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Contemporary artsderbyshire dancers and dance organisations

In Derbyshire we have a wealth of dance talent to be proud of. Here we celebrate the range of dance artists and organisations to be found around the county, from professional dance artists to groups for beginners and nearly everything in between. 

Adaire to danceAlongside these contemporary dance practitioners, organisations and schools we also have an article dedicated to our Derbyshire dance heritage.

Featured dance artists: Adaire to Dance

We've followed the fortunes of this new dance company with great interest.  Alice Vale is an energetic and vibrant character who leads the creative vision for her dance company Adaire to Dance.   Take a look at the Adaire to Dance feature and learn more about this talented group of individuals.

Other dance artists in the County

With over 260 dance artists, organisations and venues listed on the website, we can't list them all here. So here's a fine selection for your perusal;

Bodies in Flight     
A performance company specialising in inter-disciplinary arts, they have been around since 1990 working on an exciting and unusual projects around the world that are site-specific. Recently they have been working on a project called "Dream-Work", which was recently performed around Nottingham city centre.  

"Bodies in Flight formed in 1989 to make performance work that explores the encounter between flesh and text, and challenges and reinvigorates the conventional relationship between audiences and performers. Over the years the company (led by Sara Giddens and Simon Jones) have become renowned for their innovative collaborations with sonic and visual artists and have toured extensively nationally and internationally."

Déda (formerly Derby Dance)  
A unique venue located in Derby city centre offering a dance-focussed arts programme. Their dance development strategy is as follows:

"Aside from our programme of professional dance performances, Déda has had, since its inception, a very strong participatory programme. It has also built up an excellent reputation as successful organiser of high profile community projects e.g. Buildings that Breathe (2006) and more recently the Westfield Shopping Centre Launch (2007) and Big Dance 08; fulfilling our mission to deliver a diverse and enriching dance focussed arts programme to the wider public.

In addition to our work in Derby City, Déda continues to play an active part in dance development in the county of Derbyshire. Beginning with the 3D Derbyshire project and its legacy, and continuing with our work with The Derbyshire Arts Partnership Dance Development Group on fulfilling the objectives of the Derbyshire and Derby City Dance Development Plan 2009 – 2012.

Déda is also a County Partner Organisation (CPO) in the strategic planning and delivery of the Youth Dance England Regional Delivery Programme (2009 – 2011)."

James Bartley
A professional contemporary dancer just starting out in the region, with a degree in Mathematics, no less. James forms part of a local independent collective of dancers called the Chaos dance company. His most recent performance was as one of the Derby Dance Artist Network's participants in DISGO at Déda alongside dancers from Darkin Ensemble, and will be very soon working with them again in Laban. James described his latest work:

"The piece itself was very unusual, with the audience being asked to remove coats and shoes and being given white socks to wear.  They were then included in the performance itself, moving amongst the dancers; a fantastic opportunity for people in the area to get up close and personal with contemporary dance!"

As well as this, he has aspirations to get people around Derbyshire more involved in dance through an exciting inter-disciplinary approach:

"I'm currently developing ideas for ways to explore and explain science and maths through art and dance and hope to be able to create classes, workshops or artwork in the region to engage people who would otherwise find the subjects boring or even frightening!"

Derby Jive and Swing
Mark and Sharon of Derby Jive & Swing teach both Modern Jive (LeRoc) and Swing Jive (Lindy Hop, Balboa and Charleston). Mark has been teaching for some fourteen years and is a qualified professional dance instructor with the UKA (United Kingdom Alliance of Professional Teachers of Dance), while Sharon has been teaching for five years. Although they keep dance as a hobby rather than a profession, they manage to find the time to teach up to 3 nights a week.  Their aim is to have all their dancers enjoy the classes they attend and to be able to enjoy a social dance as soon as they are confident enough to do so.  All of the classes are designed with their dancers work and home commitments in mind and are therefore not course based.  They say that people are more than welcome to come and go as they please, thus enabling them to learn at their own pace, as and when they can.  If you would like to get involved in a fun social activity that helps get you fit, Derby Jive and Swing could be just the thing. 

