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Summer 2021

Gloucester Rooftop Festival
16-18 July 2021
Eastgate Car Park, GL1 1PA

A 3 day party on a car park roof
More info and tickets

Krump hip hop dance
6 October 2021, 7.30pm
Gloucester Guildhall, GL1 1NS

Fierce, athletic, intense dance
On sale SOON

Multi-Story Orchestra x Gloucester Schools
Date and venue TBC

Classical instruments, fresh new music
On sale SOON

Wiggle and Giggle
Any time
Online

Free dance videos for toddlers
Watch now

Poems from HMP Eastwood Park
Any time
Online

Hear women’s stories in their own words
Find out more

‘Venture Through The Seasons’
Summer 2021
The Venture, White City

A growing community art installation
Find out more

Youth Theatre and Dance
From September 2021
Various locations

Weekly sessions for 7-11s, 11-16s & 16+
Join now

Categories
governance News Past Opportunities Uncategorized

Workshop board session: the arts, charity and politics

Listen to an audio transcription of this page

How do we make world-changing art which is relevant to the real world and doesn’t shy away from the issues affecting communities we work with – whilst at the same time ensuring that we work within the legal restrictions relating to charities and political campaigning?


Charities and arts organisations are coming under fire for being “too political”. But we believe that failing to engage with the challenges of today’s society isn’t apolitical. Saying nothing is not a ‘neutral’ position. It’s an active choice to maintain the status quo and the privileged which that status quo serves.


Why workshop sessions?

Earlier this year, we outlined our new approach to our governance: how decisions are made about how Strike A Light is run, and how we could make sure that more voices were heard in this

Like a lot of arts organisations, Strike A Light is a charity and so our board of trustees meet regularly throughout the year to oversee, advise and support the running of the organisation. We want to open up this process and have written a couple of blogs about why we think change is vital for us and across the sector. 

In short, we will move the primary focus of our governance activity to workshops rather than board meetings – where artists, communities and industry work alongside board members to directly influence and support Strike A Light’s approach. 

We’re making this happen and our first workshop will be taking place on Tuesday 20 July at 1pm – focusing on arts, charities and politics. 

Rather than a single, static board who feel they have to drive the strategy and make decisions on every topic, this arrangement provides dynamic support and skills for the governance of Strike A Light.


We’ll be doing a workshop on a different topic every three months and each different workshop will involve quite different groups of people. 

There will be a combination of trustees, freelancers, arts professionals, professionals from other industries, community members and artists.
The size, make-up and dynamics of each group will change to best reflect the workshop topic. 

  • Workshop attendees can be paid for their time. We know there’s an issue with asking freelancers, artists etc to put in unpaid time. After the workshop you can invoice us for £75 towards your time. Alternatively you can choose to donate your time as a trustee would. You don’t need to tell us which you’re opting for – just send us an invoice afterwards, or don’t. 
  • There’s flexibility to the time commitment. You might attend future workshops too if you feel you can contribute to several topics, but equally you might just attend the one workshop that’s your bag. 
  • Workshop formats can vary to suit attendees and topic e.g. we can do one small group discussion or a structured activity with breakout sessions etc. 
  • Options for digital or hybrid meetings give much greater opportunities to work with people from across the country or even internationally. We’re planning this first workshop on zoom. If you’re local to Gloucester and would prefer to meet in person for a chat on the topic or would prefer a one to one phone call we can do that too.

We hope theses sessions will also give people an opportunity to find out more about how the Strike A Light board works, meet trustees and demystify the governance process.

Categories
News Participation Uncategorized Youth Theatre

Can you solve the Youth Theatre murder mystery?

The Strike A Light Youth Theatre have gotten themselves mixed up in some worrying business:

Camera Cameron has gone missing 😱 – but nobody is willing to say what happened…

Who is hiding the ultimate secret? Is somebody guilty? Which of the six suspects is the true culprit?

Watch what everyone has to say. Put the clues together. And see if you can guess whodunnit.

Win a prize!

First to send the right answer to rhiannon@strikealightfestival.org.uk wins a doorstep show from the Strike A Light Youth Theatre! 🎉


The suspects

So…whodunnit?

