There have been so many wonderful & inspiring stories of our local pupils & teachers finding innovative ways to keep dancing this term that we decided now would be the perfect time to share some of this with you. It’s also a great chance to keep you up-to-date with what we’ve been up to at PDSW this term to support our young people. We hope you enjoy!

Photo credit: Behind the scenes of filming James Cousins Company’s  Within Her Eyes. Photography by Joe Hornsby

What have we been up to? 

It has been a busy year for all of us at Pavilion Dance South West! Amongst some of the many activities we have created to support the youngest members of our community with their dance development, we have programmed: a very special Kindness & Inclusivity in Schools Q&A with Andrew Moffat MBE (No Outsiders) for members of the public & CPD for teachers (check out our video below); specially created pre-recorded Salsa workshops for Primary school pupils & staff to enjoy during Lockdown; specially curated schemes of work & resources for teachers; Hip Hop workshops with the incredible Rachel King from Shake Dance; and Coast, our resident youth dance company, have been dancing in our beautiful studios, adapting to some sessions online & turning their skills to film creation, an amazing workshop with 2FacedDance & an inspiring training exchange day with our friends at Hampshire Youth Dance Company.

Professional Choreographer James Cousins connects with Local Pupils…

We’re immensely proud to have linked up GCSE Dance pupils at Poole High School with  leading professional choreographer James Cousins for a bespoke zoom Q&A session in November. James’ beautiful dance film, Within Her Eyes forms part of the AQA GCSE Dance Anthology & this was an amazing opportunity for the pupils to hear directly from James about the creation of the piece, it’s intentions & technical composition.

James led the group through a fun & creative workshop, giving the perfect insight into his process & the dance techniques & narrative behind this powerful piece. The session also gave the pupil’s a rare chance to discuss his work & share their understanding with him directly. It was fantastic to connect our local pupils with “one of the UK’s most promising choreographic talents” (Matthew Bourne).

Poole High School Becomes a “Dream” Learning Associates School Partner:

Photo Credit: Poole High School Yr 10 & 11 PA students at PDSW Careers Day 2019

In a special interview with Belinda Ellicott, Head of Performing Arts at Poole High School, Belinda Ellicott shares the dance journey that PHS & PDSW have been on together to forge this partnership…

Read the interview HERE


Sidestepping is a unique collection of stories that show how dance connected and supported people who were isolated during the first wave of the COVID pandemic. From group sessions in care homes, sweaty studio-based rehearsals and classes, to live performances in hospitals; all these regular dance activities that were a fun social part of people’s lives were forced to halt overnight.

PDSW has collated the stories from the people and organisations across the South West region, who quietly and steadfastly rose to the challenge of keeping people dancing while in lockdown. This is a celebration of the community who joined in and the individuals who made it their mission to connect with people when they were at their most vulnerable. The full news story can be found here & the full collection of joyous stories here

Kindness & Inclusivity in 2020 with Andrew Moffat MBE 

Andrew Moffat

Hear, watch & read one of the UK’s leading educational specialists in diversity & inclusion share his insights and experience on how we can best support our children & young people as they discover their place in the world. Andrew tells us how we might better educate ourselves in the essential areas of kindness & inclusivity.

Watch the interview here

PDSW is an Arts Award Centre 

Through Arts Award, young people make creative choices, set themselves challenges, explore the arts, and share their skills and achievements.

Arts Award is a great way for children and young people to be inspired by and enjoy the arts. Arts Award is open to anyone aged 7-25. Young people can review a dance performance, take part in a class, workshop or masterclass, or do work experience to gain their Arts Award certificate.They can even put on their own arts event and tackle difficult issues in an artistic debate. Pavilion Dance South West is a registered Arts Award Centre, with Arts Award Advisors ready to answer your questions and help you through all levels of Arts Award.

Although 2020 proved to be a much different year to what we had expected it to be, we still wanted to showcase the many ways that we still were able to give back and support young people this year.

And to continue to give back, you can help PDSW to spread more joy to more people by #JustGiving to our campaign to raise money .

For 25 years, PDSW has been transforming communities through dance. A million people’s lives have been enriched by dancing with us. We believe anyone can dance, whatever your age, experience, fitness level. Our community events, classes, live shows & sector support offers everyone the joy of dance.

Donate today here.

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