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Yorkshire Region Strategic Youth Dance Plan 2012 - 2015

Welcome to the strategic Youth Dance plan for Yorkshire, a critical piece of work not only for Yorkshire Dance but for young people and dance practitioners all over the Yorkshire region. We believe that every young person should have the choice to make dance a part of their life, whether as part of a physically active life-style or by pursuing a career; whether as artistic expression for its own intrinsic value or as an activity that builds friends, fitness, confidence, enjoyment, a sense of fulfilment or even supports wider academic achievement. Crucial is the word ‘choice’: if options are limited, it is likely that those taking part will remain a select group. That is why we strive to support a dance ecology in which artistic and choreographic work coexist alongside commercial and populist dance forms: where genres and cultures can meet, inspire each other and celebrate the richness and variety of young people living in Yorkshire. This strategy was developed in the context of Yorkshire Dance’s work with regional partners throughout 2011 which itself followed a period of three years of investment by Youth Dance England. During this period Yorkshire Dance built an infrastructure of 5 sub-regional dance hubs in North, South and West Yorkshire, East Yorkshire & Hull and North & North East Lincolnshire. It is with these hubs, as well as with the Regional Dance Development Network that this strategy was developed. This strategy forms a core part of Yorkshire Dance’s business plan which will be delivered throughout the same time-scale (2012 - 2015) against Arts Council England’s strategic priorities as a new National Portfolio Organisation. We passionately believe during this economically challenging time, in which social inequalities and poverty are likely to grow, that dance can play an even more important part in engaging and inspiring young people and their communities.

“Dance, dance, otherwise we are lost” Pina Bausch (Pina – A film for Pina Baush by Wim Wenders) Yorkshire Dance Youth Juniors at Fresh 2012, Leeds © Brian Slater

South Yorkshire Hub Doncaster Youth Dance Showcase © Helen Watson

Vision Across the region we recognise that, in order to ensure all our young people have access to high quality dance, we need to draw together in the spirit that is Youth Dance. Our vision for this strategy is for us all to work collectively to establish an effective infrastructure, which shares values and goals. This will enable us all to work better together, in partnerships, to develop high quality coherent dance experiences with clear progression routes for young people in Yorkshire and beyond.

Value Statement

South Yorkshire Hub Boys’ Project with Wayne Sables Project © Helen Watson

Dance provides young people with unique experiences that embrace and develop creativity through fun, enjoyable, physical and emotional expression. Done well, dance has the power to make connections with a wide range of young people from all backgrounds, whatever their ability, in the most powerful ways, whether it be for a brilliant moment or as an experience that lasts a life time.

Purpose Our purpose is to draw together and provide exemplary and meaningful dance opportunities. Collectively we will offer young people equal access, whatever their level of interest, to a diverse range of dance with coherent progression routes. Therefore we will focus on three main goals, with objectives, and implement action over the next three years.

Goal 1: Strengthen the regional dance infrastructure that extends the reach of high quality youth dance provision. West Yorkshire Hub, Centre for Advanced Training,Yorkshire Young Dancers at Northern School of Contemporary Dance © Gavin Joynt

We will achieve this by: 1.1 Establishing the youth dance strategy, action plan and outcomes across the sub regional hubs and partners. 1.2 Building upon the partnerships across the region in order to extend the reach of collaborative provision that makes the most of funding, people, buildings and resources. 1.3 Identifying priorities and create mechanisms that provide exemplary and innovative youth dance opportunities and experiences.

Colburn Youth Group, North Yorkshire Fresh 2012 © Brian Slater

Goal 2: Establish a coherent youth dance offer that provides progressive dance experiences from enjoyment and education to employment. We will achieve this by: 2.1 Providing a collective provision of progression routes for young people to access a diverse range of dance opportunities. 2.2 Increasing high quality dance opportunities for young people, in school and out of school, prioritising dance activity in areas where there is least engagement. 2.3 Delivering coherent collaborative programme to avoid duplication and ensure clarity of understanding of youth dance accessibility across the region. 2.4 Developing performance opportunities subregionally, regionally and nationally to include exchanges, Dance Festivals and tours.

Fresh 2012 © Brian Slater

2.5 Providing vibrant and exciting opportunities for young dancers to create their own work and have ‘real’ opportunities to link with professional dance companies. 2.6 Ensuring young people are at the heart of decision making to shape the developments that are current and relevant for youth dance. 2.7 Collectively producing a bi-annual regional youth dance conference linking wherever relevant to national and international agendas. 2.8 Producing a range of high quality communications that provides a high profile for the region’s youth dance that is resounding, current and accessible.