Send your guess of the guilty person’s name to rhiannon@strikealightfestival.org.uk – first to get it right wins a doorstep performance from these legends! 🎉

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Past Opportunities

CTN: Artist Call Out

Attention artists and companies: another fantastic, year-long, funded opportunity to pursue a project of your making. 🎉🔥

  • £72k in creative fees
  • £20k in production budget
  • Any performance form
  • With our friends at CTN


The Collaborative Touring Network is looking to work with an artist, a group of artists or a company to make and tour a live show nationally, between September 2021 and September 2022.

⏰ Expression of interest Deadline: Monday 5 July, 10am


📷 Laima Arlauskaite_(coletivA ocupação)

This callout will allow an artist, or artists, or company to spend one whole year working on developing and touring a live performance with 8 communities nationally. It’s a joint initiative between Battersea Arts Centre (Wandsworth), Doorstep Arts (Torbay),
Heads Up (Hull), Jumped Up Theatre (Peterborough), Looping the Loop (Thanet), Lyrici Arts (Medway),
The Old Courts (Wigan) & Strike a Light (Gloucester).


We’re so chuffed to see this happening! It feels like another potentially-significant shift in the way the arts industry/organisations are working with artists… 🔥

(Context: it was about this time last year that we went on a bit of a rant about some of the changes we want to see in the arts industry – specifically, around employing artists, to ‘just be artists’)

With the support of a bunch of amazing partners, we’ve recently been able to do just that, which we’re really excited about.

But/and we said right from the start that a big reason for setting up this experiment was to see what difference it would make if more arts organisations were to adopt this model – for it to be part of their ‘new normal’ as well.

So we’re extra-hyped when we see other people trying out steps in a similar sort of direction as well – testing out different models to better support artists. Specifically, funding models that are about:

  • investing in artists, giving them stability and financial security
  • stopping the endless, exhausting project/grant-chasing treadmill
  • allowing artists lots of creative freedom – without specified themes or artforms

We know that, for example, Wales Millennium Centre have done stuff like this too. We’d love to see loads more! If there’s anyone else out there working on similar initiatives or thinking similar thoughts, let us know – we wanna hear!)

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All opportunities Join our team News

OPPORTUNITY: 1 year paid arts leadership placement – Executive Directors of the Future

Listen to an audio transcription of this page

We’re delighted to be partnering with Artistic Directors of the Future to host the second instalment of the Up Next arts leadership programme – a scheme designed to hand over power and resources to visionary people of colour within established theatre organisations.

Under the scheme, one successful applicant will get a 1 year, 4 day/week placement with Strike A Light in the role of Executive Director. This will include mentoring, training and support from Strike A Light and the ADF network. 

This is a paid placement, at a rate of £35,000 per year pro rata.

Candidates must:

  • be from a Black, Asian, Middle Eastern, Pacific Islander, Indigenous, Native American, Hawaiian, Hispanic/Latinx or Mixed-Race background
  • be an ADF member (free to join)
  • be available to work in the Strike A Light office in Gloucester at least 1 day per week
  • be available to work for Strike A Light 4 days per week from October or November 2021 for 12 months

The programme is NOW OPEN FOR APPLICATIONS.

Key dates:
5 July 2021: Applications open
6 Sep 2021: Applications close
Week commencing 27 Sep 2021: Interviews
Oct/Nov 2021: Up Next Executive Director 12 month p/t contract

How to apply

  1. You must be a member of ADF to apply. It’s completely free to join.

2. Complete the application documents


3. Email your completed documents to admin@adofthefuture.com, for the attention of Sandra Thompson-Quartey


About the scheme

Up Next is designed to hand over power and resources to visionary people of colour within established theatre organisations. The initiative is a catalyst for progressive change within organisations that participate in the programme and supports the diversity of their workforce.

This no hand-holding initiative presents a one of a kind opportunity for ADF members to take the keys, take the budgets, take the space and change the game.

Artistic Directors of the Future (ADF) launched this revolutionary leadership programme in 2017, in partnership with Battersea Arts Centre and Bush Theatre and supported by the Arts Council England Sustained Theatre Fund.

The initiative saw five ADF members from culturally diverse backgrounds take up positions of leadership – bringing change to tomorrow’s arts and cultural landscape.

