Illuminate – Tammy Mildren

What an amazing event Illuminate was! On the 18th November 2016 I was asked to take part in a Film with Plymouth Dance Volunteers and ADAPT Youth Company. This was being created as part of the Illuminate Festival to be displayed on the side of the Plymouth Art Centre building on the 24th November. It was such an amazing opportunity to be a part of and I learned so much because I have never done anything like that before. The film involved us dancing in the dark going on and off a platform with wooden boxes that were lit up, creating different shapes and movements. We also played with level and doing lifts and we were exploring different ways of moving for example we played with the idea of not letting anyone get or put boxes onto the wall and we also played with the idea of taking the boxes from one another and fighting over the boxes this was loads of fun.

Then on the 24th November we were involved in the Illuminate parade, which started on the barbican and made its way to Plymouth guildhall in the city centre. We watched the first bit of the parade and then joined in further down the road with the lit up boxes this was amazing fun because we then saw a dance performance by the Barbican Theatre and a projection film that was shown on the building of the guildhall. We then made our way up to Plymouth Art Centre to see our film being displayed on the side of the building.

Thank you everyone that was involved in making this happen this was an amazing experience to be a part of and I had so much fun doing this.

Tammy Mildren

Plymouth Dance Volunteer

Plymouth Dance Volunteers Training Programme

We have a fantastic volunteers training programme for all of our PD Volunteers. Don’t worry though, even if you aren’t a volunteer you can take advantage of these great training sessions. All you need to do is choose what you would like to attend and then click through to book your place on Eventbrite. Make sure you book on quick though as places are limited and first come first served!

Tips for teaching dance

A session with dance practitioner Jules Laville around how to effectively teach dance.  This is an introductory session that will give an overview around effective practice and explore some exercises and techniques for teaching dance.
This session is suitable for anyone interested in beginning to explore teaching dance or anyone already teaching that miht like to learn more or see things from a different perspective.
Date and Time: Thursday 9th February, 6-8pm
Location: The Barbican Theatre, Castle Street

Inclusive dance practice

A session with dance practitioner and director of Exim Dance Laura Henry.  The session will cover information and advice around working inclusively in dance.  Laura has a wealth of experience in this area and will draw on that experience to share information, tips and advice connected with this field of practice.
Date and Time: Thursday 9th March, 6-8pm
Location: Plymouth School of Creative Arts

Customer Service and hospitality training

A session with Dan Baker, house manager at the Barbican Theatre around working with the public.  Although not traditionally associated in working with the arts being able to work well with people and communicate effectively is a vital skill.  With his experience of working with the public in a busy theatre Dan is well equipped to share his knowledge and experience in this session and will share advice for working effectively with the public and providing a wonderful service in any situation.
Date and Time: Thursday 6th April, 6-8pm
Location: The Barbican Theatre

Marketing and promotion

Laura Smith, director of Driftwood Marketing takes us through a session looking at the tips and tricks for effective arts marketing.  Laura has experience working in arts organisations before moving on to up her own business, for which she has many high profile arts clients.  Laura will lead participants through ways to use marketing to promote events and services and also look at use of social media.
Date and Time: Thursday 4th May, 6-8pm
Location: Plymouth School of creative Arts

Who are Plymouth Dance and what do they do?

So, who are the Plymouth Dance team?

We currently have 7 Directors: Adam Benjamin, Sarah Cobley, Jules Laville, Maryam Pourian, Mandy Precious, Kevin Heathorn and Ruth Way. We also have a Steering Committee that includes Sophie Colthurst, Ben Dunks, Chris Gilchrist and Paula Hocking.

The Directors and Steering Committee meet 3 to 4 times a year and the Directors meet additionally to discuss and make specific financial or strategic decisions. If you would like to be considered to join the Steering Committee, please email with a covering letter and CV.

The Plymouth Dance Management Team is led by myself as the Coordinating Producer and the team expands and contracts, depending on the number of projects that we are working on. So, currently, Claire Summers is the Senior Project Coordinator, Laura Henry is the Corporate Development Coordinator, Gemma Ward is the Volunteer Training Programme Coordinator, Heather Walrond is the International Projects Project Coordinator and Hannah Rimes is our Apprentice. Sarah Cobley is our Communications Coordinator and Anne Marie Clark is our PR & Media Consultant. We all work on a freelance basis and work part time (varying from 1 day a month to 4 days a week).

What have we been doing since U.Dance 2015?

