Rotherham Boys Project (c) James Dodd

Rotherham Boys Project

Yorkshire Dance is proud to have introduced the Rotherham Boys Project in South Yorkshire.

ReBuzz is an all-male youth dance company for boys aged 11-19, launched in 2013, which has grown out of Yorkshire Dance’s Rotherham Boys Project.

Now at the end of the of its three-year life, the project, funded by Provident Financial, has created many opportunities for boys to dance in the four areas of Wath, Swinton, Herringthorpe and Kimberworth.

During the last year we recruited 3 new practitioners, selected in consultation with boys from Rotherham (who formed part of the panel in recruitment) alongside Yorkshire Dance, local artist and project manager Adele Wragg and Lizzie Algeswaren, Rotherham Council Arts Development Officer. The artists selected were Anthony Bayou, Craig Turner and Sheridan Sherratt. In January 2014, the artists came together for a two day training programme, specifically focussed on engaging boys in dance.

Rotherham Boys Project satellite session (c) James DoddProject Reach

January 2014 commenced with an outreach project that took place in Swinton, Rawmarsh, Winterhill and Wath Schools. The project engaged 451 boys in a ten week period, with satellite groups creating performance pieces with local artists.

The groups involved in the outreach projects came together for Making Men – a boys dance showcase, which took place at Rotherham College in March. This event brought together boys from Rotherham with DAZL Diamonds – an all male cheer squad from Leeds and the Centre for Advanced Training Boys from the Northern School of Contemporary Dance. The showcase also featured inspirational speeches by male leaders working professionally in dance, including DeNapoli Clarke (founder member of RJC Dance) and Ian Rodley (Director of DAZ).

Making Men supported the recruitment of new boys into the project and over Easter, these boys were signposted into an intensive project with Zoie Golding,  Artistic Director of FuzzyLogic – a critically acclaimed all male youth dance company.  14 boys worked together during this project and created a piece based on restrictions.

Rotherham Boys Project satellite session (c) James DoddPerformance Opportunities

During March – July 2014, Rebuzz performed at the following events to an estimated total audience of 3200 people. These events included:

Crossing Borders, South Yorkshire Youth Dance Showcase, Rotherham
Making Men, Rotherham
Re-Fresh at Trinity Leeds shopping centre
FRESH 2014 at West Yorkshire Playhouse, Leeds
Big Dance on Bridlington Beach, East Riding
National U.Dance Festival in Nottingham
Boys Dance Platform at the Northern School of Contemporary Dance, Leeds
• FRESH 2016 at CAST, Doncaster

The many individual success stories have been echoed in testimonials by school teachers and parents alike. Some of the boys are beginning to focus on developing their leadership skills through leading lunchtime dance clubs for younger students and taking up shadowing opportunities on the outreach programme.

Artist Development

The project has been managed by Yorkshire Dance in collaboration with South Yorkshire-based artist, Adele Wragg. Adele has continued to work very closely with the boys, schools and families to build a supportive and encouraging environment for them to participate in the project. Antony Bayou and Craig Turner continue to deliver work on the project, building a good rapport with the boys. Wherever possible we seek to extend the experiences of both the artists and the group by bringing in inspirational leaders who are delivering high quality boys dance projects in other parts of the UK. We feel this provides the inspirational leadership needed to support the project develop and learn from existing leading practice.

Find ReBuzz on Facebook here.

Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council