 “I would never have this job if it wasn’t for ADF. There were times when I really couldn’t continue theatre and it was the great community I had through ADF that made me feel there was still a place for me in this industry. I only got this job, partly through my relationship with BAC, and the Up Next programme.”  – Tarek Iskander, Battersea Arts Centre Artistic Director and Up Next 2017 participant

This year, Up Next will offer a one-off opportunity to a candidate who will bring their perspective and lived experience as a person of colour to Strike A Light and share new ideas and strategies to shape the organisation.

The main goal of the placement is that, by the end of the year, the Up Next candidate will have gained valuable experience that can support them to demonstrate the skills, knowledge and confidence to step into a senior leadership role within the cultural sector.

About the placement

The scheme will offer one person a one-year placement with Strike A Light in Gloucester in the role of Executive Director.

The Executive Director is a key part of the Strike A Light team, working alongside the Co-Artistic Directors to lead the organisation. The role is one that holds, shapes, supports and drives the entire organisation.

Primary purpose: with the Artistic Directors, to drive the strategic and creative direction of the organisation, leading on planning, finance and organisational development of Strike A Light.

For this placement, Strike A Light are looking for someone to join the team who is excited about the organisation’s work, who understands the principles underpinning it and who wants to bring new ideas and ways of working to the organisation.

The placement will be best-suited to someone who enjoys being the go-to person in a team, and who has a broad range of experience in different areas and job roles in the arts. 

About Strike A Light

As a small charity, Strike A Light has been punching above its weight in terms of national profile and innovative thinking which is influencing the industry.

We believe that for the arts industry to change, the leadership needs to change – and that artists and communities need to be at the heart of developing cultural programmes. We use 7 Key principles for creating cultural events and these inform the whole organisation and its decision making.


Next steps

The programme is NOW OPEN FOR APPLICATIONS.

Key dates:
5 July 2021: Applications open
6 Sep 2021: Applications close
Week commencing 27 Sep 2021: Interviews
Oct/Nov 2021: Up Next Executive Director 12 month p/t contract

How to apply

  1. You must be a member of ADF to apply. It’s completely free to join.

2. Complete the application documents


3. Email your completed documents to admin@adofthefuture.com, for the attention of Sandra Thompson-Quartey

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Uncategorized

‘Words In My Head’: Poems from HMP Eastwood Park

This is the latest in our series of community collaborations – bringing together Gloucester residents and artistic creativity to tell people’s stories.

This is HMP Eastwood Park

It’s a prison and young offender institution (YOI) in Wotton-under-Edge, Gloucestershire, for women aged 18 and over.

Around 400 women are imprisoned here, including the mother and baby unit for women with children under 18 months old.

This is Megan

Megan Baxter (they/them) is a writer and performer living in Gloucester. They graduated from Bath Spa University in 2020 with a BA in Creative Writing and are currently studying for an MA in Writing for Young People.

In spring 2021, they were one of the successful applicants for our Creative Community Activists scheme.

Megan wanted to open a dialogue with people incarcerated in Gloucestershire.

Read an extract from Megan’s initial idea

I have spent a lot of time over the past nine months interrogating my relationship societally and personally to harm, punishment and justice; listening to abolitionist thinkers and transformative justice practitioners; reading about the exacerbated effects of COVID-19 on UK prison populations.

Right now, all of us are lonely, disconnected and unsure of what the world will look like post-Coronavirus, but these concerns are even more urgent and devastating for people serving sentences in prison who have had what little face-to-face contact they can have with the outside stolen by the virus.

I want to put together a crowdsourced poem written with people incarcerated in Gloucestershire, focusing particularly on how COVID has affected their quality of life in prison.

My hope for this project is that it will amplify the voices of incarcerated people and let them know that care and respect for them and their voices exist in the community

This is the story they set out to tell together

Prompted by the effects of COVID-19 on prison populations, Megan wanted to ask this question:

What is life like for women in prison during a global pandemic and national lockdown?

This is what they made

Megan wrote to women in HMP Eastwood Park, inviting them to capture their experiences, feelings and ideas in poems.

The words Megan received back were then read aloud by spoken word artists, with different segments edited together into one collective poem.

The result is ‘Words In My Head’ – a short video sharing something of the experience from inside HMP Eastwood Park during lockdown.