Yorkshire Dance half-term project with HipHopHuis, Richmond Hill, Leeds © Yorkshire Dance

Goal 3: Develop the region’s youth dance workforce by building capacity, raising standards and retaining artists, teachers and leaders to strengthen the quality of dance provision across the region.

North Yorkshire Dance © Nigel Whitfield

We will achieve this by: 3.1 Providing a structured programme including informal industry building for dance practitioners, artists and teachers for access to appropriate training that meets their needs and includes ‘on the job’ experiences and formal training. 3.2 Identifying and delivering provision for primary and secondary schools to raise the standards in dance teaching and impact on learning.

The intention of the strategy is twofold. To drive action and extend reach with partners to align priorities and connect together in order to establish a coherent youth dance offer.

Breakdance class at Yorkshire Dance © Paul Greenwood

The objectives under each goal operate to reinforce each other, are interrelated and at times overlap. The action plan focuses on how each regional sub hub will respond to each objective. The action plan and current infrastructure can be found at For further information on the hubs, visit Streetdance class © Paul Greenwood South Bank Hub showcase 2011

Main Regional Activity 2012 - 2015 The main areas where activity is drawn together regionally are:


Yorkshire’s 2012 © Andy Wood

Indian classical dance © SAA-uk

Future Dance Makers – a range of youth dance commissions delivered across the region as part of Big Dance that focuses on stimulating choreographic innovation and raising standards of dance making with and by young people. Deliver a Youth and Community Dance Conference that raises the visibility of the regional youth and community dance offer, across all sectors, which inspires people by increasing knowledge and understanding, fostering innovation and creativity, and raising standards with good practice. An annual Programme of Performances that increases the range and raises the profile of exciting performance opportunities for young people across the region and beyond. Fresh 2013, the Region’s Youth Dance Platform, develops a fringe festival with young people programming as well as performing. Regional Youth Dance Website – establish a website for young people about young people’s dance, including a range of other social networking tools where appropriate. Producers and Leaders – increase opportunities to ensure that young people are at the heart of developments, and driving forward the region’s youth dance offer.

2013-2014 Future Dance Makers continues to develop young choreographers in the region, performing at a range of venues, festivals and events. Regional Youth Dance Programme of performances and progression routes from grass roots, training and companies. Fresh 2014 – Festival of Youth Dance with curated spaces and stages produced and programmed by young people. Youth Dance on Tour – a regional tour of youth dance performances in new spaces and places. Yorkshire Dance Youth Fresh 2012 © Brian Slater

Producers and leaders drive forward youth dance programmes that include curating, marketing and advocating across groups in the region.

Hull College Youth Dance in Fresh 2011 © Brian Slater

2014-2015 In this year the regional activities will be drawn together to focus on; a yearlong festival of youth dance that is weaved in and out of Fresh 2015, the second Youth and Community Dance Conference and a national Youth Dance Tour.

By 2015 we will have: • a regional infrastructure for youth dance that effectively delivers, across all sectors, a high quality diverse range of dance opportunities for young people. • young people at the centre of the region’s dance offer that is current, vibrant and inspirational.

Garforth Academy in Fresh 2011 © Brian Slater

• an established network of artists, practitioners and teachers that delivers a high quality, diverse range of dance throughout the region.

Impact Assessment The qualitative impacts of the arts can often be the most difficult to measure. A mapping exercise is currently underway in each of the sub areas that will provide us with baseline information enabling us to measure the impact of this strategy’s action plan on an annual basis. The quantitative data is under review and the information gathered via YDE will contribute to the regional baseline data. The strategy aims to value, in equal measure, both qualitative and quantitative data. RJC Youth Dance Company in Fresh 2011 © Brian Slater

In the main this will be done through the strategy’s action plan where, against each objective, there are anticipated incremental milestones. Underpinning this strategy will be the inclusion of children and young people’s voices to help us develop effective evaluation methods that will feed into developments on an annual basis. The assessment will also provide increased understanding on the differential outcomes that dance has on young people’s learning and their lives. This will be advocated across all sectors in order to increase knowledge into opportunities.

contact Paula Taylor Youth & Community Dance Director Yorkshire Dance 0113 243 9867

Front cover: DAZL Youth Dance Company in Fresh 2012 Š Brian Slater Back cover: Hull College Youth Dance in Fresh 2011 Š Brian Slater

Yorkshire Region Strategic Youth Dance Plan 2012-2015  
Yorkshire Region Strategic Youth Dance Plan 2012-2015  

Welcome to the strategic Youth Dance plan for Yorkshire, a critical piece of work not only for Yorkshire Dance but for young people and danc...