Community Dance Artists to Visit Bethlehem

Next week Artistic Director Mags and four Northern Irish dance artists will travel to Jerusalem and Bethlehem as part of our community dance artist training programme.   It has been made possible by Mags’s extensive experience of working in the area and the key ongoing relationships she has nurtured.  This is a fantastic opportunity for DU Dance to bolster its delivery team and share its best practice in, and ethos on, community dance.

On the project we are delighted to be working with Molly Kelly, a contemporary dancer studying dance at the University of Limerick; Jamie-Lee John Fagan, a Hip Hop dancer and Founder of Urban Motion Company in County Tyrone; Amy Hill, a contemporary dancer teaching at South Eastern College in Bangor and Conor Anthony Downey, a physical theatre artist specialising in Irish dance and Musical Theatre.

The young artists have been invited to participate on the basis that they are working in community dance or are at University with the intention of doing so.  They each bring very different dance backgrounds to the project but, in advance of the trip, have worked together in a studio to create and plan.  The output has been a team coming together to support and collaborate on a shared approach, finding creative solutions to the artistic challenges this international project will undoubtedly present.

Hosted by Diyar Theatre, who DU Dance were thrilled to host in Belfast whilst they performed at Féile an Phobail in August 2022, the group will enjoy a wide range of new experiences from delivering workshops in schools and the community with intergenerational groups to creating a short piece with Community Dance Diploma Students at Dar Al-Kalima University involving Irish, contemporary and Debke dance. British Council representatives have set up meetings with different artists and made available a local artists studio.  The group will also partake in the Bethlehem International Performing Arts Festival which takes place during their visit through attending events and workshops and seeing ground-breaking work.

For many of the group it will be their first time in this part of the world and they are all excited and appreciative of the significant learning, personal growth and networking opportunities the visit will engender.

Running from the 18th – 24th September, #GRW23 will showcase the vital good relations work taking place across the region!
Be sure to join in the celebrations and check out the full event listing HERE.

Shake off those September chills and join one of our fantastic dance projects.

For more information on any of our groups or to register your place, please email



This is youth dance theatre for young people aged 7 – 18 years with weekly sessions every Wednesday evening in Dungannon Youth Resource Centre, 2 Savings Street, Dungannon BT70 1DT.   The Autumn Term starts 20th September 2023. Sessions take place from 6pm to 7pm for those aged 7 – 11 and from 7pm to 8:30pm for those aged 12 – 18.

Led by dance artist Christine, the sessions will include learning different dance styles, creating your very own dances and working towards a performance.

No experience is necessary and new members are welcome!

It’s just £10 registration fee; £1 subs per session



This is physical dance theatre for boys only. We have a group for younger boys aged 7 – 11 years and one for older boys aged 12 – 16 years and the Autumn Term starts Saturday 23rd September!

We have an exciting NEW VENUE – The MAC, Belfast and  NEW TIMES – 12:30 – 1:30 for 7 – 11 year olds; 1:30 – 3:00 for 12 – 16 year olds

The group is led by dance artist Sean O’Neill with optional performance opportunities and group trips to theatre and dance.
No experience is necessary and new members are always welcome!

It’s just £10 registration fee; £1 subs per session



Our Intergenerational Dance Project has taken place weekly on a Tuesday in the Ramoan Community Centre, 3 Station Street, Ballycastle.This project brings together young people aged 15-18 years with elders 65+ living in the Ballycastle area. At a time when there are few situations that bring people of different generations together, the project seeks to address this lack of connection, advocating the power of dance as a vehicle for personal, social and community cohesion.

For young people, the experience of being involved in this unique project supports personal development and many youth leadership programmes.The workshops are free and the group are enjoying working, talking and creating together, devising performances and events that will resonate with people of different ages.Workshops will start again on Tuesday 19th September and we would love to see some new young people there.  Come along and give it a go!

