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  • Debbie Pellett

Busy But Fabulous

Here at Dance Pad the last few months have been incredibly busy but absolutely fabulous and we cannot wait to tell you all about it!

In October we started two six-week projects; Dance at DENS in Hemel Hempstead and Y-Dance in Welwyn Garden City. Both got off to a flying start with nine intrepid dancers for each project. Sadly for us – but fantastic for them – a number of dancers found work and were unable to continue with the projects. Unperturbed, the remaining dancers went on to choreograph two very different but equally brilliant pieces of dance.

Dance at DENS presents…

Road to Change

Taking inspiration from their own experiences, Road to Change explores the journey through DENS, from arriving at their lowest point and seeking help to growing in confidence and preparing to leave.

Part of this journey was reflected in the project itself with individuals growing in confidence as they discovered and developed their choreographic voices and honed their performance skills. The project reached its conclusion with a flawless and very colourful performance for hostel staff and fellow residents on 27th November.

Y-Dance Presents…Home from Home

Working slightly differently to the Dance at DENS group, Y-Dance dancers chose the music as their starting point. Choosing Consider Yourself from the musical Oliver because they felt a certain resonance with the lyrics and their own lives at the YMCA, Home from Home explores the idea of the YMCA being a home from home and fellow residents becoming part of an extended family.

Remarkably all of the dancers had some previous dance experience, each in a different style (salsa, jazz and street). Each of these styles were incorporated into the choreography, giving everyone the opportunity to teach and share their style with others as well as learning new dance techniques.

The project came to a conclusion with an energetic and uplifting performance to a very appreciative audience of staff and residents on 6th December.

Following a very successful first year, we are very excited for all that 2016 will bring. So far we already have another project lined up with the Watford YMCA due to start in the Spring which will hopefully see a collaboration with their music group. We also hope to establish new partnerships as well as revisiting the YMCA in Welwyn Garden City and DENS in Hemel Hempstead – with any luck making use of their fabulous garden for a site-specific piece. We look forward to telling you all about it very soon.

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