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Animated Edition - Autumn 2015
Animated - Autumn 2015 cover: Open Age dancers, Of Women. Photo: Jonathon Vines
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Focus on: practice & current issues in participatory dance

In this issue

I am delighted to introduce this edition of Animated in my relatively new role as People Dancing’s Associate Director. Since starting in May 2015, I have been exploring some of the incredible participatory dance work happening in the UK and internationally, work that at times can feel hidden and without the exposure or recognition it deserves.

Dance professionals and dancing communities have been hit hard by cultural sector funding cuts in recent years. In this edition we share some new talent and some fresh thinking from established practitioners, highlighting how dance leaders are picking up the pieces and have become resilient and entrepreneurial in their direction and practice.

Health and wellbeing continues to be at the heart of community dance practice. Jan Burkhardt, a leading specialist in the field of dance and health, outlines the epidemic of physical inactivity and significant benefits that dance can play in public health interventions, and Andrea Haley, working on behalf of Air Arts, shares her approach to and experience of delivering dance in hospitals.

We feature Chaz Bonnar, an international videographer and dancer from Glasgow, on developing his breakdancing practice across the UK, Europe and USA supported by a Winston Churchill Travelling Fellowship. Yael Owen-Mckenna talks about her leadership role in influencing special schools across Coventry to fully embrace creative dance within the curriculum and to use the Sherborne Developmental Movement technique.

Leading British choreographer Rosie Kay offers an insight into her work with military communities as part of a tour of her show 5 Soldiers, as well as her continued support for developing a skilled dance workforce. Jemma Bicknell questions how performance can challenge limiting perceptions of older people and the implications this has for dance practice.

Alongside news from People Dancing, we are pleased to share with you an idea we’ve been piloting to provide dance artists and teachers with credit for the continuing professional development they undertake, and to introduce ArtWorks Alliance – a new cross-artform UKwide collaboration for participatory arts.

2016 will mark People Dancing’s 30th anniversary. We’ve got some new events and programmes planned as well as time for reflection and celebration of community dance over the past 30 years, and looking forward to the next 30 years and beyond. Celebrations will commence in January, with some nice surprises!

Vanessa Oxspring
Associate Director, People Dancing
In this issue
Continuing professional development
People Dancing Summer School 2015. Photo: Rachel Cherry
Credit where credit’s due
Continuing professional development (CPD) – why do we do it and what value does it hold for us? What is ‘good’ CPD and how can we make the most of the CPD that we take part in? People Dancing’s Anna Leatherdale explores 
Dance and disabled people
Creative dance session. Photo: Helen Ashbourne
Sharing dances within a developmental approach to curriculum
Yael Owen-Mckenna, dance practitioner and Joint Head of Service at Coventry Performing Arts Service and Music Education Hub, reflects upon the development of a programme of creative dance and Sherborne Developmental Movement for Special Schools across Coventry
Jess Thom and Jess Mabel Jones – Touretteshero, Backstage in Biscuit Land. Photo: Jonathan Birch
Good, bad but never indifferent
In the midst of Edinburgh Festival madness, arts writer Donald Hutera listened in as the disabled arts community tried to answer the question – if not now, when?
Dance and health
Office for National Statistics graph
Dance – tackling the epidemic of physical inactivity
Jan Burkhardt, dance and health specialist, makes the case for dance as a remedy for inactivity across all communities and ages based on research in England

Dance and older people
Grand Gestures. Photo: Frances Anderson
Welcoming the unknown territory
Dance Artist Paula Turner and ethnographer Dr Trish Winter have been collaborating for the past two years on an ethnographic research project with Grand Gestures Elders Dance Group in the North East of England. Here, Paula writes about what this collaboration has brought to her practice

Mieko Werthiem, Of Women. Photo: Jonathon Vines
Staying healthy, being happy and pushing boundaries
Jemma Bicknell, Senior Hub and Creative Projects Manager at Open Age and an independent choreographer, looks at the benefits of dance and performance, how it can challenge limiting perceptions of older people and the implications this has on dance practice
Emma Jayne Park, Emma Houston, Christopher Maule & James Fogerty – Status Anxiety. Photo: Mike Chalm
Paying it forward to share dance theatre
Cultured Mongrel Dance Theatre (CMDT) acts to drive dance as a vehicle for social innovation through making socially relevant dance theatre that challenges the audience and the sector. Here, Emma Jayne Park, CDMT’s Artistic Director, considers new ideas for access and inclusion in the arts
In practice
Poe One (Style Elements, USA), Workshop – Long Beach, USA. Photo: Ervin Arana © 2014
Breaking barriers
Chaz Bonnar, aka ChazB, is a 23-year-old international videographer and dancer from Glasgow. In 2014, he was the youngest person to be awarded a Travelling Fellowship by the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust as his research took him to the US to learn how Breaking and Hip Hop culture benefits young people from deprived backgrounds
Rhythm and Moves project. Photos: Shadow dance artists and volunteers. © Air Arts: Engage
Taking dance onto hospital wards
Lead dance artist for Air Arts: Engage, Andrea Haley, focuses on her experience of finding the space to deliver dance and connect patients, visitors and staff on hospital wards
Hannah Sampson, Stopgap Dance Company class. Photo: Chris Parkes
Dance science research: a new perspective
Senior Lecturer in Dance and Course Coordinator for the MSc in Dance Science at the University of Bedfordshire, Imogen Aujla PhD explains how a relatively new area of dance science research can help to support the continued development and diversity of community dance

Sean Marcs, Duncan Anderson, Oliver Russell, Shelley Eva Haden and Chester Hayes – RKDC’s 5 Soldiers
The body is the frontline
Rosie Kay, Artistic Director, Rosie Kay Dance Company, reflects on a revival of 5 Soldiers – The Body is the Frontline, taken on a UK tour to military bases and theatres with a community outreach programme
Photo: Rachel Cherry
An easy alliance
A new body – ArtWorks Alliance – has been formed as a cross-artform UK-wide umbrella for strategic organisations and networks in participatory arts. Chris Stenton brings us up to date with developments and why it’s a good thing for People Dancing (and people dancing)