Laura Henry | Corporate Development Coordinator & Tea Dance With a Twist! Practitioner


Working for Plymouth Dance one day a month as the Corporate Development Coordinator and one of the lead practitioners for the monthly Tea Dance with a Twist! Events my roles and responsibilities are extremely varied from organising the Independent Living Zone to ensure we have a variety of unique local businesses and organisations offering their products and services to the general public .

With just a few weeks to go until we kick start our next batch of Tea Dance with a Twist events, June, Rachel and I are very busy behind the scenes in our Plymouth School of Creative Arts office. We are making sure everything is coming together to make this round of Tea Dance events as successful as our last three. We are very happy that we now have 8 new dates to offer the events to the public in Plymouth at Plymouth Guildhall, first one being the 12th November between 1pm – 4pm.

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Introducing Rachel

My name is Rachel, I moved to Plymouth in July and have spent the last 2 months working as Project Coordinator for Plymouth Dance.

Before moving to Plymouth, I have been working in London for Rambert and The Place, working in dance education and participation, as well as being a theatre Duty Manager.  I have organised UK wide teacher training events and workshops to prepare students and teachers for the new GCSE and A Level Dance specification.

Above all, I believe in the benefit of dance and creative thinking to people, young or old, and believe every young person, and adult alike should be confident in their creative voice, and that dance should be fun and accessible for all.

As well as my project coordination work, I am a keen presenter and dance teacher.

I presented, and interviewed Rambert’s Artistic Director, Mark Baldwin, and Archivist, Arike Oke, for Rambert’s first Facebook Live broadcast, supporting the new A-Level Dance syllabus, as well as comparing many shows and live events across the country.

Now I am settled in Plymouth, I have had an exciting first 2 months teaching ballet and contemporary for Dance with Jodie dance school, based in Looe, and working as Tour and Education Officer for Exim Dance Company for their upcoming tour, feeling completely welcomed and engrossed in the dance community within this vibrant city!

I am so excited to be coordinating 2 projects for Plymouth Dance, first of all I will be taking over from Claire Summers as project coordinator for our Tea Dance with a Twist! events. Thanks to funding from Awards For All, we are delighted to announce that we will be running 8 more Tea Dances with a Twist! on the following dates:

12th November (Lower Guildhall)

10th December (Lower Guildhall)

18th February (Upper Guildhall)

11th March (Upper Guildhall)

8th April (Lower Guildhall)

24th June (Lower Guildhall)

15th July (Upper Guildhall)

12th August (Upper Guildhall)

In the coming weeks I will be speaking with our wonderful practitioners and volunteers to get ready for our first event in November, as well as spreading the word to as many people across Plymouth as possible about this wonderful events!

The second project I will be coordinating for Plymouth Dance, is Dance Companions.

This is a wonderful project where we create a club for people over 50, who would like to watch dance performances, accompanied by Dance Companions Volunteers and other members.

This club is free to join, and I will be working to make sure everyone is informed of opportunities to watch a range of dance performances across Plymouth. In the coming weeks I will be going out to theatres across Plymouth, to negotiate the best ticket deals possible for our volunteers, as well as identify which performances to invite our members to across the season. We will also arrange and book transport for our members if required.

I can’t wait to get stuck in to these wonderful projects. Above all, I believe in the benefit of dance and creative thinking to people, young or old, and believes every young person, and adult alike should be confident in their creative voice, and that dance should be fun and accessible for all.

If you have any questions, or would like to get involved with Tea Dance with a Twist! or Dance Companions, please contact

Hasta la vista Claire

Thursday 8th September was officially Claire Summers last day working for Plymouth Dance as Senior Project Coordinator.
Claire’s contribution to the work and development of Plymouth Dance and to dance in Plymouth over the past decade has been exceptional and her legacy will continue through the work of Exim, Adapt, Plymouth Dance and many others.
Her commitment, generosity, patience, passion and drive are second to none.Claire will be sorely missed but never far away, wherever she may be in the world, thanks to the power of social media!

I’m sure that those of you who have had the pleasure and privilege of meeting or working with Claire will share my sentiments and wish her all the best as she embarks on a new adventure that will, no doubt, be equally exciting, challenging, successful and rewarding.

Thank you Claire for being an amazing, supportive, wise and truly inspirational student, colleague, peer, teacher and friend to myself and many others.

Como siempre tu amigo,



An informal partnership between Plymouth Dance and Plymouth City Museum and Art Gallery was initiated in August 2013, when PD was invited to present 1940s inspired public workshops and demonstrations as part of a ‘Garden Party’ event linked to the Museum’s Nancy Astor exhibition. Maryam Pourian and Nico Bray, Mad About Swing, Dolly Knight and Jonathan Stromberg delivered the sessions.