For more information on any of our groups or to register your place, please email

In June, our Intergenerational Dance Project, Alternative Energies, shared their film ‘Chance to Dance’ with a lively audience of friends and family at the Ramoan Centre, Ballycastle.  Please take the time to watch and enjoy it below.

This project is part of DU Dance (NI)’s focus on intergenerational work celebrating how age is no barrier to dance and reflecting how historically dance has been a social gatherer of people of different ages and genders.

Alternative Energies seeks to address the lack of connection between the generations. The work is physical, impacting on participants’ general health and also very sociable which helps with feelings of isolation and bolsters mental well-being.

A new term begins on Tuesday 19th September in Ballycastle. Contact Deborah on to find out more.


After a busy week in Germany, the Cultural Bridge group travelled together to Belfast to continue the project in mid-August.

At the halfway point, we asked exactly what being involved in the exchange project meant to two of the young people:

“The experience I have valued the most so far has been the opportunity to meet new people and learn more about the various perspectives on the topics discussed as we create our project together”

“I really enjoyed working as part of a group/team. It was a great challenge as many of the participants I met for the first time on the trip. I learnt the importance of listening to other’s ideas. The creative process requires patience as it unfolds – and our thoughts become actions. I practiced sharing my own ideas and finding ways to integrate them into the overall group vision.

I learnt that just going for it and trying ideas out can be more effective than talking and conceptualising.

I had a chance to practice speaking and listening to the German language as the participants from Leipzig helped me to understand German better. We exchanged words that were new for them in English and me in German.

I got exposed to new information about Climate Change and how I affect the environment around me. Some points were surprising to me and have definitely impacted my perspective on climate change. By the end of the week I felt hopeful, as we discussed practical ways that we can make a difference to the climate crisis. For example, one participant from Leipzig invited us to a project for planting trees that she was a part of. Hearing her talk about her experience first hand made the information more impactful.

I enjoyed that we had a final showing/performance of what we had been working on throughout the week. This consolidated the experience for me, and I felt more connected to the project and the group afterwards.”

The week culminated with a series of outdoor performances around Belfast City Centre on Thursday 17th August.  What ensued was a highly creative response to the climate crisis and incorporated music, dance and theatre from the young people.   Starting in St Anne’s Square, followed by 2 Royal Avenue and finishing in front of Belfast City Hall, the impactful piece was really well received by funders, friends from the art sector and the public who took time out from their shopping or sightseeing to watch and support.

With their distinctive costumes and make-up, the group also caught the eye of photographer Mal McCann and made the Irish News!

Thanks to everyone at VILLA Leipzig and Beyond Skin for yet another successful exchange project.

With credit to Joe Fox for the wonderful photography.

In a few days Sheena, DU Dance (NI) Community Engagement Artist, our partners at Beyond Skin and a group of excited young people will head to Leipzig, Germany for the Cultural Bridge project.

The new phase of the project will support these young people to build a global network, feel more connected to the global community and experience art as a medium for creative, cultural, and political expression.  The intention is that the participants will create awareness and advocacy productions about the environmental issues all their communities face, while developing vital skills and confidence that will invigorate them to continue activism and make an impact on their communities.

In 2023, with help of new funding, two areas of the VILLA will take part in the project; VILLA Engagement & Politics will remain heavily involved bringing experience in youth exchange and political education and participation to the project and the VILLA “Jugendkulturkeller” (Youth culture cellar) has a focus on youth work with theatre and electronic music.  Philipp Niese from VILLA Leipzig explains what the development of the partnership means: “This will enable us to give our young participants even greater opportunities to promote exchange between Belfast and Leipzig, and thus make a creative contribution to combating climate change.”

After the week in Germany, the group travels together to Belfast to continue the project.  They will work on a series of outdoor performances around Belfast city centre on Thursday 17th August and meet with Maurice Macartney who is a musician with Beyond Skin and has been an active member of the Green Party since 2013.  Maurice will talk about the impact of climate change on Northern Ireland specifically.

Watch this space and our social media posts to hear how the project goes and meet the young people who are involved.


