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18 Jul 2022

On Saturday 9 July, DanceEast hosted the Youth Takeover as part of the Hullabaloo22 celebration. Designed for and by young people, DanceEast’s first ever Youth Takeover event put young people from the local community at its heart.

The events, performances and activities were curated throughout the day by a youth planning team, a group of young people between the age of 14 – 22, each with a strong passion and enthusiasm to make the arts more accessible and exciting for young people in Suffolk. The aim of the event was to create a space for young people to express their identity and creativity.

The Hullabaloo22 project is the first major collaborative project for the Ipswich Cultural Education Partnership (ICEP) to support and celebrate activity happening in Ipswich from March – August 2022, through which children and young people can express themselves and develop their skills and creativity.

The youth planning team worked with the Participation & Engagement Producer to plan and deliver the event. Planning for the event started in March 2022, with the group bringing their different backgrounds and experiences together to gather ideas and inspiration for the day. They then met monthly to organise the programme, contact performers and promote the takeover.

On the day, the DanceEast foyer became a hub of creativity, with a performance space being used throughout the day, an interactive art installation led by Young Artists in Suffolk and great tunes provided by local DJ Hewsin000 which made it hard not to want to boogie!

There was a variety of creative workshops happening around the building during the event hosted by local arts and community groups. Team Rock Paper Scissors led a collage workshop in the Whistler Gallery, inspired by artist Victoria Topping and created a colourful mural which young people added to throughout the day.

Art Eats worked with digital artist Michelle Brace to utilise the green screen room. They filmed young artists and dancers performing in the space which was then layered with film footage of the murals along Ipswich Waterfront, celebrating community, movement and creativity. Wooden Roots led a drumming workshop, and were joined by dancer Rosy May for an interactive, vibrant celebration of Soca dance.

There were amazing performances by drag queens Shar Cooterie and Will Power, who put their own twists on classic songs. Suffolk Contemporary Dance, CAT and Maisy and Katie from UoS BA (Hons) Dance students all smashed their performances.

The youth planning team’s hard work paid off and it was exciting to see young people participating in the workshops and performances throughout the day. The first ever DanceEast youth takeover was a huge success, and it was amazing to see the DanceEast building bustling with energy and creativity once again.

Read more about Hullabaloo22 via Hullabaloo22 | Ipswich Cultural Education Partnership (