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 june.gamble@plymouthdance.org.uk 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!’

Tea Dance PosterA4

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



Plymouth Dance Film Friday U.Dance Community Engagement Film

This Weeks #pdfilmfriday is one of the wonderful films we commissioned with Youth Dance England to capture the community engagement programme we developed around the U.Dance 2015 festival.

The film was made by Jessica Wright who followed the young dancers round for the two months leading up to the festival.

Want to work with us?

Job Opportunity with Exim Dance Company CIC and Plymouth Dance CIC

Job Title: Intern/ Trainee Producer

Employer: Exim Dance Company/ Plymouth Dance

Terms: This is a 30 hour per week 6 month contract with flexible working.

Contract dates:        Start date: 12th October 2015

End date: 8th April 2016

Fee:                             £6.70 per hour

Who we are looking for

We are looking for a creative person who wants to gain experience in arts production and project management. You will have a professional interest and desire to learn/develop your skills in this field.

You will likely be a recent graduate (within the past 5 years) in either Dance, the Arts, Business, History or English. You will be passionate about Dance and/or the Performing Arts, have experience of aspects of project management and want to expand your learning as part of a project team. You may have an interest in pursuing a career in some aspect of cultural production and an understanding of the National Occupational Standards for Leaders in Dance.

You will need to have excellent IT skills and an understanding of the implications of working virtually and remotely.

You will be confident and able to relate well to people, and also able to work independently a great deal of the time. The role requires quite a high degree of self-organisation even though you will be working with the Artistic Director and Coordinating Producer.


Please contact Claire@eximdance.org.uk for the full job specification and application details.

The deadline for applications is 5pm Monday 14th September 2015

Interviews will be held in Plymouth on the 24th September 2015

For more information on the project and both companies, go to

www.plymouthdance.org.uk www.eximdance.org.uk

Volunteers U.nderconstruction

The training I and many other volunteers have received in preparation for U.Dance 2015 has been fantastic, from learning good communication skills to being qualified First Aiders we have all taken something from each training whether it be a skill or very handy information.

Training has taken place within many different venues to name a couple, The Creative Arts School and the Barbican Theatre. Being in different spaces in Plymouth is exciting as you find yourself seeing most of Plymouth en route to each venue and begin to know where everything is before having any physical training. It’s also refreshing as you get to meet artists and managers who resident within the spaces and are more than happy to help with anything you need.

Being a volunteer we’ve all had the fantastic opportunity to get our training and certificates for free such as being DBS certified this enabling us to work with children and also being first aid trained putting everyone involved with the festival in safe hands. Literally.

We’ve also had brilliant training by a range of people, here are a few I thoroughly enjoyed learning:

Dan Baker, Manager of the Barbican Theatre informed us with Hospitality and Customer Service training, small things that can sometimes be forgotten are always good reminders. For example: Looking presentable and being approachable. Also to be knowledgeable of the event and the area, as if we are a U.Dance 2015 flyer but 10 times more exciting and encouraging.


Photo by Siobhan Bowie-Wooler

Claire Summers, Artistic Director of Exim Dance Company and Project Co-ordinator for Plymouth Dance trained the volunteers within Child Protection and Safe Guarding. This was great training and eye opened me and many others to ensure the safety of children and how to go about it.

Jade Poole, Corporate Funding Development Co-ordinator for Plymouth Dance and General Manager of Exim Dance Company gave the volunteers brilliant training on Networking. Networking is something I have personally struggled with, being chatty and confident with talking to people and creating these small interactions or connections that either gets your name, company or event out there. This is valuable information and training to receive as audience members or dancers will be looking to us as volunteers to know where all of the facilities are within venues, to have a good understanding of the city and other events happening in the festival. So being able to talk confidently about the festival and who we are connects us to numerous different people that we may end up helping or working with for our next projects that we take on.

Rhiannon Williams

Plymouth Dance Volunteer 2015

Review: Limbo – By Tammy Mildren

Photographer: Lloyd Russell

Photographer: Lloyd Russell

Limbo was an explosive dance piece that was choreographed and performed by the Plymouth University first year dance students. This was performed in a brand new state of the art theatre facility called The House. The piece was about chasing your dreams and overcoming the potential barriers.

My expectations before watching the piece was that it would be a slow pace performance with lots of levels and lifts that were transitioned between smoothly and beautifully. I also imagined the performers to be professional and mature in their style of dancing, using their body and expressions to tell the story. I also expected them to show the audience how they can work holistically with each other to include various styles of dance and include a range of acrobatic and gymnastics elements as this add power and meaning to the piece.

Photographer: Lloyd Russell

Photographer: Lloyd Russell

Limbo was a very mature action packed explosive dance piece that included different styles of dance like contemporary and hip hop and this gave the piece an edge to it. The dancer included lots of lifts and counter balances that varied in difficulty. This showed the incredible bond and the trust the dancers have between each other, this gave to piece a professional look to it. The piece told a clear story and the movements were very clear and effective and this helped the audience to visualise the story and this gave the piece a clear meaning. The performance had a constant theme to piece and all the movements linked very well into this.

The dancer’s costumes were very bright and colourful which gave the piece a happy feel to it and all the dancers were well presented and prepared and the movements were crisp as they travelled through the spaces they used creativity and professionalism because they worked with a Varity of dancers and you could see the individual personalities.

The only negative I had was the lighting at time let the performance down as the piece was quite dark and I struggled to see a lot of the spectacular lifts and this not only let the piece down this also let the dancers down as a whole as it was clear that the dancers had worked really hard and the piece and had clearly put a lot of time and effort into perfecting the piece. Overall the piece was a spectacular performance and incredible and very professional piece for first year dancers that made the audience come alive and question themselves and their own life goals and dreams. I would defiantly come and see future performances.

Tammy Mildren is part of the Plymouth Dance Volunteer team and working towards her silver arts award.