From 2018 – 2020, we worked on the fantastic Rural Steps project with Sarah as Project manager and Zanna working as a Dance Artist through her work with Ingleton Youth Dance.
Rural Steps began in 2018 through funding from Arts Council England and ongoing support from the York and North Yorkshire Dance Network, Yorkshire Dance, Craven District Council, Create Scarborough, York St John University, York Theatre Royal, Rural Arts, York Dance Space and Gecko Physical Theatre.
The project supported the development of six Youth Dance programmes in areas across North Yorkshire: Skipton, Ingleton, Northallerton, Thirsk, Harrogate and Scarborough. The programmes were led by six Independent Dance Artists who live and work across North Yorkshire, supporting them to establish new activity and sustainable work in their locale. You can find out more about continuing activity in some of these areas by checking out Union of Dance, Thirsk Youth Dance, Skipton Youth Dance and Step into Boys Project and our very own Ingleton Youth Dance.
For most areas, Artists formed teaching pairs to begin with to support each other in the initial stages and gain a valuable training experience in co-planning and co-delivery of Youth Dance activity. Alongside the programme, Artists attended regular CPD opportunities to strengthen their skills and gain new ideas for delivering dance to those new to dancers and in for young people in rural areas.
As part of this project, we have produced the Making It Happen toolkit, providing information, inspiration and resources for Artists setting up and working in Youth Dance and other Community Dance activities. A great resource if you are starting out and need to get everything in place to hit the ground running. Alongside the toolkit, we also produced a new Podcast series chatting to Youth Dane Artists, Parents and Young Dancers about their experiences in the world of Youth Dance. Check it out!