Happy New Year! We hope that you are staying safe and well in these challenging times and that the festive period brought you joy however you spent it. I think we can safely say that 2020 was a year like no other, and that entering a third lockdown was probably not how any of us wanted to start 2021. Am I the only one asking will we ever get out of this pandemic?

However, hope is in the air, the vaccination programme is being gradually rolled out across the country and the end is in sight, even if a way off yet. Armed with this knowledge and our learning from 2020 Hull Dance is exploring how we can create opportunities for laughter, movement, creativity, and togetherness during 2021 whether virtually or in a physical space. We are hopeful that we will be able to host another Transgressions weekend as part of our programme this year. Our focus will explore how art has enabled us to be together whilst apart during the pandemic, although if we can make it happen it will probably be in June and not May this year!

Before that we are looking forward to welcoming back existing participants and some new ones to the Time of Our Lives project and our Flourish programme which both re-start next week. The Flourish programme comprises workshops for people living with MS, their carers, and friends, those living independently at home with support and people who are over 55 years old and still enjoy ‘strutting their stuff’.   Find out more and register here.

Discovering the joy of moving and being creative in our own spaces, alongside, underneath or above our fellow dancers in their individual squares was one of the highlights and, dare I say, benefits of being in our homes so much during 2020. The technology not only enabled us to experience dancing differently but enabled those, who for various reasons, cannot access a central physical space to join in. Now that must be good news.

A key focus for Hull Dance over the next two months, alongside our partners Hull City Council and TIN Arts will be finalising the MOVE TOGETHER framework. This will give a structure to opportunities for young people to get together and dance across the city at a level and in way that works for them. Thanks to those who provided vital feedback on our initial workings before Christmas, we will be asking people who work with young people and most importantly young people themselves their thoughts via a series of interactions, on social media platforms and through virtual meetings during January and February. There will also be some practical dance sessions and a project led by Anusha Subramanyam – so it won’t all just be talking!

Our plan is that by the spring we will have a clear structure which includes the great work that happens across the city already and gives more chances for other young people to get involved and dance.

New partnerships made in 2020 and new possibilities emerging mean we have lots of ideas buzzing in our heads as we ease into 2021. As always we want to hear your thoughts about what we should do in the future, so email us at info@hulldance.com with your ideas.

Keyna, January 2021