DARE Dance

DARE Dance participants dancing together

North West

Community Dance

DARE Dance is an artist-lead dance initiative established by Amanda J Mortlock in partnership with Barrow Borough Council that develops high quality participatory and performance opportunities for dance in Barrow in Furness. DARE Dance received a £4,500 grant as part of the 2011 Community Dance Scheme to establish two new dance projects for children and young people in the local area.

The first was an all-boys dance group led by EdgeFWD and Debbie Milner, based at Edge Hill University. Boys aged 12+ from the local area took part with the intention of changing the stigma surrounding male dancers. Beginning with open classes and then working towards a final performance, the boys worked with the undergraduate dance company to create a new piece performed at the Annual Community show.

[The final] performance was a wild, energetic, dynamic [and] spell-binding dance about Brotherhood.


“[The final] performance was a wild, energetic, dynamic [and] spell-binding dance about Brotherhood” says Amanda Mortlock, DARE Dance Director. “The boys [learnt] flight, fall and support in powerful, physical, dynamic dance workshops.”

An all-girls group was run simultaneously to the boys and worked on developing a film-dance project for the same show. The group had an invaluable experience working with professional dance companies Octopus Collective and Chaturangan South Asian Dance Company to learn new dance skills. “The girls thoroughly enjoyed learning Indian Dance, both Bollywood and Classical, from a variety of teachers and of course, the jewellery and costumes brought a bit of sparkle!”

Both projects have proven to be a success. There has been continued interest in the weekly boys dance group with another performance project planned with EdgeFWD in 2013.

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Other Winners

Step up

Step up provide dance activities for young people in Hackney, London. They used their £5,000 grant to create a new acrobatic and dance show to be performed across various boroughs as part of the Cultural Olympiad.

Big Sky Dance

This dance group based in rural Norfolk created a new piece of dance and commissioned live music for the first time to accompany performances of the work in local schools across the region.


2Funky Arts Ltd

2Funky Arts Ltd used their £3,300 Community Dance grant to fuse street dance with Bollywood as part of a new piece of work.

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