In May 2015, Plymouth Dance was invited back to present WWI inspired public workshops and demonstrations as part of a ‘Night at the Museum’ event. Mad About Swing, Maryam Pourian and Mark Sidey delivered the sessions.

Night at the Museum - Mad About Swing - 16th May 2014


In 2015, Plymouth City Museum and Art Gallery invited Plymouth Dance to commission a choreographic response to the Gerhard Richter exhibition (part of Tate’s ‘Artist Rooms’ programme).

As a result, both partners discussed and devised a 4 part project that was financially supported by Tate, Plymouth City Council, The Art Fund and Arts Council England.

 Gerhard Richter Choreographic Commission Performances

  • Charlotte Eatock was commissioned to create a solo performed by Jane Castree in the exhibition.
  • The 4 performances took place at lunchtimes and were attended by a total of 124 people, including members of the Friends of Plymouth City Museum and Art Gallery, Plymouth University Dance students and Primary School children.
  • Many of those who attended had not visited the Museum before and had come along specifically to see the performance.
  • Some of the attendees visited the Museum café and shop after the performances for lunch.
  • Several of the Dance students from Plymouth University had not seen dance choreographed in response to visual art before.
  • 26% of the audience who completed feedback questionnaires confirmed that they had been introduced to the work of Gerhard Richter for the first time.


Photo Credit: Dom Moore


Gerhard Richter Choreographic Commission Film


Gerhard Richter Choreographic Residency

  • Jane Castree delivered a 3 day Choreographic Residency at The House in January 2016.
  • 7 young people attended including Plymouth University students and members of youth dance companies.
  • The residency resulted in a performance at the Museum on the final day of the Gerhard Richter exhibition.


 Photo Credit: Dom Moore


Film of the Gerhard Richter Choreographic Residency & Performance


Photo Credit: Dom Moore


In July 2016, Plymouth City Museum and Art Gallery invited Made by Katie Green to present 3 performances of ‘The Imagination Museum’. This special event was scheduled as part of the ‘packing up’ process prior to the closure of the Museum building for the development of the History Centre. Approximately 50 people watched the rehearsals and 120 children and adults attended the performances.

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On Saturday 3rd September, Plymouth City Museum and Art Gallery will be having a ‘Wrap Party’ and Plymouth Dance has been invited to deliver workshops and demonstrations throughout the day. The themes will be dances from the 1920s/1930s and the 1970s.


Plymouth Dance really enjoy working with the Museum and Art Gallery team and are looking forward to the possibility of supporting and continuing to work with them during their closure period and towards and after the opening of the Plymouth History Centre in 2020!

“It’s been great to work with Plymouth Dance on such a variety of projects over the last few years” said Arts and Cultural Development Manager, Judith Robinson. “Responding to historical objects and heritage sites through dance is a great way to engage with and develop audiences. The work Plymouth Dance has done with us has really helped to add value and a greater element of interactivity to our Gerhard Richter programme and a number of our special events.”

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June Gamble | Coordinating Producer Plymouth Dance






Being a PD Volunteer – Lydia Baldchin

I have had an amazing time volunteering for Plymouth Dance. I am grateful to be able to get an opportunity where I can connect with other awesome dancers and companies as well as the public within the dancing industry. Being a part of the volunteer program I have had the chance to communicate more with dance contacts in my local area and have started to network my own experience of dance.

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Image by Kevin Clifford

So far I have developed the knowledge in subjects of importance to me within being a Dance Leader. They include breaking down the meaning of Child Protection such as how to work with children going through a difficult time, to giving them a safe environment for socialising and dancing. Part of this session included how to Safeguard myself and the community that I am working within. Also I have learnt how to Market myself as a dancer and help Advertise different projects by sharing posts through social media like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. One of the creative classes that I took with Plymouth Dance was with ‘Encounter arts’, together as a team we learnt how to capture our own memories in an artistic way and how to present the idea to the public.


Recently in my journey with Plymouth Dance I have had the wonderful opportunity to get involved with a project called ‘Tea Dance with a Twist’ where I have gained work experience within the dance industry. This project is to support people over 50 with their health and well-being, to raise awareness of disability, Parkinson’s, Dementia and any other medical condition. It’s about bringing the community of all ages together to support one another and celebrate the benefits of dance. At the beginning we started fundraising for the project, I put my new skills to the test and helped with regularly advertising across social media as well as chatting personally to people and my own family and friends. The first event was on the 18th June and it was successful with a good turnout from the public. We had really good feedback from the people that attended and everybody enjoyed themselves. I had a lovely time speaking to the older generation about their memories of dance over a cup of tea and a slice of cake, I also learnt some classic dance moves of ballroom whilst listening to a live dance band called ‘Metropolis Swing- Quartet’. I have also built on my personal skills of self-confidence with communicating to the public. I am looking forward to the next event on the 16th July and then the 13th August hopefully the project will lead us into more events and workshops within the near future.

