About Our Town Dances

Our Town Dances in Hadleigh and Stowmarket, is a project commissioned by DanceEast and funded by Babergh & Mid Suffolk District Council. The Project will bring together over 120 performers from schools and community groups to create two film portraits, one for each town and screened in a local venue in April 2018.

The project is led by UNIT, a collaboration between choreographer Tom Hobden and film director Kate Flurrie. UNIT is working with local schools, community groups and individuals in each town, encouraging storytelling and the sharing of key life moments that tie people to the town in which they live. These views and memories will be used as the starting point for the creation of dance movement, filmed on location in homes, community centres and sites of local interest involving the community, and supported by professional dancers.

Keep up to date with the project by following us on Twitter @dance_east or by liking our Facebook page @danceeast. We have also been posting images from the sessions with the community groups taking part on our Instagram page @danceeast. Just in case you miss them, here’s what’s been happening the over the last couple of weeks!

Project activity


The project delivery started when UNIT worked with staff from the Jim Lawrence Lighting and Home store in Hadleigh, their filming is now completed – thanks to all the team involved and we look forward to seeing the final footage in the film.

Jim Lawrence Image

Photo credit: @we_are_unit 

Residents at Sydney Brown Court a sheltered housing project for the retired in Hadleigh had their introduction to the project and UNIT will be returning over the next few weeks to spend more time with the residents and film their movement. Residents are looking forward to seeing the final footage on film in April.


On Thursday 8 February, M W Partridge Co Ltd in Hadleigh had a brilliant day of dance and filming with Tom and Kate at their shop – thanks to all the team for their support.

Partridges Image

Photo credit: @slewisdance 

In Stowmarket, Abbot’s Hall Primary School’s Year Four class started their dance sessions with Tom Hobden on Tuesday 20 February and will continue for the next 6 weeks. The children are excited to be part of the project and can’t wait to see themselves dancing on film!

”My class have thoroughly loved the dance sessions so far and have not wanted the sessions to end! As the children are enjoying it so much, I can see how much they are wanting to impress and are making huge progress from the beginning of the session until the end! They will ask me and Tom if they can do certain moves, showing their confidence and love for dance growing. I have never seen the boys so enthusiastic in my class towards their dance learning! The girls are wanting to try more difficult moves too and not scared to experiment!” Mrs M Starling, Teacher

Thirty children from St Mary’s Church of England Primary School in Hadleigh Primary School in Hadleigh had their first session with Tom on Wednesday 21 February and will also continue for the next 6 weeks.

”The children really enjoyed their first week; even reluctant pupils were dancing by the end! The children were active and engaged throughout the whole session, and were immediately excited for the next session.” Andrew Frolish, Headteacher 

The Porch Project in Hadleigh had over 30 young people engaged in their first of six sessions at the Tuesday night drop in on the 20 February. The Porch Project runs weekly drop-in-sessions and offers 1 to 1 mentoring support for young people. They work with over 100 young people every week and the sessions were buzzing with young people eager to learn something new!

Porch Project Image

Photo credit: The Porch Project 

Residents at Chilton Court Care Home in Stowmarket had their first dance class last week to begin their participation in the project.


UNIT returned to Chilton Court Care Home in Stowmarket last week to film the residents creations. The residents can’t wait to see the final film and Dance Artist Tom has had a great time in the Care Home.

This week UNIT will be filming at Sydney Brown Court and the WI in Hadleigh to film the final creation with the participants.

You can join the project by telling us 
‘What dancing means to you…’

Email your answer to us to either hadleigh@danceeast.co.uk or stowmarket@danceeast.co.uk or pick up an Our Town Dances postcard from Hadleigh or Stowmarket library and mail it back to DanceEast.


Town Dances postcard stow backTown Dances postcard stow FRONT 1