We have been busy fundraising to help pay for flights, accommodation and meals for the five Belfast Boys and two support staff whilst they attend U.Dance National Festival in Newcastle upon Tyne on Sunday 23 July.   We have raised over £1000 to date and the level of support and people’s generosity has been absolutely incredible. Thank you all.

Our fundraising efforts are culminating in an online raffle with some amazing prizes to be won. (Over 18s only though!)

Raffle tickets are JUST £1 each or why not buy 25 tickets for £20!

Simply CLICK HERE to buy your tickets.

The draw will take place on 17 July 2023 and winners will be notified by email.


Just check out these FANTASTIC prizes:

Family paddle boarding experience with SUPHUB worth £125

Cheesemaking experience for two with Master Cheesemaker Davide from Velo Cheese worth £120

Family tickets to Carrickfergus Castle and Dunluce Castle

Dundonald Icebowl Family Voucher

The MAC Theatre voucher (£40)

Wine & Cheese for two at OX CAVE, Belfast

Vouchers for RETURN TO BALANCE (Holistic Therapy) massage of choice and reflexology treatment

£20 AMAZON gift card

£20 LIDL voucher

Professional Photoshoot with Magnolia Memories

Bottle of Jameson Irish Whiskey

Bottle of rose wine

Framed photo of an outdoor location (taken by a Belfast Boy!)

3 handmade apple crumbles (made by one of the Belfast Boys!)

2 art packs (made by Belfast Boys!)


If you have any questions, please contact


School is out and the holidays are upon us!

But once the novelty has worn off, those long days can drag.

But our Suteminis from Dungannon were determined not to spend the summer on their phones getting bored.  Instead they had some great ideas to get creative and keep busy as you can see in this wonderful short film.   They clearly very much believe “Boredom doesn’t exist where creativity lives.” (Sanjo Jendayi)

Have a watch and be inspired!



DU Dance (NI) is excited to announce to two new opportunities to join our small busy team:

We are seeking a CREATIVE PRODUCER

The successful applicant will work closely alongside the Company’s Arts Manager and Artistic Director with a focus on projects, programming and fundraising. Applicants should display excellent fundraising skills, an understanding of the contemporary arts scene, efficiency in delivering productions and the ability to work as part of a small busy team.


We are also seeking an ARTS MANAGER

The successful applicant will work closely alongside the Company’s Artistic Director and Creative Producer and will have responsibility for day-to-day operations and financial management. The ability to work as part of a small busy team and strong organisational skills are crucial. DU Dance operate using Xero Finance System so familiarity with this is desirable.


Both roles are part-time posts, covering on average 2.5 days per week – flexibility is essential to match the company’s working pattern.

Both roles will be based in our office –  1st Floor, Crescent Arts Centre, 2-4 University Road, Belfast BT7 1NH.

These contracts are both funded by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland.

For an application pack for either role, including a full job specification and application form, please email or telephone Mags on 07790 236130.

Closing date for receipt of completed applications is 4pm, 19th July 2023.

Interviews for successful applicants will take place on 25th July 2023.

Following the success of the Summer Dance Sessions last year, we are delighted to be back in Belfast and Dungannon for a fun filled week of dance.

In Dungannon the week of dance runs from 31st July – 4th August and will include learning different dance styles, creating your very own dances, a circus skills masterclass by Belfast’s professional circus company Circusful and a short sharing for parents at the end of the week.

It takes place at Square Box Theatre, Hill of The O’Neill & Ranfurly House in Dungannon from 10am – 12.30pm every day.

The cost is £20 and it the week is open to everyone aged 7 to 11 years and no experience is necessary.

(The Summer Sessions are funded by BBC Children in Need.)


In Belfast the ever popular Belfast Boys Summer Session, for boys aged 7 to 11 years, will take place from 7th – 11th August 2023 from 1:30-3:30pm in the Crescent Arts Centre, Belfast BT7 1NH.

Places are limited and booked up very quickly last year, so don’t miss out!

For more information or to register your place on either week, please email