Keep Dancing!

Dancers from our Youth Engagement Projects had lots of fun putting this video together to encourage everyone to keep dancing!

Massive thanks to everyone who took part with such energy and enthusiasm and a special thanks to Sheena Kelly for putting it all together!

Updates from Communities Minister and Arts Council of Northern Ireland

I look forward to a day very soon when the libraries, the museums, the theatres, concert halls, community centres and craft fairs reopen. Until then, I know we can rely on the arts sector to continue to find creative ways to raise our spirits and touch our imagination during these difficult days” – Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey MLA

Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey MLA has instructed officials to put in place immediate and practical steps to help support Artists, Performers and Creative Producers across the arts and cultural sector.

Minister Hargey stated she wants to do more to ensure Artists and the sector are supported during these unprecedented times.

To read the statement in full, click here.

With just a little of the humanity with which the arts are abundantly blessed, we will endure and we will emerge from this crisis to a world – a much changed world – but still a world where the arts are the beating heart of our society.” – Roisin McDonough

Roisin McDonough, Chief Executive of the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, has issued a statement reaffirming the Arts Council’s commitment to supporting the arts and protecting the livelihoods of arts workers.

You can read the statement in full here.

Links and Resources

We’ve collected together some links and resources for you to check out:

Little Stranger

The worldwide issue of migration was the focus of an exciting 3-day dance and drama workshop on 15-17 February in Dungannon. The workshop concluded with a small performance for family and friends.

This work saw Powerstone, Tinderbox Theatre Company and DU Dance (NI) join forces and is part of the Little Stranger project, exploring migration as experienced by a small child. Funding for this project was provided by the Community Relations Council.

Filming Concludes on Latest Young Carers Film

That’s a wrap! Filming has concluded for our latest short dance film working with young carers.

The film features incredible young people from the Fermanagh area and was shot by Corish Productions across two days in February on Devenish Island and in Fivemiletown.

This project is delivered in partnership with Barnardo’s NI and is funded by BBC Children in Need.

YEP Roundup

Here’s a quick roundup of what our Youth Engagement Projects have been up to since January:

  • Our facilitators for Alternative Energies and Belfast Boys put on taster sessions in primary and secondary schools in Ballymoney and Belfast;
  • Sutemos had a fantastic experience in a workshop led by Maiden Voyage Dance’s Sandy Cuthbert and Vasiliki Stasinaki. Sutemos then had a great time watching Maiden Voyage’s double bill of ‘Brink’ and ‘The Here Trio’;
  • NVTV aired a programme featuring our Day of Dance. Missed it live? You can catch it on Vimeo here.

What’s coming up…

Our Youth Engagement Projects may be paused for the time being but we’ve got a special project in the works! All of the dancers are coming together remotely to make a fun dance video. Make sure you’re following us on social media so you don’t miss it.

Unanimous 2020 – Postponed

Unanimous 2020 was originally scheduled to take place on Saturday 4th & Sunday 5th April in The MAC, Belfast. We are hoping to reschedule later in the year. Watch this space for further information.

Unanimous brings together some of the best youth dance groups from across the island of Ireland in a non-competitive arena.

Young Carers Project: What’s Coming Up

After two windswept days filming in February, we have just completed the first edit of our 5th short dance film, this time with young carers from the Fermanagh area. 

Coming up, as soon as we can, will be:

  • The group screening and then the public premiere of the 5th short dance film which has been filmed by Corish Productions;
  • The delivery of the 6th film project – this time featuring Barnardo’s NI Young Carers Council and young people from across Northern Ireland;
  • A celebratory end-of-project jamboree where all 6 films will be screened as part of a live performance.

This project is delivered in partnership with Barnardo’s NI and is funded by BBC Children in Need. The Jamboree has been part-funded by National Lottery #CelebrateNationalLottery25.

Performance Project with Sadler’s Wells and National Trust

We are delighted to be partnering with Sadler’s Wells and The National Trust on a large-scale project set to take place on Divis & Black Mountain later this year.  The project, which is called Nature Underfoot, will involve mass participatory dance taking place in outdoor spaces across England, Wales and Northern Ireland and will culminate in a live, one-day performance event.

More information to follow and if you’re interested in getting involved be sure to email us at

Belfast to Bethlehem

This two-year community dance exchange programme with Diyar Arts Theatre, Dar Al-Kalima University, will look at training young artists from Bethlehem and Belfast in Community Dance Theatre and foster the skills necessary for them to work within communities.  The programme will facilitate an exchange of skills and support, build networks and encourage connections and it will see young dance artists from Bethlehem coming to Belfast and local artists going over there.

Watch this space for more details…