As December fast approaches it’s time for us to look back and reflect on the past 12 months. We’ve had highs and lows (fortunately more of the highs) and whilst the year is almost over we’ve still got one more project to go and plenty to look forward to in 2017. It seems like so long ago since our last newsletter but since then we’ve completed not one, but two Y-Dance Watford projects, launched our new website and got ourselves some fancy new Christmas cards – but more on that later!
First, I want to share with you my pride in two of our former participants. Adam and Jodie, who took part in last year’s Y-Dance project in Welwyn Garden City, have since then joined their local musical theatre company and last night I saw them in their debut performance of Oklahoma. It was an all-singing, all-dancing affair and they were brilliant. It’s fantastic to have seen them grow as performers and who knows, maybe one day we’ll see them in the West-End!
Moving on…what’s the collective noun for a group of Chaplains; a flock, a troupe, a company? Nope, I’ve got no idea either! But last week I met with a group of 20 YMCA Chaplains from all over the country (plus one from Germany!) and I called that an opportunity.
One of the biggest struggles Dance Pad faces is making the initial connection with potential participants and for that we rely on partnerships with other homeless charities and organisations. With an overwhelming demand for their services it’s no wonder that “extra-curricular” activities such as dance workshops aren’t their first priority, but it’s these activities that empower people and give them the confidence to get back into work, to form new relationships, and enable them to sustain a more positive future. The Chaplaincy team at the Watford YMCA have been so supportive, they’ve seen the benefits Dance Pad has on their residents and are keen to encourage others to get on board. I was invited to join their annual get together and talk to other YMCA Chaplains about our work. It was a great opportunity to spread the word and there seemed to be a real interest from YMCAs up and down the country from Exeter to North Staffordshire and many others in between, so watch this space!
And finally, I know it’s only November but the shops have been at it for months already so comparatively we’ve been pretty restrained up until now so here goes…Christmas cards are on sale now! We’ve got two dance related designs for you to choose from; Pirouetting Penguins and By the Light of the Moon which sees Father Christmas dancing on the rooftops in the arms of a reindeer. All proceeds of card sales will go towards running one of our projects so please do consider sending a Dance Pad card to your friends and family this year. You can download the order form here.
Thank you for your support this year, I wish you a (slightly early) Merry Christmas and Happy New Year and look forward to sharing with you all of Dance Pad’s adventures in 2017.