ARC has been in the role of Dance Hub partner for the Tees Valley since September 2011, working with Dance City and other regional hubs across the North East to support the delivery of dance for people at all levels, with particular focus on developing dance for young people.
As a Hub ARC aims to create opportunities for all people in dance and develop a strong physical network of practitioners and activity that contributes to the North East dance ecology.
Through the Hub ARC is able to support regular networking meetings, e-communications and discussions with dance leaders, teachers and practitioners to unite the network, assess the level of provision in the area and create systems for signposting people to relevant dance activity. These conversations have initiated a series of professional development opportunities for practitioners and leaders which include Early Years dance training, regular dance class and Dance in Education training.
Supporting the professional development of dance practitioners in the Tees Valley is central to the Hub aim to strengthen the infrastructure of dance activity in the Tees Valley – in particular for young people. As part of this ARC appointed Darlington based practitioner Debbie Waistell as an Associate Dance Artist. Debbie has a wealth of experience in delivering dance for young people and with this opportunity will be increasing activity across Tees Valley whilst developing her own choreographic work at ARC:
“I’m thrilled to be ARC’s Associate artist and be given the chance to be part of ARC’s recent commitment to professional development, which is fantastic. The new programme gives artists like myself an opportunity to access classes and workshops which is vital to improving practice, therefore improving standards of delivery in the area.” Debbie Waistell
To increase dance opportunities for young people ARC has also worked with different organisations in the Tees Valley to identify and support groups that would benefit from dance activity. All Points North – a project run by North of England Refugee Service identified a group of young people who wanted the opportunity to try dance and ARC has been delighted to deliver this with the expertise of local dance team Urban Kaos. All parties are delighted that the group showcased their new skills in the PULSE platform events in April 2012
The PULSE events were a series of exciting local youth dance platforms that took place across the North East in professional venues between January and April 2012. ARC teamed up with dance groups, teachers and leaders from across the area to deliver the Tees Valley PULSE events and was delighted that these opportunities saw 200 young dancers perform their work in professional venues including Darlington Arts Centre and Middlesbrough Town Hall.
“Middlesbrough is proud to support the showcasing of vibrant youth talent.” Phil Douglas, Assistant Arts Development Officer, Middlesbrough Council
The Tees Valley groups participated in the PULSE performances at a local, sub regional and regional level to be selected to represent the North East at this national event, managed by Youth Dance England.