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Perspectives on Practice

Perspectives on Practice is People Dancing's new online programme of artist-led events and learning opportunities, discussion and debate, networks and spaces to gather, (re)connect and share. Perspectives on Practice runs throughout 2021 as our profession and the communities we work with begin to focus on recovery, and beyond to rejuvenation.

Find out more below!

Friday 23 April 2021, 11:00 - 13:00

Perspectives on Practice: No more shouting over the music at the camera! Using your voice in dance delivery


This workshop with actor and director Gary Lagden will help you learn how to use your voice safely and effectively for the delivery of in-person and online dance sessions.

In the 2 hour practical session, you will work on specific vocal techniques that will help to enable you to use your voice appropriately.  The warm ups and exercises are in order to be heard without negatively straining your voice. These exercises can then be repeated and used as you continue your own work.

The key is that vocal freedom and clarity should not hurt. You will be activating your breath and tone to create a pure, painless sound. This session is not about changing accent, instead you will find ways to most appropriately use yourselves to find your own, unique and free voice. Please could you wear what you would usually wear when running your own dance/movement sessions.

At the end of the workshop you will be sent a recap of the work you have undertaken and practical tips as reminders for you to use as you move forward.

This event is free of charge to People Dancing Members and £5.00 for non-members.

Book your place here

Booking deadline: Midday Wednesday 21 April 2021.


About the artist

Gary Lagden comes from Port Talbot, South Wales and trained as an actor at RADA. Since Graduating in 1994 he has acted in over 80 productions. He has toured nationally and internationally, including work in Russia, Denmark and Azerbaijan. He has written and performed a play about a Welsh working-class rugby player, Fly Half which received Critic’s Choice 2018 from both British Theatre Guide and British as well as 5 star reviews. Fly Half continues to tour Theatres and Rugby Clubs in the UK. He has lectured voice and vocal technique at Derby University. He is an associate tutor at RADA where he has directed many of Shakespeare’s plays.

Photo credits: Top - People Dancing Summer School. Photographer: Rachel Cherry. Bottom - Gary Lagden.

Monday 26 April 2021, 11:00 – 12:00

Perspectives on Practice: What the f@&k do we do now? 


Dance artists Kimberley Harvey and Susanna Dye will lead an open and honest discussion with disabled dance artists and practitioners at all levels of their career, to pose questions around what support is needed for disabled dance artists right now and in the future.

This session will be supported by BSL interpreters, and closed captioning (CC) will be available.

This event is free of charge to everyone.

Book your place here

Booking deadline: Thursday 22 April 2021.

Photo credit: Kimberley Harvey - photographer: Roswitha Chesher.

About the artists

Kimberley Harvey is a freelance dance artist, choreographer and teacher. She is also the Director of the Youth Dance Programme for Candoco Dance Company. As a professional dancer, Kimberley works predominantly in contemporary dance, but also physical theatre with companies such as ThisEgg and Moxie Brawl.

Kimberley has her own inclusive contemporary dance company, Subtle Kraft Co. Formed in 2011, the company's work is centred around relationships in their various and complex forms with connection, communication and curiosity as core elements for their artistic and working practice. Kimberley is on the Board of Trustees for Maresa von Stockert (formerly Tilted Productions) and South East Dance.


Susanna Dye (she/they) works between the fields of theatre, dance and film, exploring how movement and the body are encountered both live, and digitally. Being dyspraxic and dyslexic, she has developed an inclusive practice as a facilitator, teacher and choreographer, that is built on movement as a field for individuality and play, making work through exploring the creative potential of neurodivergence and difference.

She has developed her professional experience with organisations including Candoco Dance Company, Access all Areas, Turtle Key Arts, Bush Theatre and the Lyric Hammersmith. Susanna is curious about developing an approach to dance that is guided by the senses, exploring habitual movement patterns and how the body self regulates through movement.

Photo credits: Top: Kimberley Harvey.  Bottom: Susanna Dye - photographer: Manon Ouimet.

Tuesday 27 April and Tuesday 18 May 2021, 10:00 - 11.30

Perspectives on Practice: Dramaturgy workshops

Louise Wildish - Director of Engagement for People Dancing recently met with Lou Cope, the UK-based dance & theatre dramaturg to explore the process of dramaturgy, and how it can support dance artists in their work. During the 36 minute conversation questions are asked to create understanding of the role of a dramaturg.


Dramaturgy workshops with Lou Cope - bursary application

This two-part workshop is intended to give 12 artists the opportunity to think dramaturgically around their practice. Working solo, in pairs, in groups and with Lou – participants will be invited to engage in some deep thinking about the purpose, content and context of their work – in order to shore up plans and approaches as the world hopefully begins to ‘wake up’.

We are looking for dance artists and practitioners who have a real interest in the value of dramaturgy, and who are open to developing their practice by engaging in rigorous dramaturgical thinking. No experience of working with a dramaturg is necessary.

This bursary application is open to People Dancing members only. To apply for a bursary please fill in the application form via the link below.

Application form 

Application deadline: 10:00 Thursday 22 April 2021. Due to expected high demand, successful applicants only will be notified on Thursday 22 April 2021.