Well, we have spent 6 months researching the provision of Dance for people over 50 in the city, as well as designing and developing a professional development programme for Dance Practitioners wishing to specialise in working with people with Parkinson’s and Dementia. This phase of our ‘Cultural Shifts’ Arts Council funded project will culminate in 3 x monthly events – ‘Tea Dances with a Twist!’

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The other elements of ‘Cultural Shifts’ included a Choreographic Commission in partnership with Plymouth Museum and Art Gallery, funded by The Art Fund. Charlotte Eatock choreographed a solo for dancer, Jane Castree, in response to the Gerhard Richter Exhibition, as part of the Tate’s Artists Rooms project.


Charlotte and Jane also created a film and Jane delivered a weekend Youth Dance Choreographic Residency that also resulted in a performance at the Plymouth Museum and a film.

With regard to professional development and in addition to the Dance and Health programme, we have been fortunate to be able to host workshops and Masterclasses by James Wilton and the Hofesh Shechter Company, as well as support Stephen Hodkinson and Paula Hocking via the CPD Dance Card Bursary scheme in partnership with Hall for Cornwall and Dance in Devon.

Also, since September 2015, Plymouth has been visited by companies including 2Faced Dance, C-scape, Rambert, Birmingham Royal Ballet, Hofesh Shechter Company and NDT2. Local choreographers that have presented their work include Heather Walrond, Richard Chappell and Olivia Lockwood.

Prior to our 10th Anniversary year (2017), we commissioned Mary Schwarz and Sue Kay to undertake a public ‘Perceptions and Possibilities’ review of Plymouth Dance. This review has informed our next project – ‘Shifting Sands’ – that will commence in September 2016 (subject to funding).

During the next couple of months, we are working with Richard Rhodes of Vickery Holman Surveyors and Paul Read of POP Ideas (Iridescent Ideas) to deliver a Feasibility Study that will prove whether or not it is viable to convert the top floor of the iconic Tinside Lido building into a Cultural and Creative Hub. This project has been funded by Plymouth City Council‘s Social Enterprise Investment Fund, so watch this space…


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June Gamble, Coordinating Producer Plymouth Dance



Joie de Vivre Mature Dance Platform : Open Call 2016

Are you a company of dancers aged over 50?

Are you looking for performance opportunities and a chance to watch work by similar companies?

We are looking for up to 4 companies to perform on the stage at Pavilion Dance South West, the National Dance Development Organisation for SW England. The works should be no more than 10 minutes in length.


Venue : Pavilion Dance, Westover Road, Bournemouth  BH1 2BU.

Date :  Sunday 9 October 2016

Time of performance : 5pm

There will be a chance to warm up, rehearse and do technical runs on the day and you may also want to look at the exhibition of photos of mature dancers and watch some short films of Joie de Vivre Short Film Competition winners.

We are delighted that PRIME, the mature dance company of Scotland, will be joining us to perform an exerpt of their most recent work.

How to apply :

Please email the following :  

  1. Expression of Interest – no more than 1 side of A4 stating the title and length of the work, the choreographer, the number and age range of the dancers, a short introduction to the company and a description of the work that will be performed.
  2. Please send us links to online videos of the work in progress and a maximum of 1 previously performed or filmed work. These can be on YouTube, Vimeo or similar platforms.
  3. Confirmation that the members of the company are all available on 9 October.

The successful companies will be given a contribution to costs of £200.  All other costs must be met by the companies.


What we’re looking for :

  1. In 2016 this open call is only for companies based in the Arts Council’s defined SW area which includes Southampton, Portsmouth, Isle of Wight, Hampshire as well as the traditional SW region.
  2. Companies that focus on performance work with people aged 50 and over.
  3. Confident performers who own the work
  4. Choreography that suits the performers
  5. Clear intention of movement
  6. Ambition to perform at a high standard

The judges’ decision will be final and we won’t enter into correspondence with applicants.



Deadline for applications : 12noon 12 July 2016

Email to :   Mobile : 07743 583046




PDSW’s Short Dance Film competition is open for films up to 5 minutes in length featuring older dancers. Deadline for submissions : 21 June.  Please email Zannah Doan if you’d like to know more or check out our website.  E:

NYDC Experience Workshops

The National Youth Dance Company are returning to Plymouth on the 4th June to lead an experience workshop. The workshop will take place at City College Plymouth and to apply you need to click through and complete the online form.


The workshops are open to young dancers aged 15-18 (up to 24 for deaf or disabled dancers)- with experience in any dance style. We are a fully inclusive company and can offer additional support to any dancers who may need it in the workshop- this includes a 30minute pre workshop to allow dancers with particular access needs to meet the teachers and learn some of the material in advance to allow them to feel more comfortable.


