DanceWest aims to offer accessibly priced classes for everyone
The new studio is DanceWest's first permanent location
This Monday (1 November) sees the official opening of DanceWest’s new studion in the Sands End Arts and Community Centre.
The organisation which was founded by Fulham resident Rosie Whitney-Fish aims to provide accessibly priced dance classes for all. The studio is the first community dance space of its kind, with 13 square metres of dance floor and state-of-the-art facilities
Opening with a month-long taster programme which begins on 1 November, DanceWest is providing a range of classes - from ballet and jazz, to hip hop and popping & locking, and much more.
DanceWest offers a programme led by specialists in each dance discipline, many of whom come direct from the stage and screen, including tutors and choreographers from Strictly Come Dancing, the National Theatre, Sadlers Wells, Lyric Hammersmith and Bush Theatre.
DanceWest in 2015 and since then it claims to have provided dance programmes to 36,000 west Londoners every year, aged from 1 to 100. It also runs the Ignition dance festival, which provides opportunities for professional choreographers and local dancers to perform with dance stars from around the globe.
Registered as a charity in 2018, DanceWest says its mission is to open up the benefits of dance to everyone – from improving health and wellbeing, to building confidence, reducing depression, fostering happiness and even finding new friends.
Rosie Whitney-Fish, says: “During the pandemic, we’ve seen depression, ill-health and social anxiety reach record levels. We are thrilled to be able to offer Londoners a welcoming, nurturing and joyful space where they can discover the limitless benefits of dance, develop their confidence and make new connections.”
A local senior citizen who took part in DanceWest’s classes this year said, “This has brought back so much of the confidence I had lost; everyone is supportive and friendly. I can try to move my body again and if I can’t do something you cheer me on, not make me feel old and broken! I can’t explain how necessary this programme is.”
The regular schedule will offer fair and equal class pricing, with means-tested bursaries to ensure the classes are accessible and open to everyone.
Rosie Whitney-Fish states: “We want to ensure that price is not a barrier to participating.”
Chair of the DanceWest board, Anya Todd, says, “With huge thanks to support from Arts Council England and Hammersmith and Fulham Council, we have been able to redevelop the space at Sands End Arts and Community Centre to offer professional facilities for the local community. This is a new and really exciting era for DanceWest’.
The charity’s successful tailored programmes include Bolder Not Older for senior citizens, Move It Mondays for disabled and learning-disabled young people, and Dancing Books for the tiniest community members. This summer DanceWest were nominated for a People’s Choice: One Dance UK Award in recognition of their impact on the UK’s dance landscape.
Kerry Whelan, Executive Director of Frantic Assembly, former Executive Director of BalletBoyz and DanceWest trustee, says, “DanceWest’s new home is world-class; what it offers is unrivalled by any other community dance space. It’s an asset for London. I’ve seen first-hand the positive impact that dance can bring to people’s lives and I can’t wait to see the transformative effect this space will have on London’s communities.”
DanceWest’s regular classes and programming will begin on 1 November, which will include a fun chance for film-lovers to learn one of the iconic dances from famous dance movies like Footloose and Billy Elliott, before watching a screening at Christmas.
The charity’s holiday programme will return this December, supporting children to have an active, creative holiday season.
DanceWest’s taster programme, running throughout November, includes Ballet, Ballet Fit, Barre Core, Ballroom and Latin, Contemporary, Creative Dance, Dance of the African Diaspora, Dance Fitness, Dance Cardio, Flamenco, Salsa, Hip-Hop, Popping & Locking, Musical Theatre & Jazz, Pilates, Yoga & Meditation, Zumba and more. As well as numerous intergenerational classes, there will also be specific classes for pre-school children 18 months to 4 years, primary-school-aged children aged 5-11 years, secondary-school-aged children 11-18 years, adults 18-55 and adults 55+.
To book click here.
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November 1, 2021