About the artist

Lou Cope is a UK-based dance & theatre dramaturg who has worked across the UK, Europe and in the Middle East. She is the founder of CoAD - The Centre of Applied Dramaturgy ( and specialises in collaborative practice. Recent/current collaborations include: Garry Stewart & Australian Dance Theatre, Aakash Odedra, Gary Clarke, Birmingham Royal Ballet, English National Ballet; Rhiannon Faith, Stopgap Dance. 

Lou also offers Practice Dramaturgy – working with artists outside of productions, and has a podcast called Downtime. Past collaborations include: Phoenix Dance Theatre; Scottish Dance Theatre; les ballets c de la b; Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui & Damien Jalet. 


Wednesday 28 April 2021, 14:00 – 16:00

Perspectives on Practice: online adventures in dancing with Parkinson’s

for artists and practitioners working in the field of dancing with Parkinson's to share ideas, challenges and opportunities

Join us for the 4th in our series of online events for artists and practitioners working in the field of dancing with Parkinson’s.

In this practical session Dr Melanie Brierley offers her commitment to connective practice - an exploration of dance as a sensate experience which supports the feeling of physical, emotional, cognitive, and social connection between people in dance and Parkinson's classes.

The session will incorporate time to reflect and will end with a discussion of issues and ideas raised in the session. 

What you will need:

  • A sturdy chair
  • Water
  • Comfortable (and warm) clothing
  • Paper and pens/pencils.

This event is lead by Dr Melanie Brierley and not Dr Melanie Brierley and Natalie Speake as we mistakenly published in one of our newsletters.

This event is free of charge to People Dancing Members and £5.00 for non-members. Presented as part of the Live Well & Dance with Parkinson’s programme.

Book your place here

Booking deadline: Thursday 22 April 2021.

About the artist

Dr Melanie Brierley: With her practice embedded in the arts in community health, Melanie works as a dance artist, researcher, and trainer at Conscious Bodies. Following a 25-year career in dance education, she has spent the last decade as an independent dance artist, researcher, and ISMETA registered somatic movement educator/therapist. Her specialism is dance for people living with Parkinson’s, with Melanie working in this area for 12 years. She is interested in using somatic dance and movement practices with people of all ages, abilities, and backgrounds and currently, her focus is on people who live with neurological conditions (Parkinson’s, Dementia, Stroke, and Muscular Dystrophy) in their homes, community groups, residential/nursing homes, and outdoor spaces. Through her doctoral research (University of Roehampton, 2020), Melanie investigated somatically informed, one to one, co-creative, and home-based dance practice as a unique response to supporting health and self-care in the Parkinson’s community.

Photo credit: Dr Melanie Brierley, People Dancing International Conference, Glasgow. Photographer: Rachel Cherry.

Thursday 29 April, 10:00 - 12:30

Perspectives on Practice: Making outdoor participatory performance


From preparing and leading a creative team, to the delivery of workshops to participants, whilst also ensuring the audience feel connected to the work, Jeanefer Jean-Charles - Artistic Director, Mass Movement Specialist & Creative Consultant - will use her many years’ experience in participatory outdoor arts to help artists understand some of her practices used to get the best out of each project.

This event is free of charge to People Dancing Members and £5.00 for non-members.

Book your place here

Booking deadline: Tuesday 27 April 2021.

About the artist

Jeanefer Jean-Charles - Artistic Director, Mass Movement specialist & Choreographer is a globally renowned artist. Since starting her journey as Co-Founder and Artistic Director of Bullies Ballerinas’ Jazz Dance Company (1990-2000), her work has taken her to over 21 countries. As Artistic Director of Big Dance, she gained recognition by the Guinness Book of Records by choreographing and coordinating 800 dancers in Trafalgar Square in 2006. She also runs her own project ‘Tomorrow’s Men’ – using dance as a tool to help young men re-engage in their education.
Career highlights include: Artistic Director for The Rugby League World Cup Opening Ceremony 2013, Mass Movement Director for Roald Dahl’s City of the Unexpected 2016, the Coronation Festival at Buckingham Palace 2013 and for The F.A. Cup Final Opening Ceremony at Wembley 2016. Choreographer for the award winning The Return of Colmcille, Derry-Londonderry City of Culture 2013, and the film Engineering Happiness for the Institution of Civil Engineers. Movement Coordinator on all four of the London 2012 Olympic Opening Ceremonies, and Artistic Director of ‘Black Victorians’ – a dance piece recently presented at 2020.

As a former schoolteacher, Jeanefer used her educational experience to develop outreach programs in the 90’s in rural areas as Artistic Director of Bullies Ballerinas. Many underrepresented and marginalised communities benefited from learning typically urban cultural dance and movement, and were introduced to new forms of creative expression.
As a leading authority in mass movement and public engagement, Jeanefer continues her life mission of creatively harnessing dance and movement for the empowerment of individuals. She is passionate about ensuring overlooked communities are made visible.
Her interest in truly exploring ways in which participants can play a valuable role in the artistic development of a project and contribute to the decision of the overall presentation, has been the reason why she is the ‘go to’ person for public engagement. An example of this is her recent work in 2019 bringing to life the Tilbury Carnival whilst also facilitating an artistic exchange with Norfolk Festival. And ‘Spirit of Woolwich’ - part of’s Global Streets programme - inspiring local change through unforgettable international outdoor arts experiences coupled with targeted engagement activities.

