March 19 2010

Dance for Health


2010 is proving to be an exciting time for the Dance Department at Valley and Vale. With our new Dance Worker Issie Lloyd joining us, we have developed lots of new and exciting dance projects with a new focus and new energy.

One of our new projects is based in Bridgend Pupil Referral Unit working with the young people to develop Hip Hop dance as part of their weekly timetable. The group of boys and girls have been working hard learning Hip Hop and Break Dance techniques, learning routines and using their own creative ideas to choreograph dances. Although in its early days it is such a great success and we are hoping that these session will be part of a long-term project that will involve educational psychologists to look at the positive impact dance can have on young people in particular on their health and self esteem.

Dance development Worker Paula Lawrence is working with Ynysnawdre Leisure Centre with a group of people from Bridgend Day Centre for Creative Dance sessions. This group is going from strength to strength with regular participants attending each week. Each of the participants has been developing their own dance skills and building confidence within the work they do. It is a session full of creativity and with the fantastic support from the Day Centre workers the group are confident to express themselves freely and explore their own individual abilities to move freely in a safe place. This is a group that will hopefully become Valley and Vale’s new (Dis)ability Dance Company in the future, following in the footsteps of Good Company Dance Theatre who were our flagship dance group for many years.

Dance Worker Issie has introduced two new After School Hip Hop classes at the Berwyn Centre for young people, helping the young participants develop their Hip Hop techniques and performance skills.

Our Mental Health Matters dance and movement project at Nolton Church Hall in Bridgend is open to anyone attending the drop in session and quite often we have new people popping in to give it a go each week along with our consistent group of seven that have been with us for nearly a year. None of the group have had any dance experience and when we first started a lot of them lacked confidence to stand up to move and dance in front of each other. The development within the group has been fantastic however and the group has now been working on a dance routine for a couple of months that they have helped to choreograph and create themselves. A new Mental Health Matters drop in session has also been set up recently in Betws Life Centre and we will be looking to set up a dance session here in the future.