Listen to these women’s words:

Categories
Past Opportunities

Poetry Slam Call Out

The Roundhouse Poetry Slam is back for its 15th year!

We’re very excited to be partnering with the Roundhouse on this year’s Poetry Slam. The Slam final will go ahead with a live audience this Summer after being moved online last year.

We are now in search of the next Slam champion – could you be one of this year’s finalists?

The 15th Poetry Slam final judges will include writer of the critically acclaimed Queenie, with more to be announced.

Kareem Parkins-Brown – 2019 Poetry Slam Final winner
BY TAKING PART, YOU’LL GET:

• The chance to showcase your talent in front of live and online audiences.
• The opportunity to make industry contacts, raise your profile and network with peers and professionals in the spoken word industry.
• Have the opportunity to compete for the title of Roundhouse Slam Champion and win a cash prize if you finish in the top three or win the audience vote.
• Finalists’ performances will be professionally filmed and uploaded to the Roundhouse YouTube Channel, which has over 16,000 subscribers. Past finalist videos have been reposted by global online publications and accumulated views in excess of 5 million.
• Cash prizes for the runners up


Please note, this year the Slam Heats will be hosted online via Zoom.
We understand that for some people, travelling or being in groups for the LIVE FINAL is not feasible or safe at this time so The Roundhouse will work with each finalist to figure out the best option for them.
The Roundhouse will be able to provide financial support for finalists who need help paying for travel to London from within the UK.

HOW IT WORKS

1. Complete the application form on the Roundhouse website, including links to video footage of you performing a poem you have written. Deadline (extended): Sunday 27 June, Midday
2. They will invite a shortlist of poets to perform in the Slam Heats which this year will be hosted online via Zoom on 6,7,8 July 2021
3. The winner of each heat will progress directly to the Slam Final on 29th July 2021, along with the nine top scoring finalists from across all three heats.

The Roundhouse are also running two online workshops to help you prepare for the slam, led by Joelle Taylor an award-winning poet, playwright, author and editor.


Get Slam Ready: Writing Skills, 1 June
Get Slam Ready: Performance Skills, 2 June


Roundhouse Poetry Slam is in partnership with National Theatre Wales, Voice Box, Gloucester Culture Trust and Hull Truck and is generously supported by Colin and Helen David.

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News Uncategorized

Interning with Strike A Light: Aimée Lewis

A photograph of Aimee Lewis
Aimée Lewis

What’s your name and where do you come from? 

I’m Aimée Lewis and I live in Cheltenham but went to university in Gloucester and aim to keep working in the city. I want to be part of the huge cultural changes in the city that aim to make an impact in the surrounding communities.

What were you doing before joining Strike A Light?

I was fresh out of finishing a film degree at University and working in a coffee shop, striving for something more creative.

In March 2019, Gloucester Culture Trust launched the Creative Leadership Trainee Programme. I was accepted on to the programme and began working for Gloucestershire Libraries as a Cultural Leadership Trainee. My role allowed me to experiment and challenge new ideas for arts and culture in libraries, bringing new ways of approaching projects and events for communities. Then I was offered the chance to do part of that role with Strike A Light.

I still can’t believe how lucky I am to have got the experience to work with Strike A Light because I wanted to still stay in Gloucestershire. It was the perfect opportunity to move into for me.

How did you hear about the opportunity and what made you think it sounded interesting?

My mum actually tagged me in a post on Facebook! That’s how I heard about my cultural leadership trainee role. At first I didn’t really understand what it meant because it was a completely new role for myself and the organisations but it was exciting to have a creative job opportunity pop up right on my doorstep at the perfect time for me. 

I had no idea that Strike A Light existed before and wasn’t involved in the creative Gloucester community. All I can say is that I was impressed with what I learned, and honoured to have memories of taking part in events and supporting artists for exciting things happening in Gloucester!

Can you remember what your first day was like?

Yes, mostly because I hadn’t met anyone prior from Strike A Light so I really didn’t know what to expect. I remember Jess opening the door to me and making me feel so welcome. I remember the office vibe being so chill and bright. On my first day, Jess talked me through everything and I felt super comfortable to get on with stuff right away, even if I didn’t know what I was really doing at first.

Any particular highlights or lowlights?

Highs 

So many but I’ll keep them breif! 

