Young dancers from across the country will represent their home regions and perform at One Dance UK’s National Youth Dance Festival - U.Dance.
The U.Dance National Festival takes place in Birmingham from 22-24 July, at the vibrant Midlands Arts Centre, just one week before the city hosts the 2022 Commonwealth Games and involves thousands of young dancers on stage, on screen and online.
Newcastle upon Tyne based Liberdade Youth Dance (LYD) are part of a Community Development Trust that works with people with learning disabilities and autism in the Northeast of England. Only formed in September 2019 , they come together on a Wednesday evening at Gosforth Civic Theatre to learn new skills in contemporary dance, physical theatre and choreography, and were thrilled to find out they had been selected from hundreds of other entries to perform at the 3-day festival. They will be travelling to the UK’s second city this July to represent their region and showcase their talent and creativity.
As part of the U.Dance National Festival, they will perform with other selected youth dance groups from around the country, take part in workshops with some of the UK’s best dance companies and shows, learn about a range of dance careers and much more.
LYD’s piece All The Lonely People was choreographed by group leaders Heather Huggins and Kelly Turnbull and was originally inspired by the music of The Beatles. The group feels that the underlying themes of isolation and connection are more relevant than ever.
Speaking about being selected for the festival, group leader Heather Huggins says:
“It's important for young dancers to take part in opportunities like U.Dance because it allows them to experience different dance genres develop their skills and to participate in peer learning. For our performers it gives them a sense of belonging to a bigger community and raises self esteem.”
Co-group leader Kelly Turnbull adds:
“We are excited to be representing the North East of England at this fantastic event, because we feel it is important to raise the profile learning disabled dance nationally!”
Head of Children of Young People’s Dance at One Dance UK, Laura Nicholson says:
“We are delighted to welcome Liberdade Youth Dance to the U.Dance National Festival 2022! The sheer volume of talent and creativity this year is truly inspiring, and after two years of the festival being online only, we are delighted to finally be back in person. We can’t wait to see these incredible young people take to the stage and shine!”
The U.Dance National Showcases will also feature special guest artists such as the National Youth Dance Companies of England and Scotland, students from New York City as part of a youth exchange programme with Scottish Ballet, and the recent winner of BBC Young Dancer, Adhya Shastry.