Building Bridges – Young Carers #2

We’re excited to be planning our second film with Young Carers, working in partnership with Barnardos NI and Triplevision Productions, with a new group of young people aged 13-17 years from the Derry/L’Derry, Limavady and Strabane areas. Due to the wide geographical spread we will undertake three days of intensive workshops followed by two days filming in August. We expect the screening to be in October 2018.

Meanwhile we’re delighted that the first Young Carers film Who Do You See? has been selected to be screened at the Sleeping Giants Film Festival in Warrenpoint, Co Down, 30th June -2nd July 2018 and we eagerly await more film festival selections over the coming year.

10th Annual Primary Dance Festival!

We delivered our 10th annual Primary Dance Festival at Belvoir Players Theatre on 16th & 17th May 2018 with up to 200 young people taking part as both performers and audiences members, along with their teachers, classroom assistants and eager parents in the audience to cheer them on. This fun, exciting, non-competitive event incorporates all styles of dance at all levels by children of primary school age. It is a chance for pupils and teachers to share their work with other schools in a professional theatre setting and this year we had our very own Belfast Boys performing for the first time. We were also delighted to invite Palmira Rendilheiro, from Cape Town, South Africa as our special guest artists this year, who performed in Northern Ireland for the first time with a beautiful fusion of contemporary dance and jazz which left our audience in awe. To find out more about the project click here.

A special thanks for supporting our 10th festival to our Principal Funder Arts Council of Northern Ireland, Belfast City Council Sports Development, Ulster Bank, Asda, Lidl Northern Ireland and Marks & Spencer.



A massive well done to everyone who joined us for UNANIMOUS 2018 at the Lyric Theatre, Belfast, including; Alternative Energies (Ballymoney), Brona Jackson Dance Company (Derry/Londonderry), Company B (Dublin), CoisCéim Broadreach | Creative Steps (Dublin), Dublin Youth Dance Company, Laois Youth Dance Ensemble, Sutemos Youth Dance (Dungannon). Thanks to our MC Sean Michael, our photographer Joe Fox and the rest of our team of volunteers and staff.

To find out more about the project click here.

It was a brilliant night, see photos below.



Here’s what people are saying about Unanimous 2018!


Meseret Yirga

From 12th -17th March the company will be hosting Ethiopian dancer/choreographer Meseret Yirga. From Addis Ababa, Meseret is
a leading figure in the dance development movement that has put Ethiopia and Africa at the forefront of innovative, capacity building development initiatives.

Like many young Ethiopians, she left the formal school system aged 12 to help support her family. Her experiences selling used clothes in Mercato, the largest market in Africa, immersed her in the world of the city’s estimated 50,000 street children. She was one of the original members of Adugna Community Dance Theatre, an initiative from which DU Dance (NI) was born. Over the past seventeen years, Meseret has used dance to support some of the most vulnerable people in Ethiopia, including sex workers, disabled people and street children. Her work has taken her all over Ethiopia and internationally to Kenya, Senegal, Britain and now to the island of Ireland. Here she will be working with three groups from DU Dance (NI)’s Youth Engagement Project.


New project for 8 – 11 years

Free fun physical activity for the family, come along and give it a go!

No experience necessary

Fridays 3:30 – 5:30pm

23rd February, 2nd, 9th, 16th, & 23rd of March

Joey Dunlop Centre, Ballymoney, BT53 7DB

We would welcome parent/older family members coming along to participate and accompany their children, but this is optional.

For more information come along to any session or email: or telephone: 028 9033 0956


Young Carers Project

The Beginning

Our young Carers project, which is being delivered in partnership with Barnardo’s NI and Triple Vision Productions, is now under way. This project will run over the next three-years and is funded through BBC Children in Need. We are going to make six, short, arts based films with Young Carers from across Northern Ireland. We met some of the young people who will be involved in making the first film on Monday 30th October. Weekly workshop will now take place leading up to two days of filming out on location in December. All very exciting.


13th November 2017

Update! We had a great time filming with Triplevision Productions and Barnardo’s NI young carers, well done to all those involved. We had a great time and can’t wait to see the finished product. Thanks to BBC Children in Need for this wonderful opportunity!



1st February 2018

We’re excited to have a date fixed for the premiere screening of our first Young Carers film, produced in partnership with Barnardo’s NI and Triplevision Productions.

The Courtyard Theatre, Newtownabbey, will host the event on Thursday 15th February.

Thank you to all the young people who took part, our partners and funders BBC Children in Need.

1st of March 2018

That’s a wrap

We had a fantastic time working with this wonderful group of young people! Together, with partner organisations Barnardo’s NI and Triplevision Productions, we spent six weeks devising & producing a film to help influence and challenge perceptions of young carers and raise better understanding. The film was screened in February to an audience of family and friends and will be made available soon for wider viewing. This marks the completion of the first of six dance and film projects we’ll deliver over the next three years. Thank you to BBC Children in Need for making this possible.

Arts Matter NI

The Arts in Northern Ireland is facing more cuts to public funding which will impact on the families, young and older people we work with, in all communities across Northern Ireland.

DU Dance (NI) supports this campaign and the call to Stop the Cuts, Find the Money, Fund the Arts!

We need more voices to join us and speak out. We urge you to read about the campaign ArtsMatterNI and show your support.

Add your name or organisation to the campaign by emailing

Sign up to receive news, lobby and advocate for the arts and follow on facebook and twitter #artsmatterNI


Our Youth Engagement Groups ended their term and 2017 with a range of rewarding and exciting events and activities. Alternative Energies, in Ballymoney having performed for two nights at the Riverside Theatre, Coleraine in October decided on a disco and pizza, Belfast Boys had a fantastic afternoon at Tumble Circus Winter Show in the big top – the first time this new group had gone to a performance event together – whilst Sutemos & Suteminis put on a relaxed performance at the Dungannon Youth Resource Centre where the group’s families came together to celebrate their work.

So if you’re tempted to join come and find out!

See full information Our Classes

Our Youth Steering Group met again at the end of January 2018.

Our Youth Steering Group was set up in 2012 to help and advise the company.  It currently comprises of 12 young people aged 12 -18 and is run by our two Young Ambassadors. The meeting in January was conducted by Skype, connecting members in Ballymoney and Dungannon.  Lots of ideas and suggestions were made and these will be discussed at the next meeting of our Board of Directors. Thank you to Causeway Coast & Glens Borough Council and Dungannon Youth Resource Centre for facilitating venues for this meeting.


The National Lottery, through the Arts Council of Northern Ireland has been one of our core funders and thanks to funding we have been able to achieve so much over our 10 years as a Dance Company.

This has helped us to deliver our various programs of work


Causeway Coast & Glens

DU Dance (NI) has been out “on tour” recently taking dance around the regions. As part of Community Relations & Cultural Awareness Week, which took place this year from 18th – 22nd September, we delivered workshops in Primary Schools in Dungannon. Sheena led eight workshops in four schools; Windmill PS, St. Joseph’s PS (Galbally), St. Patrick’s PS (Donaghmore) and Donaghmore PS.  Approx. 232 children took part.  Thank you to all the schools and the young people involved.

For the Halloween half-term break Mags and Chris were out in the Causeway Coast & Glens area delivering four days of dance and drumming workshops as part of the council’s Peace 1V initiative.  Lots of fun was had in Flowerfield Arts Centre, Portstewart; Roe Valley Arts & Culture Centre, Limavady and Ballymoney Town Hall.  Thank you to Elaine Gaston for organising the week so well we had a ball… Think the young people did too!