  • Front of House 

I really enjoyed being chatty and welcoming to audiences. It really helped with my confidence and also being able to watch every performance was a bonus. The time spent with Jess and others on front of house was so fun and there’s a few memories I’ll cherish forever (like that one time I thought a pigeon needed saving so went to pick it up to move it but it totally mugged me off and moved right back)

  • Producing a show for Jonny Fluffypunk 
Aimee produced ‘The End of the Pier Show’ with Jonny Fluffypunk

Working with Jonny and Christina has been such an experience that was really enjoyable but difficult at times because I was in a new environment. I noticed the support that everyone had for each other straight away and it was something I definitely needed at times. It was magical to see the show come to life and to see first hand how those experiences were really enjoyed by children and their families. Even though lockdown ruined live performances, I still got to see how far the show developed and had fun working on the audience facing interactive parts of the project like the workshops plus we got to create a digital copy of the show.

  • Filming with Barney/Fluxx Films

The time I spent directing some videos for Strike A Light with Barney was awesome. I got to interview audience members and really understand their experiences with the events that we put on. It was great to be a part of putting it together into a video to shout about what Strike A Light do best. 

Lows 

  • Lockdown

What a downer!! Working from my bedroom all day wasn’t great. I quickly noticed that not being in the office with people being easily able to turn around and ask for help was hard. I got a little bit more of responsibility with producing Jon’s show in lockdown so the pressure of being stuck inside along with it wasn’t the best. However, I’m proud of myself that I stuck it through and it was really useful to have those 1:1 conversations with the team about it all in the end. 

Was the year how you expected it to be?

I didn’t know what to expect at first because when I applied for my trainee position it was focussed around libraries and Strike A Light was a sort of extension. Therefore, I had no clue how the two organisations were going to click together but in some cases they did. I look forward to keep crossing the Gloucestershire Libraries & Strike A Light bridge. 

When I started, I had no idea that I’d be working on a new children’s theatre show and later on producing a digital version in lockdown. I didn’t think I’d have as much control and freedom in the role which has been nice but also terrifying at the same time. 

I didn’t expect everyone to be so welcoming and friendly or to be sometimes watching the team take part in 30 second planking competitions! I also didn’t imagine myself enjoying front of house at events so much but it’s really helped with my confidence over the year. I loved talking to communities about the exciting stuff we were doing! 

Favourite and least favourite things about the work?

My favourite has to be meeting all of the team and working with them to put on awesome and exciting events in Gloucester! The least is working from home during lockdown and leaving without a proper goodbye however, I know the journey hasn’t properly ended yet and I look forward to working closely with them again in the future. 

What are you going on to now?

I’m going to continue my journey at Gloucestershire Libraries as part of the development team and keeping supporting and perhaps push for more exciting events and activities to happen inside our libraries. I also hope to keep in touch with exciting projects happening in Gloucester and get involved as an individual for self growth and making new connections. 

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News Uncategorized

‘Let Artists Be Artists’ – 3 artists appointed

Here we go – it’s actually happening! What started as a wishful idea back in summer 2020 is now a reality.

Together with a group of fantastic partner organisations, we’ve been able to appoint 3 artists – 1 full-time and 2 part-time – to ‘just be artists’ for one year.

It’s an experiment in a new way of working and it starts now. From nearly 400(!) applications, we are DELIGHTED to announce that the three artists will be:

Visual Portfolio, Posts & Image Gallery for WordPress

Tom Marshman

Tom has been making theatre for 21 years, actively encouraging dialogue with participants through socially-engaged processes such as ‘Tea Parties’ – telling engaging, poetic & unpretentious stories. An overarching theme of that work is that of the outsider & their story, particularly regarding the LGBTQ+ experience: stories that have been omitted through archival silence. (Photo by Andre Pattenden)

Florence Espeut-Nickless

Florence is a working class artist from Chippenham in Wiltshire, a town with no theatre and limited access to it. She’s a writer, performer, facilitator and theatre-maker. She makes work for both stage and screen about / with working class communities in the Southwest, in the hope to make the arts more accessible to everyone, regardless of background and geographical location. (Photo by Ned Espeut-Nickless)

John Pfumojena

John Pfumojena is a Zimbabwean actor, musician and composer with practice focused on Mbira and Marimba music cultures. He has won several awards, including a Zimbabwe Young Achievers’ Awards UK in 2019 for contribution to Theatre and Music. John is interested in the globalisation of the Mbira instrument of Zimbabwe and cross-cultural collaboration. (Photo by Byung Gun Jung)

“I have been working as an artist for over 20 years but I felt like this was the kind of opportunity that should be more widely available for artists so they can have the time to experiment, and be their true selves.

