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Wed 1 May

Presented by DanceEast and EncoreEast

Challenging perceptions and championing excellence

HOST celebrates dance and age, shining a spotlight on the ever-evolving network of older community dancers, dance groups and companies in the East of England and beyond. It brings dancers together, along with artists, practitioners, and choreographers, to move and talk in a programme of workshops, presentations, discussions, and performances.

Hot on the heels of the ground-breaking Home from Home project, this fourth edition of HOST will dig deeper into what it really means to challenge perceptions of older people dancing, and how we strive for, and champion, excellence in community practice.


The day includes lunch and refreshments.




Mary-Clare McKenna is a performer, choreographer, teacher, and writer. For over twenty-five years she has taught widely in creative communities and universities in the UK, USA, Europe and Turkey. Teaching specialisms include the Skinner Releasing Technique, choreography/creative practice, and multidisciplinary performance practice. She was certified in 2001 as a Skinner Releasing Technique teacher under the tutelage of its creator Joan Skinner in the USA and since 2016 has been a teacher-trainer of the Introductory Pedagogy. She creates multi-disciplinary performance work that has been presented internationally in theatres, galleries and site-specific locations.

The Skinner Releasing Technique facilitates a deep kinaesthetic experience of movement. Hands-on partner studies and imagery foster the releasing of hidden tension patterns and blocks, to allow more freedom and ease in movement. Guided poetic imagery is interwoven with music and sound, that taps into the imagination and unleashes improvised movement, thus the technical and creative process is fluidly integrated. Movement explorations occur in solo, duet and group forms. Discover multi-directional alignment, technical fluency, suppleness, economy, power and grace. All cultivated in an atmosphere of non-judgement and creative curiosity.


Originally from Suffolk, Oliver Robertson (He/Him) is a movement artist, researcher and practitioner currently based in Brighton. Interested in contemporary floorwork, Oliver’s movement style takes inspiration from martial arts, capoeira, breakdance and acrobatics, and more specifically how the combination of these can create unique ways of moving that no longer fall into any of these boxes.

His workshop will consist of specific warm up isolations and techniques, providing a foundation of strength and support necessary for going upside down. Leading into short phrases focusing on finding efficiency into and out of the floor. A variety of complexity levels will be demonstrated and experienced when approaching the acrobatic moves.

Participants can expect to gain more fluidity when exploring contemporary floorwork, find comfort in taking weight in hands and general awareness of how to maintain length, reach and quality when moving across the floor.


Richard trained in a variety of dance styles from a young age. After graduating from the Centre for Advanced Training (CAT) scheme, Richard attended the London Contemporary Dance School at The Place, working with choreographers such as James Cousins, Wayne Parsons and Tom Roden. He graduated with First Class Honours and went on to further full-time training at Purchase College New York in Ballet and Contemporary.

Join Richard for a structured and grounding movement practice based on principles of somatic practices, floorwork and physical touch. The class will evolve to an exploration of body and mind to also train, hone and develop personal performance practice. Most importantly it’s an opportunity to connect and create with other wonderful movers and shakers.



  • Bid Writing and Arts Funding with Jez Pike from Norwich Theatre
  • Working with Artists and Commissioning with Jez Pike and Jeannette Siddall

A workshop and seminar booking form will be shared with all HOST bookers in due course.




The highlights, excitements, and challenges of delivering a large scale, touring dance production with Luca Silvestrini (Artistic Director), Stella Eldon (Project Manager), Jeanette Siddall (Project Evaluator) and Chrissie Meikle (DanceEast Producer and Venue Partner).

The presentation will be followed by small group discussions addressing the following questions:

Why does performance matter – for the individual, wider society and the future of dance?

“A project this ambitious is not for everyone, but that is not a reason to lower ambitions across the sector. The evaluation showed many dancers welcomed the rigour and high expectations, and most want to take part in a similar project in the future.”

What do we want to happen next? Some thoughts…

Does wanting to dance more also translate to wanting to dance better?

Are there enough opportunities for older dancers to train and what does that training look like?

Is it the same as a younger dancer’s practice?

Is there a need to enable best practice with older dancers, that respects them primarily as dancers?



A lunchtime performance programme will showcase short works from regional and national companies, along with screen dance films from across the globe.

Later on in the day, we invite you to take a step outside and along the waterfront to watch a performance of a new work from Brighton-based Three Score Dance Company, before returning to the theatre to watch In the End We Begin from the award-winning Home from Home project.

A further selection of national and international screen dance films will be shown around the building throughout the day, with a dedicated film screening taking place in the afternoon.


If you can’t make it along to HOST but would like to come and watch the performance of In the End We Begin, you can book your tickets here.



  • Mon 15 Apr - Mon 1 Jul  - 5.30PM - 6.30PM
  • £60/£6*

A fun, friendly, and inclusive Springboard class gives adults with additional needs the opportunity to move and explore, using dance as a tool to develop skills.

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  • Mon 15 Apr - Mon 1 Jul  - 1.45PM - 3.00PM
  • £85

Open to all levels, our Afternoon Ballet classes are a great way to develop your ballet technique, muscular strength and flexibility.

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