Arts Development is part of Hull City Council and has a strategic overview of the arts working to support and develop the creative sector in Hull.  Dance has been a priority for the last 25 years with the establishment of Hull Dance at the heart of this development.  Partnership work has also been vital, supporting our ambition that outcomes are co-ordinated, autonomous and sustainable.

The current strategy was created with Hull Dance and partners, developed as part of an ongoing conversation and adopted by the Dance Partnership who are represented by performing arts venues, festivals and dancers representing different dance styles.

Led by Arts Development an initial working group comprising Hull Dance, Hull College, Absolutely Cultured and Sami Hindmarsh has led development so far. To make better use of all the voices around the table, we will create short-term focus groups for each development strand as we move forward next year.

The scope for the current plan is:

1/ Contemporary Dance   2/ Access to dance opportunities for young people in all dance forms

The vision is for:

  • The creation of a sustainable inclusive, diverse, vibrant and well networked dance community at the heart of a thriving City playing a role regionally, nationally and internationally.
  • The development of a sustainable ‘home’ for contemporary dance.
  • A dance ecology which reflects and responds to the needs and interests of the people of Hull.

This is about supporting current artists and projects but also about making new opportunities and bringing in and developing new talent.

But what needs to develop?

The current focus is on the development of inclusive pathways for young people called “Move Together” as well as continuing to explore the potential of a Creative Space and the setting up of a Dance Exchange, which alongside apprenticeships and other forms of training will give multiple entry points and help integrate new dancers into the dance ecology.

To achieve our ambitions, we will need to find additional funds and at the moment we are clarifying our plans and working out the details for each area of work which has taken some time.  We are making sure that we seek and hear a range of voices, tweaking and modifying our thoughts as we progress.

Our partners have a lot of information about dance audiences and our next focus will be developing a five-year strategy which will build on established performance programmes and lead to a more coherent citywide programme including dance performance at all scales.

How will the conversation continue and influence plans?

Focus Groups to share knowledge, skills and ideas to inform the next actions in progressing the dance strategy

Young people and practitioners that advocate for and work with “Move Together” can influence and find out about opportunities. 

Professional dancers will be able to do the same through the Dance Exchange

Audiences and community participants can feedback and give ideas at performances and workshops.

General information will also be promoted via Arts Development’s City Arts Forum and Newsletter with social media channels via Hull Dance and their website.

Email if you would like to discuss further and find out more!

Ruth Drake, December 2021