Two for tea?

So the main part of my role at Plymouth Dance is to rope our lovely pool of volunteers into lots of projects and events.  I also spend time looking for other opportunities for them to help out other arts partners in the city or at events where bodies are needed.  It can be a challenging role, volunteering is after all voluntary!…so sometimes despite being super amazing the volunteers are busy with other commitments and performances and this means I have to always be on the lookout for people to support us and join the team.


Two of our volunteers having fun at a Creative Consultation training session.

Over the last month I have mostly been focussing on Tea Dance With a Twist! (TDT!) a project where we need LOTS volunteers to support people in getting together and having a nice time dancing, drinking tea, eating cake and being around live music, people and dance.  The project is going to be really fun and potentially will kickstart lots of other similar events as well.  To support TDT! there is currently a Crowdfunder and I was able to spend some time this month making the film to promote the Crowdfunder and working towards recruiting a team of volunteers to come and take part in the event too.

My role can be very varied and I can go between looking for people to support and outdoors festival, to backstage crew, to marketing support, event hosts to historical experts.  In exchange we develop opportunities and training for the volunteers to extend their own skills and grow, it’s really exciting to see how members of the team really flourish over the  time they volunteer with us and I am excited to see what TDT! will bring to the mix!

Gemma Ward

Volunteer Coordinator

If you would be interested in joining our wonderful team of volunteers please contact Gemma by emailing 



Reflection on Silver Arts Award Challenge

My journey for my silver arts award first began in early May 2015 because of the work I had being doing with Plymouth Dance. The very first thing I had to do for my arts award was chose an event that I was going to manage create. This was known as my arts challenge. With the help of Clare Summers from Plymouth Dance I decided to choose to manage a photo exhibition called screen shot and team up with Rachel Priest who was also a Plymouth Dance Volunteer. We both managed this project with the help of Claire Summers and Matthew Pontin from FOTONOW.


My first thoughts before I started were that the project was going to be complex and hard because it was linked to such a big event (U.Dance 2015).  At first I was unsure whether I chose the right project to manage as I’m not an expert with Photoshop and have never learned how to use the soft ware and I had never done anything managed any project before so I have no experience of managing such a big project.

I started my journey by making a in depth plan of the whole project and what needed to be done and when. This was an important first step because without this I wouldn’t know what to do next. Rachel and me made this plan together and we also then decided who was going to take on each individual role and made a column for this and I also made sure it was going to be highlighted yellow when each task was completed. That way we know what had already been done and what needed to be done and who was going to be doing that task.

We then used got in touch with FOTONOW to see if they would be willing to help us with editing the photos and their pixels to fit each individual screen in Plymouth that was going to displaying the exhibition because each screen has different formats that needed to be used and some of the screens had certain fonts that was also needed. The main problem we had was each screen has a different resolution that images are display on. The great thing was that FOTONOW were willing to help us with our project so we set up a meeting with Matthew Pontin from FOTONOW to see what he could help us with and he talked us though how we needed to organise the images according to how they were being edited and then we arranged a date to meet to start the work.

We then worked on choosing the images and putting them in the right order and I wrote a piece about why I put them in that order.  We then went back to Matthew with the images and order they needed to be in and worked with him to resize and format all the images and all the logos that needed to be on each individual slide. We also worked with him to make sure we had credits to everyone involved in each image and how and where these slides needed to be put in the order of things.  Then we put all the slides into a slide show that would them be used as our film for the exhibition.

When this was finished we then checked the film to make sure that everyone that work with us or anyone that needed to be credited was credited. After this we emailed it to Claire Summers and June Gamble to check it was suitable and correct for screening for example making sure that everyone was credited that needed to be and making sure we hadn’t missed anyone out or any logos. After that I drafted a press release to be used in case we could get the press involved with the project and we also used some of the press release and put it into the email to send to the relevant people. I then got this email checked before I sent it off with the correct attachment and links to the films by Claire Summers.

I then got to see our photo exhibition being displayed all over Plymouth I was lucky enough to be standing right by the big screen in Plymouth just as it was being displayed on the big screen in the city centre.

Working on this exhibition has been a great learning experience and I am so glad I had the chance to be a part of something this big and I have gain a lot more skills and confidence through doing this. At times I found the project particularly stressful because it was an relatively simple project but the individual tasks we quite in depth and complex unless you have learned that particular skill for example the picture formatting was very complex until you learned about pixels and how the screens work after I learned this skill I found it not that challenging its just very fiddly and time consuming.

I feel the project would have been better managed if we started the project earlier so it would have given us more time to format all of the images because I was kind of a big rush to get all the images ready and in the correct order in a slide show so they could be sent out to the correct people so they are ready to be shown on time. I feel we should of sent the exhibition slide show out earlier because we were lucky that there were no issues with the relevant people assessing the link this is why if I curated a project like screen shot again I would have sent all the email out earlier just in case there are any technical problem this give us time to sort out the issue with out it affect the overall deadline. I also felt that we needed to have learned the skills needed on Photoshop before starting the project, as this would have really helped with managing the project.

If you would like to see the exhibition we curated then please click hereIf you would like to see the exhibition we curated then please click here.

Plymouth Dance Film Friday Rhythm City at Dance PLYMOUTH Dance

Plymouth Dance HipHop-03

Rhythm City Dancer at “Street Impact” during Dance in the City

Week 9 (only one more weeks to go!) and this week we have decided to share the film made by Rhythm City of their Dance PLYMOUTH Dance experience.

Rhythm City were one of the groups who performed as part of Dance in the City during the weekends leading up to the festival as well as Dance PLYMOUTH Dance at The Theatre Royal on the final evening of U.Dance.


Plymouth Dance Film Friday

Welcome to our first #pdfilmfriday between now and Christmas we are going to be sharing some of the films made as part of U.Dance 2015 as well as a few extras connected to the festival.

Make sure you subscribe to this blog so you don’t miss out 🙂

Our first film is the full length Outside-Inside-Plymouth film made by Fotonow for us with 5 of our youth groups: Street Factory Studios, ADAPT, Company b, Wheelfever and South Dance Company.

Here are a few of the images taken by Fotonow of Street Factorys filming day.