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!


We are recruiting!


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



To mark Refugee Week 2023 (19 – 25 June) please tune in to watch the ONLINE premiere of an important and poignant dance film made by our Dungannon-based youth engagement project, Sutemos.

The film entitled ‘Consequence’ is about how the climate crisis is a human crisis and the decisions we make about climate change have consequences for many people across the world. Flooding, poverty, droughts and much more impact people every day, forcing them to flee the safety of their homes bringing with them only what they can carry.

The reality is that by 2050 there could be 1.2 billion climate refugees.

Amelie, a dancer with Sutemos said:  “I really enjoyed this piece as it is an important story that is not discussed enough. We received an emotional response to our piece and this made me proud to represent the overlooked stories of those who have lived through the disastrous consequences of climate change. I hope that by increasing awareness we might be able to better support those effected.”

‘Consequence’ will be launched on our social media platforms at 7pm on 21st June and these beautiful images from Unanimous 2023 are just a taster of what to expect.

Photo credit: Jim Corr Photography

We are thrilled Belfast Boys have been selected to represent Northern Ireland at U.Dance National Festival in Newcastle upon Tyne in July.

And, as many of you know, we have been busy fundraising to help pay for flights, accommodation and meals for the five dancers and two support staff whilst they attend the event.   The level of support and people’s generosity so far has been absolutely incredible. Thank you all.

All our fundraising efforts are culminating in a family-friendly, fun evening of entertainment to which EVERYONE is invited.  So come along on Saturday 24 June 6pm – 8pm at Edge Coffee, 98-100 High Street, Holywood.

There is a £10 suggested entry fee and during the evening there will be free tea and BATCH coffee, a quiz, raffle and an opportunity to hear from the boys and their dance facilitator Sean on what they hope to do at U.Dance and what the opportunity means to them.


Just some of the prizes to be won on the night include:

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

£20 AMAZON gift card

Jameson Irish Whiskey


Voucher for handmade cake by Creative Cakes

Pamper box

Dundonald Icebowl Voucher

The MAC Theatre voucher (£40)

Wine & Cheese for two at OX CAVE, Belfast

Family voucher for paddle boarding with SUPHUB

Family ticket to Carrickfergus Castle and Dunluce Castle


The venue is wheelchair accessible.  Speciality teas, coffee and buns will be available to purchase in the café throughout the event.  We can’t wait to see you there.

If you have any questions, please contact















Our community dance artist training with the Gary Clarke Company in April really sparked the interest of Gavin Hewitt editor of Community Arts Partnership’s online arts sector magazine. An interview with Yorkshire-based Gary on the morning of their Belfast tour of ‘Wasteland’ at The MAC ensued.

Gary talked of how, during a previous tour to Belfast, Mags shared with him her passion for community participation and plans were put in place to come back and work with DU Dance.

Also featured in the online magazine are interviews with some very familiar faces; Sean O’Neill and Sheena Kelly and Brona Jackson who attended the workshops.  They share their personal journeys into dance facilitation, how they got involved with DU Dance and what difference the workshop will make to the way they work.  Grab a coffee, it’s a great read.