S afety

The question for us now is how we can link this training into our teaching approach within Powys Dance? How can we combine the freedom inherent within the nature of play along with the structure and learning outcomes that, as practitioners, we so often have to adhere to. Is it a matter of approaching creative tasks as a matter of play? After all... creativity is..

And to finish, here’s a short heart-warming video which (unintentionally) is a great example of play. Can you spot any of the principles mentioned previously that are demonstrated within the video?

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XnbhLwNUQ-Y]

For more information on Dyfodol Powys Futures please visit http://www.dyfodol-powys-futures.org.uk/

Dis-COURSE Dance and Disablility

Iain, Rosie and Heidi went to the Dis-Course event, held on 19 September at the Riverfront in Newport.  It was presented by the wonderful special guest and dynamic ‘provocateur’, Caroline Bowditch, along with Darius James of Ballet Cymru and Helen Crocker of GDance. The event included two presentations to get us thinking about our current practice and future possibilities in dance and disability.  Darius challenged us to re-think our perceptions of ballet from an inaccessible, elite art form to ‘just another dance style’.  As such – why shouldn’t it be accessible?  Ballet Cymru traces its heritage from the heady days of the Ballets Russes which celebrated collaboration and individuality.  Surely dance and disability is about individuality and a person-centred approach to creativity in dance.  Darius has always sought to work with ballet dancers who express individuality as opposed to conforming to a particular mould.

Helen Crocker of GDance (Gloucestershire Dance) has partnered up with Ballet Cymru to produce Stuck in the Mud.  This is a site specific dance journey with a ‘stunning company of disabled and non-disabled professional dancers, musicians, and local community performers who bring historic surroundings to life’.  It has been performed at Hidcote Manor Gardens and Blackfriars in Gloucestershire and is due to come to Newport Victorian Market in November (12th and 13th).  GDance acting as a producer developed the concept and model and played the roles of liaising, recruiting and organising.  We were treated to a brief film giving a snapshot of the performance demonstrating just what can be achieved.

Caroline Bowditch then challenged us to come up with and then consider key questions in relation to dance and disability.  These centred around: progression routes for disabled dancers i.e. access to training and a professional career in dance;  the place for inclusive and discreet groups; joint responsibility for the progression of this work on local and national levels; addressing gaps in provision; developing partnerships, and what next for disability dance in Wales ….

The hope is that Stuck in the Mud can tour around Wales, hosted by different community dance organisations and sites as it travels the country.  From this day Powys Dance have started to develop ideas on how we can bring some of our diverse groups together to dance and possibly perform e.g. Powys Youth Dance Company could work with members of Me Myself Us, Friday Dancing could work with Dancercise.

We met lots of people from other organisations and were able to catch up with old friends and put names to faces.  A range of delegates included representation from Hijinx, Dance Blast, Cardiff Metropolitan University, Rubicon Dance, Sherman Theatre, Disability Arts Cymru, National Dance Company Wales and Bombastic.  Watch this space as Ballet Cymru may be resident in Powys at some point over the next three years partnering with us to offer you some exciting new possibilities.  A good day out and an opportunity to build new partnerships and think about new ideas.