Dancing past the big 5-Oh!

Did anyone else see this research last week? It takes a look at movement and physical activity for the over 50's as a way of keeping not just our bodies healthy and happy but for overall general health and well- being.

Senior Moment(um) our over 50's dance class in Llandrindod Wells.

Senior Moment(um) our over 50's dance class in Llandrindod Wells.

We've all seen it before, we know that different types of physical activity can help keep us healthy well into our older years but what really talks to us in this article is how the different aspects of physical activity can improve different areas of health. 

This is an area of our work we are extremely passionate about shouting from the rooftops, that dance is so much more than just a physical experience - don't get us wrong it is an exciting physical experience, but the other benefits are endless!

Just some benefits of dance

Just some benefits of dance

Below is information regarding a brand new dance session for health and well- being in partnership with Ponthafren in Welshpool and some information for our flagship over 50's dance groups, we have one in the North of Powys and one in the South, always warm and welcoming to newcomers, whether you've had plenty of dance experience or none. As you've seen above, you can get so much from these dance sessions and it is so much more than what you think, so why not pop along to meet the groups and dance leaders, your new social group is just waiting to meet you!





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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Furniture Movers at Oriel Davies

Oriel Davies have been in touch with details of a great workshop opportunity for emerging artists and students who have an interest in performance art and dance. The workshop will take place on the 25th of September at the Wesley Methodist Church Hall in Newtown. 10:30am - 3:30pm, and will be led by Simon Whitehead. Furniture Movers A5 e-flyer 1 (1)



Director's statement


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

The Big Democracy

The Big DemocracyI was at a meeting recently where we were briefed on the priority issues for Powys Youth Forum. Two stood out for me - the lack of a democratic voice or platform for young people and their concerns and the difficulties in accessing the opportunity to take part arts & culture. At Powys Dance we grapple on a daily basis with being able to provide equitable access to opportunities to dance across a large, sparsely populated county.  We've also been wondering, at what point would public bodies be in breach of Article 31 of the UN Convention of the Rights of the Child? Where is that line in the sand?

Article 31 states:

  1. Parties recognize the right of the child to rest and leisure, to engage in play and recreational activities appropriate to the age of the child and to participate freely in cultural life and the arts.
  2. Parties shall respect and promote the right of the child to participate fully in cultural and artistic life and shall encourage the provision of appropriate and equal opportunities for cultural, artistic, recreational and leisure activity.

At the same time, National Theatre of Wales put a call out for applications from Mid Wales for the next round of the Big Democracy Project, which explores how the arts can help people to engage with the democratic process. I spoke to the forum and we exchanged some ideas and decided to submit a proposal:

Does the lack of infrastructure, access and opportunity in rural Wales means that public bodies in Wales are in breach of article 31 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child?

Can we unite as One Wales to campaign for all children and young people to have the chance to access cultural life?

It’s austerity-related to some degree, however it is also deeper than that. It’s about how the whole infrastructure (transport!) doesn’t support children and young people to access activity. Moreover, there is a lack of recognition of the higher costs involved in creating opportunity in rural contexts. If you think this issue is important, then vote for us: 


And tweet: 

#bigdemocracy #onewales 

If we win, will host an assembly event at the Dance Centre to launch the Radnor Fringe Festival. Our assembly will be designed and led by young people in Powys. 

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Sevens at the ready......it's all about Strictly Sunday!


We at Powys Dance have received so many phone calls recently enquiring about Ballroom dance sessions, and have been trying to find a local tutor. Step up Theresa Godmon from dance2gether who will be leading two workshops, the first an introduction to Ballroom, followed by beginners Latin. Theresa teaches throughout Powys, offering a 'Strictly' experience and an opportunity to learn a skill that will stay with you for life. So if you've ever fancied trying a few moves from Strictly Come Dancing or want an excuse to shake those hips for a few hours then this is the workshop for you!


For those dancing Mums and Dads of Powys we will be providing a free creche, so leave those childcare worries at the door! While you're busy two -stepping and twirling, your children will be looked after and kept entertained by our fabulous friends at Play Radnor, what more could you wish for?


Ballet at the Dance Centre


Also starting up again at the Dance Centre next week, week beginning Monday 8th September - BALLET! With Sara KnottMondays 4.30pm - 5.30pm Grade 5 Wednesdays 4 -4.30pm Beginners aged 3-5yrs / 4.30-5pm Primary class (5 years +) / 5-5.45pm Grade 1 / 5.45 - 6.30pm Grade 2 / 7.30 - 8.30pm Adults (suitable for all levels including beginners).

Call Sara for more details: 01982 552128 / 07932 741500.


Information on all the different Ballet sessions happening and when!

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Yoga at the Dance Centre


We had no yoga on at the dance centre last term and it felt like there was a large gap in our programme. Yoga has been used as a body maintenance tools by dancers for decades now, but more than that, it's a hugely popular method of maintaining both mental and physical well being in a fast paced modern world. (And honestly, life can sometimes get hectic even in beautiful rural mid Wales!) So we were delighted to be able to tempt Caroline away from her lovely studio in Llanidloes to lead a lunch time session on Tuesdays beginning 9th September, which will provide a revitalizing oasis of calm during the working day! Then Polly of Mountain Yoga Breaks fame approached us, asking if we'd have room for her evening classes, and we snapped her hands off! Starting Thursday 11th September she will be leading backcare yoga from 5.30 to 6.30pm and then from 6.30pm to 8pm Vinyasa Flow.

Whatever your level, come along - bring your mat if you have one (although we have a couple available at the dance centre).



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'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!

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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!!




Summer is getting exciting!


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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Let's get dancing this Summer!


There's lots going on at Powys Dance this summer! With a range of dance activities for children and young people, why not come and dance with us this summer! See below for information regarding all these different activities and hopefully you'll find one to suit you! Open to everyone so why not give them a go!

Summer Activity
For more details on all our Summer Activities, click on the Summer School you want to try out!






Booking is essential for all our summer schools! Call Powys Dance on 01597 824370 to request a booking form, or email powys.dance@powys.go.uk 
Click the link below to access our booking form!
We look forward to dancing with you this Summer!


Opportunity knocks for young Powys dancers

Photo courtesy of Kitsch n Sync  

We're looking for PYDC members and other young dancers (13+) who love performing to take part in a project with Kitsch n Sync Collective during Powys Arts Month. Rehearsal takes place on Sunday 4th May at the Dance Centre in Llandrindod Wells with the performances (yes, 3 shows!) happening on Monday 5th May (Bank Holiday) in the grounds of Oriel Davies in Newtown.

If you'd like to take part then call or email Powys Dance on 01597 824370 powys.dance@powys.gov.uk

Here's a taster of the Kitsch gals in action:



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?