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06 Oct 2023

Image Credit: Barry Stacey

DanceEast celebrates its 40th anniversary through sharing extraordinary stories

This Autumn, we are celebrating 40 fantastic years since starting life as Suffolk Dance in 1983. Launching today, our three-month #MoveBeMoved40 campaign will look back at four decades of dance activity across the region, and the amazing impact that has been felt locally, regionally, and nationally.

As part of this, we will share 40 extraordinary stories of people whose lives have been impacted by dance. We will hear from people within our community and beyond. This will include artists, staff, audience members, people who participate in our classes – and it could include you!

Brendan Keaney OBE, DanceEast’s Artistic Director and Chief Executive, says:

“As we look back at 40 years of DanceEast, we want to celebrate the amazing people and stories that sit at the heart of everything we do. Our home, the Jerwood DanceHouse on the Ipswich Waterfront, is an amazing facility – but DanceEast is also about people. It is about the people who know DanceEast and love dance – but also about those who have yet to step through the front door.

We want you to help us celebrate all things dance, and the wonderful impact it has on all our lives – in bringing joy, creating opportunities for self-expression, and avenues for discovery.

Perhaps you have a story you would like to share with us about your own good times in dance? Whether it’s performing or watching a show, dancing at a special event such as a prom, the first dance at your wedding, on a great night out with friends, or kitchen-dancing at home – we want to hear from you.  Maybe you feel dancing is what makes you feel truly ‘you’?  Perhaps you feel you found a sense of belonging through dance?”

Do you have a story to share? Here are the ways you can take part:

  • Visit the Jerwood DanceHouse to film your story about dance, or to share it in writing, in our #MoveBeMoved40 selfie station. DanceEast’s friendly staff will be on hand to help you.
  • Alternatively, you can upload your stories to this Google Form this could be a video, voice note, written story or a photo.
  • To share on social media, post your story and use the hashtag #MoveBeMoved40. You can also search the hashtag to see what other people have posted.

Alongside inspirational stories of dance, there is plenty to look out for across the next three months, including:

  • Two commissions for new, live dance works that incorporate new technologies
  • A celebration of 15 years of our Centre for Advanced Training programme, which provides high-quality dance training for young people aged 10-18 years
  • Further opportunities for you to get involved!

Over the next few months we would also love to see you at the DanceHouse selfie station, or for a performance, class, or a coffee in the DanceEast’s café. We look forward to hearing your story and to sharing the joy of dance with you soon!

Discover what’s coming up this autumn here.