I want to be the guinea pig for a new way that we think about how we pay artists and I am absolutely f****** delighted to be that guinea pig!”
Tom

“AHHHH! It’s huge! It’s hard for me to put into words how much this means to me as an artist but also as a person. IT’S MEGA. MASSIVE. SICK. I’m actually still in disbelief really.

It makes me feel valued. Like what I have to say is of value. That the stories I wanna tell and the communities I wanna work with are valued within the arts and wider society.”
Florence

“This is an exciting opportunity for me to share the ancient culture of Zimbabwean Mbira in a contemporary and modern context, as well as explore new contacts, connections and collaborations with artists and communities in Bristol and Gloucester.”
John

We’re so thrilled to be working with, supporting and learning from such exceptional people. It was incredibly difficult to narrow the selection down to just three, and we’re sad not to be able to work with all the brilliant artists who applied – but we’re so excited to see what comes from this year.

What will the artists be doing?

That’s up to them! From the start, we’ve been clear that a crucial part of this experiment is giving artists the freedom to work with no ‘targets’, no pre-defined outcome and no pressure.

We set out the types of artists we thought this would be well-suited to, and the principles that we use in our work, in our initial recruitment call-out.

As part of the experiment development process, we also held a planning day with partner organisations and artists which expanded on that thinking in greater detail.
» Read the notes from the planning day

How were the artists appointed?

We ran a three-stage application process, beginning with a simple expression of interest and concluding with flexible, in-depth interviews. The whole thing was run and developed in collaboration with the partner organisations and artists who helped us shape the process, and the interviewees were paid for their time.
» Review the full recruitment process

Why this experiment?

For too long, there have been massive inequalities in terms of who benefits from ‘The Arts’ – both as audiences and professionals. Artists go underpaid, under-heard and under-supported. And it’s not truly open to everyone. We want to change that.

We felt that this moment, where there is no business-as-usual, could be an opportunity to build a new normal for the arts industry. A new normal that gets us closer to the world we want to see – where everyone can access amazing cultural events. Where the systems are:

💥 fair
💥 adventurous and
💥 open to everyone.

You can read the full background on our thinking in the original Let Artists Be Artists proposal.

What happens next?

The artists are starting work now! We’ll be sharing updates on this whole process over the course of the year, through a series of reports and events.

If you’re interested in receiving these updates or attending any of the events/workshops, please sign up to our Let Artists Be Artists mailing list:

Subscribe to the Let Artists Be Artists mailing list

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Future opportunities for artists
If you’re an artist and interested in finding out about jobs, training, support and other similar opportunities in future, you can also sign up to our dedicated Artist Support mailing list – a monthly email newsletter.

Funders and partners

We’re so grateful to all of the organisations who are joining us to make this a reality:

Action Hero | The Arts Development Company | Bristol Ferment | Create Gloucestershire | GL4 | Gloucester Culture Trust | Jerwood Arts | MAYK | Pound Arts | Theatre Bristol | Theatre Orchard | Travelling Light Theatre Company | Trinity Bristol

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Uncategorized

Krump training with Joshua Nash

The collaborators

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Joshua Vendetta Nash

Professional theatre and street dance artist, specialising in hip hop and Krump.

Shenice Ellis

Gloucester resident and local dance teacher – also now a Women Leaders South West Associate.

Ambitions Dance

Dance company made up of young people in Gloucester, from ages 4+!

The collaboration

Group members learning the routines over Zoom 🔥

We’ve been doing sessions with two groups: 10-11 and 12-18.

Joshua is going through the basics of Krump – a style of dance these groups have never done before.

Shenice

The dance style is really fun – and it’s more exciting cos I’ve never heard or, like, seen anybody do Krump before

Group member

Keep updated

We’re hoping there’ll be a live performance featuring Joshua and these dancers before too long 🤞 Want to hear about it, and other exciting events coming up?