So if you would like the chance to join the company then make sure you apply now.  Make sure you let us know by tweeting @PlymouthDance

Dust off your dancing shoes and join us for Tea Dance with a Twist!

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18th June | 16th July | 13th August

Plymouth Guildhall


Tea Dance with a Twist! Will be a monthly intergenerational social event 18th June, 16th July and 13th August that will take place at Plymouth Guildhall, targeting the aging population. Co-hosted by Miss Ivy Events with live music performed by the Metropolis Swing Quartet and a team of highly trained dance experts.

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As well as offering social activity for the community that is Dementia and Parkinson’s Friendly there will be a Vintage Tea Room and an Independent Living Zone where local service providers can have a stand enabling them to provide face to face advice and information. We are expecting a footfall of approximately 500 people at each event.


“We are really excited to present three ‘Tea Dances with a Twist!’ at Plymouth’s iconic venue – Plymouth Guildhall. These events will give everyone the chance to trip the light fantastic down memory lane. 

So, if you enjoy dancing or simply watching and listening to a great band, whilst enjoying a cup of tea and a slice of cake, Plymouth Guildhall is the place to be on Saturdays 18th June, 16th July and 13th August.

We are also delighted to be working in partnership with Miss Ivy Events and thank our current partners, City Bus, The Duke of Cornwall, Plymouth Culture and Arts Council England for their support. We continue to look for more partners to help us to continue to present more events in the future, so if your organisation would like to become a ‘Tea Dance with a Twist! partner, please do not hesitate to contact us.”

June Gamble, Coordinating Producer, Plymouth Dance

Plymouth Dance currently has a Crowdfunder live. Please click the link if you wish to support the project by sharing on pledging.

Tea Dance With a Twist! is supported by:

Independent Living Zone Stands Avalible

Tea Dance With a Twist! – The Independent Living Zone

Tea Dance with A Twist! (TDWT) is a community social dance event which will take place from 1-4pm on Sat 18th June, Sat 16th July and Sat 13th August at Plymouth Guildhall. The target audience for this project is the over 50’s and most specifically those who are at risk of social isolation and who may have health and wellbeing needs preventing them from participating in a lot of social activity.

Tea Dance with a twist!

We have an estimated footfall at the events of between 300-500 member of the public of all ages. This calculation is based on a previous event we organized at a similar time and day in the City Centre. The event will be extremely well publicized and marketed through some of our key supporters (Plymouth City Bus, Plymouth Community Homes Residence Groups and the Dementia Action Alliance partners to name a few).

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We see these events as a gateway to help signpost over 60’s who are not already engaged to local services or other more regular activities. A major part of the project being about working in partnership with other organisations and service providers in the city to improve visibility and knowledge of their offer resulting in the improved physical and mental health and social engagement of the over 60’s in Plymouth.

Independent Living Zone

We are looking for unique, local businesses and organisations to be a part of TDWT. Each Tea Dance will have a maximum of 12 stands positioned on each side of the mezzanine. The Vintage Tea Room will be beyond this meaning people will need to pass through this area to access their ‘free’ tea or coffee.  The cost of a stand at one of these events is £50.

Although the Tea Dance is open to anyone wanting to attend we will be targeting the following groups making this an ideal opportunity for anyone looking to engage with anyone in these groups:

  • People with Dementia
  • People with Parkinsons
  • People over 50
  • People with disabilities
  • People living in social isolation
  • Plymouth Community Homes Residents

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Tea Dance With a Twist! We need your help…

As you may be aware this year Plymouth Dance has a focus on creating opportunities for older dancers as well as promoting Dance for Health. We have been working hard to build relationships with local organisations and people providing services and advocacy to expand our knowledge and grow our networks. We have become dementia friends and ensured all of our Tea Dance practitioners have training in both Dementia and Dance and Parkinsons Dance. We are now in the final stages of our project planning and on the 18th June our first Tea Dance With a Twist! will take place at Plymouth Guildhall.

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To make sure this project is the very best it can be we have launched a Crowdfunder to try and raise some much needed money towards this project. We also have some fantastic rewards including VIP entry to all three Tea Dances for you and a friend, song dedications from our wonderful band and some that are more focused towards sponsorship and support form organisations. So please if you can possible support this project visit our project file on Crowdfunder.


Image by Kevin Clifford

Make sure you click follow and/ or sign up for our mailing list to be kept up to date will everything dance in Plymouth!

Claire Summers

Senior Project Coordinator



Plymouth Dance Film Friday Rhythm City at Dance PLYMOUTH Dance

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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.