Ipswich’s DanceEast to host U.Dance 2018, the nation’s annual youth dance festival
Following four days of youth dance celebration in Birmingham to mark One Dance UK’s U.Dance 2017, it was revealed that DanceEast in Ipswich will become host to the national event for the first time in 2018.
Each year U.Dance showcases a selection of dance groups from all over the country in a range of performances, as well as providing young people with the chance to take part in workshops and masterclasses with dance industry professionals, and inspire each other with a love of dance. The 2018 event will run from 10 – 14 July in the East of England.
Working in partnership with One Dance UK, DanceEast is excited to welcome the prestigious event, and continue to champion youth dance in all its forms. DanceEast’s base at the Jerwood DanceHouse has played host to regional U.Dance heats since 2012 as the east of England partner organisation, with each heat culminating in one national U.Dance event each year.
Lucy Bayliss, Head of Creative Programmes, said:
“Work with young dancers is a core part of DanceEast’s programme and we are excited to have the opportunity to celebrate this work with groups from across the country through such a prestigious event. U.Dance brings a huge amount of colour and energy to the host area and is a positive celebration of what young people can achieve. We are looking forward to welcoming the national groups to Suffolk, to experience just a little of what is special about living and working in the East.”
Andrew Hurst, Chief Executive of One Dance UK, said:
“We are excited to partner with DanceEast in presenting U.Dance 2018. The U.Dance national youth dance festival is an important event on the national dance calendar. From the regional platforms to the Festival itself, U.Dance engages with more than 2,000 young dancers each year, encouraging them in the pursuit of excellence in dance and embarking on careers in dance, highlighting one of One Dance UK’s key aspirations – to get as many young people as possible dancing.”
In true U.Dance tradition, the 2018 event will further extend DanceEast’s offering of dance opportunities. It will showcase the strength and talent of young dancers from across the country, and enable hundreds of young dancers to participate in classes, workshops, careers sessions and social activities during the three and half day residential. Additional specialised projects are also hoped to increase the dance opportunities for children and young people in the region for 2018, expanding the reach of U.Dance to young people in Suffolk and across the region.
2017 also saw One Dance UK launch its inaugural Dance Teaching Awards – announced as part of U.Dance – with DanceEast shortlisted for the Inspirational Work in Education Award. The awards have championed people and organisations who provide dance opportunities for children and young people across the UK, receiving almost 900 nominations across the nine categories.
DanceEast’s work in dance education is expansive, running a range of community projects for over 30 years on a local, national and international level. Amongst other projects, DanceEast is currently working with the Paul Hamlyn Foundation, Ernest Cooke Trust and five primary schools until Summer 2018. This work focuses on how digital technologies could revolutionise the role of dance in schools, with the aim to further upskill teachers and ensure they are confident using dance as a tool to deliver subjects across the curriculum.