DanceWest to Unveil World-Class Dance Studio and Plans for Return Of Ignition Festival

Well-known London dance organization DanceWest will open its very first permanent home with a new world-class studio in November. The studio is the first community dance space of its kind, with 13 square meters of lighted dance floor and state-of-the-art facilities, as well as a star teaching staff. A center for dance with a difference, DanceWest is fueled by a mission to bring the health and social benefits of dance to everyone in London through innovative programming and accessible prices. The studio is located in the new award-winning Sands End Arts and Community Center in Hammersmith and Fulham.

DanceWest recently secured £ 49,000 from Arts Council England, in addition to funding from Hammersmith and Fulham Council, allowing them to finally realize their long-standing ambition of a permanent home.

Equipped with the best facilities in the world, the studio includes a standard Harlequin spring floor, as used at the Royal Ballet School and the National Theater; a standard that is rarely, if ever, found in community dance facilities.

DanceWest offers a program led by experts in every dance discipline, many of whom come directly from the stage and screen, including tutors and choreographers from Strictly Come Dancing, The National Theater, Sadlers Wells, The Royal Opera House, Lyric Hammersmith and the Bush Theater.

DanceWest’s popular festival, Ignition, will return in 2022, with a dynamic commissioning program. An announcement in December will share more information on residency plans, commissions and opportunities.

Inspirational DanceWest founder Rosie Whitney-Fish grew up in West London and loved dancing from a young age, but struggled to find opportunities to participate. She made it her mission to provide opportunities for others and founded DanceWest in 2015. Since then, DanceWest has gained recognition for its reputation for delivering dance programs that change the lives of 36,000 Londoners every year, between 1 and 100 years old. They also lead the revered Ignition. dance festival, which offers professional choreographers and local dancers the opportunity to perform with dance stars from all over the world.

Registered as a charity in 2018, what sets DanceWest apart is the “dance for all” ethic and a mission to open up the benefits of dance to all – of improving health and from well-being, to building confidence, to reducing depression, to promoting happiness and even to making new friends.

The studio will launch just when you need it most, as Seasonal Affective Disorder sets in, COVID-induced social anxiety and depression soars, the “loneliness epidemic” intensifies and society is beginning to recognize the need for a more conscious approach to the “pandemic books” reported in the media. Dancing has repeatedly proven to be the unexpected cure for these problems for many people.

The new studio is supported and endorsed by both industry experts on the charity’s board of directors and loyal customers, who share their own testimonials of the impact DanceWest has had on their lives. .

Accessibility is at the heart of DanceWest’s vision. The regular schedule will offer fair and equal course prices, with means-tested scholarships to ensure that the courses are accessible and open to all. Rosie Whitney-Fish says, “We want to make sure that the price is not a barrier to participation.

DanceWest Board Chair Anya Todd said: “With the support of Arts Council England and the Hammersmith and Fulham Council, we were able to redevelop the space at the Sands End Arts and Community Center to provide professional facilities to the local community. It’s a really exciting new era for DanceWest ‘.

Outside the studio, the association’s 42 innovative live programs are delivered in locations ranging from sheltered homes and libraries to theaters, schools and youth centers, in seven London boroughs. Through their work, the people of West London, from toddlers in nurseries to the elderly in hospice care, embrace the power of dance. Their dedication to serving everyone in the West London community includes partnering with leading charities including Age UK, Action on Disability and Peabody Housing to deliver specially tailored programs. 80% of the DanceWest program is free.

The association’s successful tailor-made programs include Bolder Not Older for the elderly, Move It Mondays for young people with disabilities and learning difficulties, and Dancing Books for the smallest members of the community. This summer, DanceWest was nominated for a People’s Choice: One Dance UK Award in recognition of its impact on the UK dance landscape.

Kerry Whelan, Executive Director of Frantic Assembly and Director of DanceWest, said, “The new home of DanceWest is world class; what it offers is unmatched by any other community dance space. It is an asset for London. the impact dance can make on people’s lives and I can’t wait to see the transformative effect this space will have on communities in London. “

DanceWest Founder and CEO Rosie Whitney-Fish said, “During the pandemic, we have seen depression, health issues and social anxiety reach record levels. We are delighted to be able to offer Londoners a welcoming, stimulating and joyful space. where they can discover the limitless benefits of dance, develop their self-confidence and form new relationships. “

The new studio will open with a month-long introductory program featuring Ballet, Ballet Fit, Barre Core, Ballroom and Latin, Contemporary, Creative Dance, Dance of the African Diaspora, Dance Fitness, Dance Cardio, Flamenco, Salsa, Hip- Hop, Popping & Locking, Musical Theater & Jazz, Pilates, Yoga & Meditation, Zumba and more. Their regular classes and programming will begin on November 1, 2021, including a chance for moviegoers to learn one of the iconic dances from famous dance movies like Footloose and Billy Elliott before watching a Christmas screening.

The association’s holiday programs will return in December, helping some of West London’s less fortunate children to have active and creative vacations. DanceWest’s ambition is to open this opportunity to children in the seven boroughs they serve: Brent, Ealing, Hammersmith & Fulham, Hounslow, Kensington & Chelsea, Richmond and Westminster.

During the pandemic, DanceWest reached 12,000 people with innovative programming, including outdoor “Dance in the Park” sessions and online discos.

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