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We all knew that it was coming but not precisely when or what it would look like, in the end Lockdown2 crept up on us earlier this month. The dance studios that had begun to open closed once more and the theatres that had booked performances to carefully adhere to infection control measures cancelled them.

For some people knowing what to expect has made this lockdown easier than the first and they have returned to their lockdown routines. For others knowing what to expect makes it worse and for some whilst schools stay open and many businesses continue working it is more complicated than ever.

Many people will be familiar with the pop-up studios when Hull Dance transformed 66-68 Humber Street during 2018 and 2019. We had a great time dancing with people and seeing the work of fabulous local professional dancers take shape as they created, rehearsed and shared their work. Sadly, like so many things, it has not been possible for us to continue this programme during 2020. Our response has been to find some different ways to stay connected, and be creative with new projects over the next few months.

Kicking off first is a project with Blood Memory Dance and some of the amazing people we met last year when we joined forces with St Philip’s Church on Bilton Grange, East Hull. Joining households via Zoom to meet families, make memories, share stories, dance and enjoy music – is there a better way to spend your Sunday afternoons? Emma, Artistic Director, Blood Memory Dance will lead the workshops and other members join us throughout the project. There are few sessions to get us started before Christmas with the project continuing in 2021. Find out more and register here.

During the first lockdown we moved our weekly classes for people living with MS, their friends, families and carers on-line.  We are now spreading our wings to include weekly sessions for people who are over 55 years old. No need to travel to a studio or community hall, to take part, the sessions are a chance to relax, move and connect our minds and bodies at our own level in our own homes. Find out more and register here.

The final strand of our programme is working in partnership with Hull City Council and TIN Arts, nationally recognised as a leading company in inclusive working. They will help us interrogate and develop our youth dance framework so that groups and young people across the city can access dance in a way that works for them.  Along the way there will times to ask questions, dance with friends and develop how we all work to ensure as many young people as possible can join in. If you are between 11 – 19 years old (25 if you have additional needs) or work with young people and would like to get involved now is the time to let us know by emailing info@hulldance.com and stating your interest. We look forward to you joining us in the next few months or suggesting projects that you would like to see us offer in the future.  These projects are only possible thanks to public funding from National Lottery through Arts Council England and a grant from Hull City Council, we are really appreciative of the support.

Keyna, November 2020