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I have really enjoyed my experience so far through socialising with dancers of different ages and abilities. I have built upon my transferable skills and l am starting to learn how to work within the dancing environment. I look forward to a future with Plymouth dance and being involved with their exciting projects and gaining more knowledge and experience.


Lydia Baldchin

Plymouth Dance Volunteer

What next for PD Volunteers?

This is always an interesting time of year, we’ve almost finished this years programme for our lovely volunteers and it’s time for me to reflect on the wonderful support they have given us over this year and also think about what next?

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We’ve been spoilt in the last two years with a really strong group of volunteers who have fully engaged and involved themselves in every project and opportunity that we have requested of them (or they have asked for)  It’s at this time of year we have to start thinking about recruiting our next team and this is exciting but also challenging.  Often those that make great volunteers are already busy and committed to other things which makes giving more time tricky.  And finding people can be another challenge; looking in the right places and getting the word out all over can be hard to do with a small team. We have great connections with the University, colleges and lots of arts and voluntary organisations  but getting a new cohort together definitely takes time.

The other exciting part of the next step is designing what our next programme of opportunities will look like.  Our volunteers have the chance to experience a whole range of really useful arts based training opportunities provided by members of our team but also from some really brilliant partner organisations.  In the past this has ranged from project management and child protection to marketing and creative consultation.  An important part of this programme is the ability to listen to our volunteers and establish what they would like to know more about, how they wish to develop and what skills they want to have as well as ensuring what is on offer is a good range of transferrable skills that can be used in other employment going forwards.

I look forward to the next steps with anticipation and excitement, who knows what will happen next and who we will meet!

If you are interested in volunteering with Plymouth Dance contact Gemma on –


Tea Dance With A Twist!

Recently Plymouth Dance hosted their first Tea Dance With A Twist! in the Plymouth Guildhall, I was the Front of House coordinator so i was going to be one of the first faces that the public would see. To say I was nervous was an understatement because i had never done anything like this before; especially since the whole of the Plymouth Dance team had been working on this for so long.

IMG_9062I was responsible (along with two other volunteers) for greeting the public, writing their details down and putting them on our mailing list; it was really interesting finding out how the public had found out about the Tea Dances. A lot of people found out via the Plymouth magazine or simply by word of mouth so it was really good to know that people had been talking about it and decided to come along.

We started to set up the Guildhall in the morning and when all the decorations were up it felt so real and it was all finally happening. The postbox i had was painted and ready for people’s feedback, the song request cards were all set and the band and the dancers were excited to go. It was all finally happening after months and months of preparations.

The nerves were starting to set in for a lot of us and we were just waiting for the doors to open.

This was the first big event that i had helped PD with and it was amazing to see it all unfold right in front of me. Everyone had an amazing time and the music and dancing was amazing to be a part of…I couldn’t stop myself from dancing! The atmosphere of the whole event was incredible and i was told more than once what an amazing time people were having.

IMG_9093The Lyons Monocle was providing tea, coffee and cakes to the public and I really wish I had one of those cakes now because they looked amazing and people were so happy that they could enjoy a nice cup of tea and then go and watch some dancing.


There were so many lovely people in the Guildhall that day and we heard nearly all of their stories. It made me proud to know that we were doing something for the public and that were loving every minute, they asked for it to last longer and for there to be a Tea Dance every month. Reading the feedback that some people gave us made me so happy and it felt like we were making a difference:

‘Just the thing Plymouth needs – people having fun.’

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Image by Kevin Clifford

All of our hard work paid off and we have been given even more ideas from the public for our next Tea Dance on the 16th July. The whole of the PD team had an amazing time and the dancers worked so hard to make everything enjoyable.

Hopefully there will be even more people that can come and join in and have an amazing time with tea, coffee, cake and dancing at our next Tea Dance With A Twist!




Hannah Rhimes

Plymouth Dance Apprentice


Tea Dance With A Twist! one down three to go

After months of planning, preparation and praying our hard work would pay off, our first Tea Dance With A Twist! Event happened last weekend at Plymouth Guildhall. And wow what a event it was.

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There was tea, coffee and the most incredible cakes thanks to the lovely Indi and her team from The Lions Monical. I personally had a slice of the Victoria Sponge and it was incredible! Don’t worry though they will be at all of the Tea Dances with their Vintage Tea Room.

We were also joined by some brilliant local organisations who have been incredibly supportive of Plymouth Dance and this project.


That leads me nicely on to what happened inside the hall!


As this was our first Tea Dance, it was the first time our wonderful team came together. I think I can safely say our Tea Dance Twisters danced their socks off!


