Following four days of youth dance celebrations in Birmingham earlier this year to mark One Dance UK’s U.Dance 2017, it was revealed that DanceEast will host the national event for the first time in 2018.
Each year the U.Dance festival showcases a selection of dance groups from all over the country, as well as providing young people with the chance to take part in workshops and masterclasses with dance industry professionals, and inspire each other with a love of dance. The 2018 festival will run in July, at DanceEast. It will enable young dancers from both schools and youth dance groups to participate in classes, workshops, careers sessions and social activities during the three and half day residential.
Coming to the East of England for the first time, One Dance UK will work with DanceEast to make U.Dance 2018 a unique experience, inspired by the region’s urban and rural landscapes. DanceEast will also host the regional platform, which forms part of the selection process for the festival, on Sunday 18 February 2018, at the University of Bedfordshire.
Applications for the regional platform open on DanceEast’s website at the end of October, closing on Friday 24 November. Youth dance and school dance groups are invited to apply to perform, in a bid to be part of the national festival in the summer of 2018. Applications are welcome from across the entire eastern region and groups working in any dance genre are encouraged to apply. Dancers need to be aged between 11 to 19 (or up to age 25 for dancers with additional needs).
Working in partnership with One Dance UK, DanceEast is excited to continue to champion youth dance in all its forms. DanceEast’s base at the Jerwood DanceHouse has played host to regional U.Dance heats since 2012 as the East of England partner organisation, heading to the University of Bedfordshire for 2018.
Lucy Bayliss, Head of Creative Programmes, said:
“Work with young dancers is a core part of DanceEast’s programme and we are excited to have the opportunity to celebrate this work with groups from across the country through such a prestigious event. U.Dance brings a huge amount of colour and energy to the host area and is a positive celebration of what young people can achieve. We are looking forward to welcoming the national groups to Suffolk, to experience just a little of what is special about living and working in the East.”
Andrew Hurst, Chief Executive of One Dance UK, said:
“We are excited to partner with DanceEast in presenting U.Dance 2018. The U.Dance national youth dance festival is an important event on the national dance calendar. From the local platforms to the Festival itself, U.Dance engages with more than
7,000 young dancers each year, encouraging them in the pursuit of excellence in dance and embarking on careers in dance, highlighting one of One Dance UK’s key aspirations – to get as many young people as possible dancing.”
In true U.Dance tradition, the 2018 event will further extend DanceEast’s offering of dance opportunities. Additional specialised projects are also hoped to increase the dance opportunities for children and young people in the region for 2018, expanding the reach of U.Dance to young people in Suffolk and beyond.