Who else have we got? 

These dance practitioners, organisations and venues are either based or operate within Derbyshire and the surrounding area.

Dance artists in the county should be aware of Derbyshire Dance Artist's Network, co-ordinated by Amy Rose. This is a forum that offers information, training and other support to professional dance artists either living or working in Derbyshire.

Dance performers, practitioners and choreographers

  • Joanna Leah Geldard: Interdisciplinary artist across textiles, painting and contemporary dance creating performance, installation and object art forms

  • Jenny Edwards: Specialises in providing accessible dance opportunities aimed at celebrating the diversity of each community

  • Ian Dolan: Freelance dance practitioner

  • Elizabeth Foster: Professionally trained dance practitioner and qualified dance movement therapist (MA)

  • Louise Jaggard: Local dance practitioner specialising in creative and contemporary dance classes

  • Sohan Kailey: Specialises in a variety of dance styles from, Bhangra, Bollywood to Creative Dance

  • Claire Pring: Highly experienced choreographer and teacher working predominantly in contemporary techniques

  • Liz Clark: Dance Artist with over fifteen years experience of working through dance with a wide range of community groups

  • Lucy Killingley: Body of art: Contemporary and creative dance for all ages
  • David Barker: Freelance dance artist specialising in street and breakdance  

Dance groups and organisations

  • Dance Doctors Studios: Choreography for community performances and professional dance training for children, adults and artistes

  • Joanna Belly Dance: Tasteful Egyptian style belly dance classes and performances in Nottingham and Derby

  • Funky Feet Dance Parties & Workshops: Provides dance parties, workshops, after school clubs, arts education and offender management programmes to children and young people of all ages and abilities

  • Kerry Ledger School of Dance: Daily dance classes for pupils age 4 years to adult

  • Darley Abbey Tappers: Adult tap dancing classes from 16 years upwards

  • All Ruzzit Buzzit: Specialises in teaching 1940's style swing dance covering both Lindy Hop & Jive

  • Hype Dance Company: provides educational and performance dance, specialising in hip hop. 

  • Folk Friendzy Dance Group: Dancers aged from between 4 and 17 Years old who are learnt to perform various styles of Dance from Clog to Irish in their own entertaining way

  • South Derbyshire Dance Project: Dance classes held around the Derbyshire area in schools and community centres

  • Vickylee Academy of Dance: Dance and aerobics teacher

  • Arabian Experience: Middle Eastern Dance (Belly Dance, Egyptian Dance, Candle Dancing, Folk dances of the Middle East), meditation dance, Goddess/Female Archetypal Dance, 5 Rhythm, Pharaonic dance

  • China People Promotions: Provides Chinese cultural workshops for schools, communities and others

  • Shane Shambhu Company: Delivers workshops or performances in traditional Indian dance

  • Unique Dance Company: A creative dance company that performs and promotes dance

  • U Dance Derbyshire: A national strategy that aims for every child and young person to have the opportunity to take part in at least one dance performance every year

  • Shakti Arts: A female based local dance group that perform locally, nationally and internationally

  • Learntobellydance: A belly dance class in Belper

  • Shake It! A new dance workshop company run by students at The Bolsover School

  • Derbyshire Dance Artist's Network: Developing the artist-led dance network for creative practitioners in Derbyshire

Schools that specialise in dance and performing arts

Dance therapists

  • Therapeutic Drumming Foundation: Creativity is central to the workshops and activities include: singing, dancing, music, art, drama and writing
  • Allison Singer: Offers individual sessions in Drama and Dance Movement Therapy

  • Dancing Colours - Dance Movement Therapist: Using the medium of dance to help people express themselves and develop psychologically.  

If you would like to be included in this round up, let us know the web address of your artsderbyshire profile and drop us a line to tell us just how great you are to

Featured artists

Angela Thompson

Angela Thompson

Paula Sharples

Paula Sharples

Richard Bett

Richard Bett


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