The band were also fantastic and we are looking forward to them being back with us in August. Next month we will be joined by The Drat Pack and Vocalist Maggie…

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If you weren’t there don’t worry as we still have two more to go. Make sure you get the dates in your diary and we will see you on the dance floor!

Claire Summers

Senior Project Coordinator


A summer of professional class!

Plymouth Dance are extremely excited to be able to announce a whole 5 weeks of Summer classes in partnership with Plymouth University, Heather Walrond Company and Exim Dance Company.

Booking has now opened for weekly passes and a full 5 week pass via Eventbrite. Daily passes may become available closer to the time is weekly passes have not sold out but this is not guaranteed. Spaces are limited so please make sure you book your passes early to avoid disappointment!

Here is how the schedule is shaping up:

Week 1 – Heather Walrond Company On The House Stage


19th July- 9.30am-10.30am- HeatherWalrondCompany Class with Vou Dance Company- The House Studio

20th July- 11.30am- 1pm- HeatherWalrondCompany Class with Adam Benjamin (Co Founder of CandoCo)- The House Stage

21st July- 9.30am- 10.30am- HeatherWalrondCompany Class with Akeim Buck – The House studio

22nd July- 9.30am-10.30am- HeatherWalrondCompany Class with Heather Walrond -The House stage

Week 2 – Heather Walrond Company Class 


26th July- 9.30am-10.30am- HeatherWalrondCompany Class with Christopher Radford – The House stage

27th July- 9.30am-10.30am- HeatherWalrondCompany Class with Kayleigh Crook – The House stage

28th July- 9.30am-10.30am- HeatherWalrondCompany Class  with Akeim Buck- The House stage

Week 3 – Theo Clinkard on The House Stage

Theo215th-19th August 10-11:30am

(This is for local practitioners who are unable to attend the full residency)

Class Description 

Theo begins his working day with a release based class. Starting with simple exercises that develop awareness and connection within the dancing body and perception games for people to relate themselves to each other and to the space they are inhabiting. Through a balance of improvised movement and designed movement patterns his class is then devised to challenge dancers coordination and help them find greater clarity in articulation. He finishes up with expansive phrase work that encourages playful, present and expansive dancing.


Theo Clinkard is a Cornwall born, Brighton-based choreographer, dancer and theatre designer. For 20 years he has performed with many of the UK’s most celebrated companies (Siobhan Davies Dance, Random Dance, Matthew Bourne, Bgroup, Rafael Bonachela, New Art Club and The Featherstonehaughs among others) as well as  for 5 years co-directing the dancer run company, PROBE with Antonia Grove.

In 2012, he formed his own seven-strong company to develop a portfolio of eloquent and visually arresting works that explore the communicative potential of the body and the empathetic nature of dance in performance. He has created two full-length evenings of work ‘Ordinary Courage’ (2012) and ‘Of Land & Tongue’ (2014), which includes ‘Chalk’ the duet he performs with composer James Keane. 

Theo is currently planning ‘This Bright Field’; for 12 dancers, due to premiere in Spring 2017. 

Theo has created numerous commissioned works including ‘The Listening Room’ Danza Contemporanea de Cuba (2016), ‘somewhat still when seen from above’ (2015) Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch, ‘My Dance, Your Touch’ (2015) Transitions Dance Company, ‘We Become Panoramic’ Verve, Wo/Manmade (Salzburg Experimental Academy of Dance S.E.A.D.) as well as various creations for youth dance companies.

Alongside his choreographic work, Theo regularly leads international workshop residencies and teaches at the vocational schools and the major international dance companies (Pina Bausch, Culberg, DV8, Carte Blanche, Sydney Dance, Rambert, Scottish Dance Theatre, National Dance Company Wales, Danish Dance Theatre, Skanes Dansteater, Ballet Boyz, Michael Clark, New Adventures and Candoco).

Theo is a Resident Artist at Greenwich Dance and an Associate Artist at Dance4.

Week 4 – Exim Dance Company Class with Heather Walrond (RLB 307)

IMG_491622nd-26th August 9:30-10:30 am

Week 5 –Exim Dance Company Class with Lucy Freeman (RLB 307)

IMG_502929th August to 2nd September 9:30-10:30am

Class Description

Drawing inspiration from contemporary techniques such as release, counter technique and flying low this class is all about moving! Finding a natural flow of energy and movement through the body we explore fluidity, flexibility, strength and release. 


After graduating from Falmouth University with a First Class Honors degree in dance performance, Lucy went on to gain her Masters degree in Dance Performance at Chichester University. During this time Lucy was a part of international touring company ‘Mapdance’ performing works by … Lucy has also performed for London based company ‘Coegi’ including at the Stockholm Fringe Festival and receiving the ‘young STOFF’ award. This year Lucy has spent time in Indonesia receiving her qualification as a yoga teacher bringing another element to her passion for movement and body work.