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Thursday 30 July: Working with children and young people (CYP) practice sharing day

Facilitated by Mel Knott

This day will offer participants the opportunity to share their experience and learn from within a mentored environment. The day is designed to enable you to gain insights into other people’s approaches and to contribute to activities, observations and ideas that will help to develop high quality dance practice for artists working in a range of contexts with children or young people.

The day will include discussions and activities about:

Current issues, priorities for agencies working with CYP and how these impact on dance projects and delivery
Planning, shaping and delivery – from concept to evaluation
Keeping the learning environment positive.  Group and behaviour management strategies, including working with young people with additional needs
Working in partnership – identifying partners and effective partnership working
Making performance pieces which give young people creative agency within the work
Evaluating and demonstrating impact
What next?  Providing guidance and support on participants’ career development.

Twelve participants will have the opportunity to contribute a practical activity, presentation or discussion based task (lasting approximately 15 minutes) providing content for all those taking part to experience and subsequently discuss. We are keen to encourage a diversity of approaches from artists with a range of experience and a focus towards artistic practice. If you are applying to attend this practice sharing day as a mentored contributor you will need to fill in a separate application form - more information about this is contained within the course application form.

Please identify one of the key ideas on the application form on which to base your activity. A detailed outline of the activity that you are going to present will be requested from you by the end of June to enable effective planning of the day.

Mel Knott biography

Mel Knott is currently a Lecturer in Community Dance Practice at De Montfort University and Associate Dance Artist at Curve. She is a dance artist and educator, who has worked as  a choreographer, teacher and consultant for a range of dance organisations. She teaches and choreographs dance in higher education, schools and within the youth and community dance sector, and leads Curve's Young Dance Company. 

Mel was the choreographer for Curve’s community productions of Fiddler on the Roof (2018) and A Midsummer Night’s Dream (2017), and movement director on Made at Curve productions of Giraffes Can’t Dance (2019), Cat in the Hat (2018), Roald Dahl’s George’s Marvellous Medicine (2017), Breakfast at Tiffany’s (2016), Roald Dahl’s The Witches (2015/16). She has also created a number of dance pieces for both stage and site-specific environments for Curve Young Dance Company and been choreographer for other CYC productions 10:10 (2018), The Siren Club (2018), Oklahoma! (2017), Happy and Glorious (2016), We’ll Meet Again (2015) and the Leicester based-dance artist for New Art Club’s Hercules (2015).  In 2014 Mel worked alongside Nikolai Foster to create a large-scale community performance for Richard III reinterment at Leicester Cathedral. 

Mel regularly leads and supports organisations on professional development for teachers, dance artists and national dance organisations on delivering high quality dance education to children and young people within schools and the youth and community sectors. She is a former Executive Chair of One Dance UK’s Children and Young People’s Expert Panel, a mentor for their teacher mentoring scheme and a contributor to Dance 4’s development work in education and with the Centre for Advanced Training. Prior to moving to the East Midlands, Mel enjoyed 12 years as the Director of Dance at The BRIT School in London.


Photo: Mel Knott teaching at People Dancing Summer School 2019. Photographer: Rachel Cherry.