UCLanDance is a Centre for Excellence in Learning, Participation and Advocacy, developing programmes which are deeply rooted in and responsive to our communities in Lancashire, alongside national and international work.
We aim to inspire and empower whole communities, with access for all at the heart of our practice. We create opportunities for our students to work closely with industry professionals, undertake expert training and be part of exciting new collaborations in the sector. Students build key networks as well as important skills to succeed as dance artists and enrich our communities through their future work.
Three of the region’s most inspiring dance companies are bringing new opportunities to students and local communities in Lancashire, embedded into the heart of UCLanDance as our first ‘In Residence’ Companies.
We work with each Company to create bespoke collaborations that support their ambitions for development, alongside providing our students with invaluable industry links, skills development and employment opportunities.
In 2018–2019, students trained as translators for Lisa Simpson Inclusive Dance, Assistants for Preston Youth Dance Companies, and Performers for About Time Dance Company.
"Having the opportunity to work with Preston Youth Dance Company has given me more confidence in facilitation, which I have been able to transfer to my primary and secondary school placements. It has also given me the opportunity to meet other groups in the area and attend events such as Big Up North and U.Dance."— Hazel Loftus, BA (Hons) Dance Performance & Teaching student
The Dance and Somatic Practice Research Group work independently and collaboratively to develop, deepen and disseminate their understanding of somatic, choreographic and pedagogical practices. These strands are closely interwoven within the teaching on the dance course at UCLan with its strong inquiry-based ethos. Undergraduate and Postgraduate staff are engaged in inter-disciplinary research inquiries working in collaboration with the Psycho-social Research Unit and colleagues in Social Work and Travel and Tourism. The social relevance of practice is prioritised in much of the research group’s work; from the community dance perspective, engagement, accessibility and opportunity are key; while for somatics, embodiment, self-efficacy and well-being are central concerns.
Connecting with our local communities is at the heart of UCLanDance, whether with schools and colleges, community groups, professional dance artists or public audiences. For our graduates to be ready to work with and enrich our local communities, we embed development of these relationships and skills within the work of UCLanDance.
"Having International professional artists coming in to UCLanDance has given us the opportunity to explore more about ourselves as an artist because we’re getting a bigger insight into what’s out there. I believe I have gained a lot of skills in creating movement, developing as a performer and an artist and how I can put this into practice."— Abigail Corr, BA (Hons) Dance Performance & Teaching student
Collaborating with our In Residence Companies, local arts and cultural organisations and community groups, our recent performance opportunities have included:
- New work choreographed by our 3rd Year Undergraduate students was performed at Preston Train Station and Bus Station as well as The Harris Museum and Art Gallery.
- Our 1st Year BA Dance Performance and Teaching students collaborated with students from Burnley College to create a performance piece, which was the curtain raiser for National Dance Company of Wales at Blackpool Grand Theatre.
- We commissioned Rachel Krische to work with UCLanDance Company to create a new performance piece that was toured to schools, colleges and platforms across the region.
- We invite local community groups to showcase and celebrate their work alongside work created by our Undergraduate students at our annual platforms, In Motion and Vanishing Point.
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"Meeting the next generation of makers is really inspiring; people we could potentially work with in the future. Seeing all of the skills and availability they had today was really insightful and exciting. We can take this back to the studio, inspired by the creativity that was brought into the room today."— Kapow Dance Theatre, Choreography into Performance Seminar Series