Dance Visions 2014 (c) Brian Slater


Each week in the run-up to Dance Visions, our youth dance conference in York on Friday 7 November, we posed a question through social media which we hoped would provoke some heated debate.

Our fifth & final big question was:

Here’s what people have to say..

“The thing is ur getting everyone to copy, everyone is doing the same things for ever. Nothing new or original. What you need them to do is be creative, get them to use their own imagination & express themselves through their feeling, get them to do things their way. It’s not all about how high u can lift ur legs or how many spins you can do or how good you are technically. It’s shouldn’t be about impressing others. It should be about the Passion to express oneself, pain happiness love life. Dance can be a great release. Teachers should learn to teach in different ways & not get caught up in technique. It should be fun. I studied at northen school of contemporary dance & I hated doing other peoples dances. I always wanted to create my own & I dance for me & not to impress or be liked because of what I could do but not for who I am. GET THEM TO BE REAL & TRUE TO THEMSELVES & HAVE FUN”
Jj RealArtistic (Facebook)

“What do we expect of youth dance? Should we ‘expect’ at all?”
Zoe Parker (Facebook)



Our fourth big question was:

Q4 - How do we define quality within youth dance choreographyThe guest speakers for our fourth session have answered this questions for us!

James Morgan answered, “When neither the choreographer nor young artists have to compromise their aims or practices.”

Linda Jasper replied saying, “Quality in youth dance choreography can be defined, firstly, by the extent to which it is owned by the young people: ideas, material, shaping and presentation. Assessing the quality of their choreography is the next question to be addressed………”



Our third big question was:

Q3 - Where next for street dance by young people

The guest speaker for this session is Vicki Igbokwe (Uchenna Dance). Here’s what she had to say on the matter…

“Street Dance in education is like that family member that everyone wants to be around for a bit of fun but is totally ignored when a serious debate or conversation starts. This needs to change.”


Our second big question was:

Q2 - Can youth dance really tackle big issues

Youth Dance tries to tackle far TOO big issues often, far too literally, if you ask me. But audiences love it!
Wieke Eringa (Twitter)

Zoie Golding is the guest speaker for the sessions that this question relates to, and has given her opinion, here’s what she has to say…

“I truly believe youth dance can tackle big issues. Dance allows us to challenge perceptions and there are no boundaries to it’s voice, it is about how we craft work with a message to have a multi layered impact on its audience, allowing them to be taken out of their comfort zone, yet kept safely within a message. I never underestimate the ability of young people to tackle complex, big worldwide and personal and social issues, their views are current in today’s society which allows us to make work that hits the heart of any message boldly and with commitment.”heart of any message boldly and with commitment.”



Our first big question was:

What are the myths around contemporary dance that we need to challenge?

And here’s what people had to say…

Here’s a starter for ten… We only start from creative tasks and improvisation… never technique.
Hannah Webster (Facebook)

Truly inclusive means taking creative input from all the company not just the choreographic lead, don’t fake it.
IF you say “no experience necessary” during auditions ……it is meaning itIt is building a story narrative which is understandable to the AUDIENCE not just the dancers, if anyone walks out saying nice technique, but what were they trying to say? … failed
Penny Jones (Facebook)

We need to challenge the thought that there is myths about inclusive dance…when there are just facts.
Seline Stevo (Facebook)

How about: move out myths, move into the moment, no more excuses. The time is…Now.
Luke Pell (Twitter)

To be a dancer you need to be young, thin and beautiful
Integrated dance is inferior to other dance
Dance shows can only be enjoyed in a purpose made venue
You can only dance professionally if your body makes the accepted ‘form’
Venues are not always fully accessible to audiences and performers.
Audiences won’t pay to see integrated dance. We could go on..
@GlosDance (Twitter)

Myth: You can’t have high expectations. Reality: You can! Don’t assume. With perseverance & support, we can all fly high! :)
@MagpieDance (Twitter)

We have also had a reply from this week’s guest speak Lucy Bennett..
She explains that Stopgap Dance Company have heard a number of myths over the years, and are excited to discuss them to try and clear the air.
“The dancers at Stopgap, got really excited about busting some myths about inclusive dance and they have written me a huge list, a tad controversial but we have been immersed in inclusive dance and integrated choreography for 17 years now!

Myth 1 – dancers with learning difficulties can never be professional because they can’t keep time
Myth 2 – Inclusive dance started in 2012
Myth 3 – Non disabled dancers choose to work in integrated companies because they aren’t good enough to work in the main stream
Myth 4 – Professional practice and inclusive practice can’t be amalgamated”