As Artistic Director of Jeanefer Jean-Charles & Associates, there are four core elements to Jeanefer’s work: Creative Direction and Visioning (‘People Power & Passion’ – Launch event for  Luton Council’s Bid for city of culture 2025), Choreography and Mass Movement (Big Dance 2006 and Manchester Day 2015-2019), Direction Learning and Participation (Tomorrow’s Men boys project - part of the Cultural Olympiad in 2012) and Creative Consultancy and Mentoring (Déda Creative Centre for Dance, and Europe Beyond Access, Artistic Lab #3: Other Artists, Other Bodies- Maastricht in 2019).
Her unique methods centre around her role as the creator, drawing together the right team to most effectively engage and enrich the community. Her creative process aims to bring to life the talents, strengths and shared stories of local communities and artists in inspiring and unforgettable ways. 

Photo credit: Jeanefer Jean-Charles.

Tuesday 4 May 2021, 10:00 - 11:30

Perspectives on Practice: How to connect and engage with nurseries and primary school settings


This workshop with freelance dance artist and primary dance specialist Jo Cone will introduce processes and practices which will support dance practitioners in creating ‘offers’ of work which meet the needs of local nurseries and primary schools.

The session will not cover creative content of offers but will support you to get started or support your current practice to become more sustainable within this setting. It will also direct you to other resources for further support.

Jo will be available for follow up support in her role as one of the coordinators of the Primary Dance Network. Jo will be offering mentoring later in the year through her ACE funding.

This event is free of charge to People Dancing Members and £5.00 for non-members.

Book your place here

About the artist

Jo Cone - upon graduating from Chichester University with a BA Hons in Dance and Related Arts Jo worked as a freelance dance artist locally and nationally creating choreographic work, delivering workshops and projects to adults and children with and without learning disabilities as well as older adults in stroke rehab and living with dementia. 
Delivering training and cross curriculum projects in primary schools and nurseries, and becoming a Mum led her to create Doodle Dance, a specific approach which combines anatomical and neuroscience, developmental research, dance, arts and play to promote well being in children alongside their care givers.
Recent success in receiving Arts Council Funding means Jo is able to further develop Doodle Dance offering support to other artists through the FUEL COLLECTIVE. Writing the book ‘Making a Move’ with fellow artists Claire Pring and Louise Jaggard has led her to create the MAM team and become joint coordinator of Primary School Dance Network. Her current research into sustainability is being shared through the network and in further books and webinars, benefiting artists to sustain their work now and beyond. Jo is also currently researching, writing, creatively devising to expand the resources and opportunities to children, parent/carers, nursery staff and teachers and taking the work into new settings, supporting more children to ‘Make their Mark!’. Jo has recently been appointed to One Dance Uk’s Primary Advocacy Panel.

You can connect with Jo via

Photo credit: Jo Cone.

Thursday 24 June 2021, 15:00 - 16:30

Perspectives on Practice: Art at the Heart: Placing dance at the heart of a community project


Jenny Reeves from About Time Dance Company creates memorable dance experiences inspired by her local heritage, rooted in heart of the community. Jenny’s work is committed to sharing forgotten stories, often those of women, and brings to life lesser known stories and places, using these as a hook to engage non-arts audiences and participants.

During this session Jenny will offer suggestions on how more of us can delve deeper into local places and spaces and discover the breadth of possibility on our doorsteps. Discover how place-making can encourage participation and a connection to the arts, and how community participation can be woven into the core of artistic projects.

This event is free of charge to People Dancing Members and £5.00 for non-members.

Save the date - bookings open 10 June.


About the artist

Jenny Reeves was born and bred in Lancashire and has always had a strong affinity with her home and developing a stronger sense of place and belonging. She returned to Lancashire after a number of years training and dancing professionally across the globe. The forgotten and hidden stories from the North of England called her back to begin a wealth of creative work bringing light to our lesser known heritage, bringing it to life with dance. In 2016 Jenny created About Time Dance Company to further explore her relationship with dance and community.
Jenny’s first professional touring work 'Cotton' is a captivating exploration of Lancashire Mills through dancing, music and clogging. The work has toured the North West region sharing tales from Lancashire’s Mills at festivals such as the National Festival of Making, a number of heritage sites, schools and care homes and has touched the lives of many people who have a family connection to the cotton industry.

Jenny has since created a number of performance projects which can be seen on the Company’s website. Jenny also continues to work as a dancer, most recently in ‘On the Patterns We Gaze’ a time-specific choreography by Ellen Jeffrey and in 'Passage for Par' by Rosemary Lee in 2018. Jenny has a growing interest in environmental landscape art which is influencing her forthcoming creations. 

Photo credits: Top - 'Cotton’ . Photo: Jenny Reeves. Bottom - Jenny Reeves. Photo: Robin Zahler.