End of Year Message From Sue, Ilfracombe
Platform & Breathe
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End of Year Message From Sue, Ilfracombe
Platform & Breathe

Hello. I am just thinking about all the incredible people we have had the pleasure of working and dancing with over the last 12 months. Looking back over our statistics for this year we have offered development or research opportunities (including Dance Card, Space to Play, Watch This Space and YCSW) to over 50 artists and we have also given employment to over 30 artists/practitioners. With some extensive participation projects this year we have danced with over 500 people of all ages, with our joyous Dancing Queen flashmob in Torbay accounting for around 200 of them! Most of these participants were experiencing dance for the first time.
One of the highlights for me was being in the studio at Exeter Phoenix in July and watching ArtsViewLive set up and stream our live scratch project and hosting our very first live twitter feedback session. This project was also fabulously expanded by Kay Crook and Chhaya Collective who developed a wonderful cross continental live streamed project with her collaborators in Bangalore. This was a good example of how we can, thanks to the generosity of our supporters and partners (including space and technical resources) offer artists opportunities to explore creative innovations and try new ideas.

With a focus on dancing together across the generations, Dance in Time was another highlight. The weekend exceeded expectation with around 50 people aged from 5 to 85yrs coming together to dance, eat, listen to music and share. We were also pleased to have had Emilyn Claid with us to lead a day of workshops. This event was funded by Big Lottery Celebrate and I think we did our best to really go to town on the ethos of creating opportunities for communities to spend time celebrating together! A huge thank you to everyone who came along to join us and to our wonderful volunteers Barbara and Janet from Dartington Volunteer Hub.

I am also looking ahead to next year, especially our new All Aboard! project which will engage young disabled and non-disabled children and families aged 0-11yrs in Barnstaple, Exeter and Torbay. This is funded by The Ragdoll Foundation and Children in Need and will focus on supporting children to; express their identities through movement, develop resilience and explore creativity through imaginative play-based movement. It will also be the first time that we have led such a far-reaching and ambitious project aimed at young disabled people and their families.
We have had some challenges this year alongside our successes and even though we continue to work towards diversified income steams, Grants for the Arts is still an important part of our subsidised activity. We are currently waiting to hear if our bid for our new phase of work is successful and like many independent artists and small arts organisations, we are finding funding opportunities more competitive. I feel that in these increasingly squeezed times for the arts, where young people have fewer opportunities at school to experience dance, where people who do not feel at ease or ‘succeed’ in traditional desk-based learning lose their opportunities to learn and create differently, where communities are increasingly left with reduced services and benefits are cut, we need to work harder and together to find ways to deliver to the people of Devon. While artists, schools and organisations are finding that funding for arts and culture is being cut or abandoned, the need for individuals and communities to connect and support each other is growing. We need art more now, not less. Next year I will continue to explore how we can align Dance in Devon’s work with some of the bigger issues around community building and civic responsibility.
A massive thank you to Dance in Devon’s staff this year including Kate Wannell, Lizzy Humber, Rosie Perdikeas, Clare Parker, Sasha Edmunds, Charlotte Barnes and Martha Harris-Davey who have worked so hard for us this year.
There are many other things I could mention here but for now I would like to wish you a very merry festive season with lots of cheer. I hope you have a chance, at the end of a year which has seen so much global disruption, to enjoy the simple pleasures of dancing and being with the people you care about: in the words of one of our Dance in Time participants, ‘to lift the spirits and feed the soul’.


Our Projects

Stepping Out

Dance in Devon is now offering dance classes in Cullompton, Moretonhampstead, Ilfracombe as well as Teignmouth and Ivybridge in partnership with Drink Wise, Age Well Devon. Stepping Out Sidmouth is coming soon! Join us for a friendly environment, whilst learning a variety of social dance styles. From the Jive to the Waltz, contemporary African fusions to traditional Greek circle dancing- these classes will keep you on your toes!  For more information please contact Lizzy Humber via:

Dance In Time

On 26th & 27th November we held our annual Dance In Time event which we felt was hugely successful! WE want to share some pictures and writing with you all here. A massive thank you to all who attended. We cannot wait until next year!

Young Choreographers South West

A huge thank you to Jessy Mackay for all her help at the YCSW weekend at Dartington. And also at Dance In Time! She has very kindly written a few words about her experience:
" I felt that I had experienced a completely new way of approaching dance in general, and learnt a lot about moving as a group. Listening and responding honestly to the movement of others. It was a good lesson in dance and in life, I thought. It was also very special to be surrounded by so many beautiful young dancers and choreographers, and in such an iconic dance space."
You can read the rest here.

Introducing Helen Venn to All Aboard

We are super excited to have Helen Venn working with us on our All Aboard! project next year engaging young disabled and non-disabled children and families aged 0-11yrs in Barnstaple. Youth Dance Platform in North Devon

We are working with The Landmark Theatre in Ilfracombe to showcase and celebrate some of the different styles of dance that are enjoyed in our region in a non-competitive and uplifting performance on 18 February 2017. Applications have now closed, but if you would like to book a ticket, please click here.


Our Partners

Pavilion Dance South West
Breathe - 4th February
Pavilion Dance South West offers an annual day of dance and chat for dance artists working in health and wellbeing settings across the South West. It is a chance to connect with other similar-minded people, to feel part of a bigger 'movement' and to refresh yourself with new contacts and ideas to feed your work. For more information, please click here.

PDSW Job Opportunity
PDSW are seeking and artistic director and CEO to join their team in Bournemouth. Click here for more information. Closing date for applications is 7th January.

Hall For Cornwall
There is a festive Dance Network meeting on 16th December at 18:30 in the HFC Assembly Room, Truro.

Plymouth Theatre Royal
Applications are now open for IdeasLAB, Plymouth Theatre Royal’s platform for the development and sharing of new work. If you are an artist or maker with an exciting new idea then they want to hear from you. As part of IdeasLAB you will be offered space at the theatre to develop your idea, as well as the opportunity to share your work with an audience and receive feedback.
You can find more information about it here.

The next IdeasLAB evening will take place on Saturday 25th February, 2017
Deadline: 6pm, Wednesday 4th January 2017

U.DANCE Regional Platform - Swindon
From Hip Hop to Ballet, from Contemporary to South Asian Dance, the U.Dance Regional Platform showcases a selection of the very best youth dance from across the country. For your ticket, please click here.

Header Image: Dance In Time workshop. Image Jacob Brandon
Sue's Message: 1. Scratch Stream Exeter Phoenix. Image Dance In Devon
2. Wendy at Dance In Time workshop. Image Jacob Brandon
Our Projects Image: YCSW with Theo Clinkard. Image Dance In Devon
Our Partners Image: By Brian Slater
Copyright © 2016 Dance in Devon, All rights reserved.

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