Over the past few weeks I've had the privilege of helping out at DanceXchange's Critical Mass Summer Camps. Critical Mass is a creative, ambitious dance and movement project for up to 300 young people who will make up a collective that will perform at many exciting events in 2022, including the opening and closing ceremonies of the Birmingham Commonwealth Games.
It has been fantastic to see so many young people come together, no matter their dance experience or ability, to move, create and make new connections with people all over the West Midlands.
To find out more about Critical Mass, head to: https://criticalmass22.org.uk/
Yesterday I was able to visit Ascendance (who I work with over zoom) in Leeds for their HYBRID and in-person Dance with Parkinson's morning classes and for a creative session in the afternoon, exploring site-specific choreography. I had never met the team or participants in-person before - only online! - so it was absolutely fantastic to be able to meet everyone (and to surprise them with how tall I actually am...)
I had a brilliant day and can't wait to visit again soon. In the meantime, I'll be carrying on hosting Monday Dance Burst classes, dabbling with social media and helping out where I can.
Last week I had the privilege of leading a play-in-a-week workshop for 6-8 year olds for Creation Theatre in Oxford. The participants chose between 3 stories to do and we ended up creating our own version of Treasure Island. Our adaptation included a sea shanty (created by the participants), a dance to 'Wellerman' and a carefully choreographed 'battle scene' (which is fair to say was probably the young people's favourite scene ). Lots of the text was devised by the group and participants were able to contribute to sound design and directing choices.
On the final day, they gave a performance a small audience and we shared what we were proud of achieving during the week. One participant said it was 'meeting new people and making new friends', one said 'creating our own sea shanty' and another said 'learning to work as a team'. I had a fantastic week and it was so wonderful to be delivering in-person work with young people again.