Hull City Council Dance Strategy Update

Delivery and working in partnership

Arts Development has continued to drive the delivery of Hull City Council’s Dance Strategy in partnership with Hull Dance.

Since my last blog we have established focus groups to replace the working group that had previously steered its delivery. This has ensured that we have a wider range of voices influencing the delivery of the development strands. Our current focus is:  

Young people’s inclusive offer which works alongside Hull City Council’s Youth Arts Strategy which recommends the development of pathways and progression routes for young people.

Planning and audience development.

Assessing the need for a central contemporary Dance Space.

We had already set up focus groups with partners and young people to create “Move Together” the inclusive youth dance framework.  The programme is starting to take shape now with a growing number of advocates spreading the work

  • Move Now – weekly or monthly activity taking place in local spaces for young people who want to dance for fun, be creative, meet new friends.
  • Move More – for young people who want to push themselves and increase their commitment, develop their skill level and up the intensity.
  • Move On – for young people considering a career in dance or want to find out just what they are capable of in dance.

Work this year has included making successful applications to the Healthy Holiday and Food Fund to support Move Now activity in youth centres with two youth dance companies being established from this work.  Young people have moved more by performing at Creative Voice Dance Platform, Hull New Theatre with a new date planned for February 2023 as well as attending workshops at the Hull Dance space.  Young people have also been supported with Move On with training to become dance leaders.

Two new focus groups have taken place firstly with theatres and dance programmers to focus on planning and audience development and then with dance spaces and artists to explore the need for a dance space.  The idea for a virtual space to collate and promote dance initially came from the planning focus group and was echoed later when discussing that it would be good to promote and network the dance spaces that are already set up.

Since then Arts Development has engaged professional dancer Eva Russell to develop this work in partnership with some of the partner’s marketing departments and The Critical Fish’ Creative Directory. The launch of Discover Dance which goes live next month is an exciting step in raising the profile of dance, particularly contemporary dance across the city.

We are pleased that the focus groups have worked well enhancing both our communication and partnership working and we will continue to work in this way as we develop further strands.

Don’t forget you can get involved. Email if you would like to discuss further and find out more!

Ruth Drake

Arts Development Officer
September 2022