What is U Dance?

U Dance is a national initiative to promote dance in schools and other youth dance settings.

The aim is to develop opportunities for as many children and young people to take part in dance performance as possible.

Why U Dance?

Dance is growing in popularity across all sectors of society. Arts Council England's figures show that dance is the fastest growing art form, whilst in many parts of the country, dance classes and studios have never been busier.

Dancing is a great way for young people to stay fit, have fun and socialise. It's also a positive way to address the problems of teenage health and obesity.

Nothing beats the buzz of performing. It's an excellent way to encourage young people to focus, aspire and develop confidence.

Thats why U.Dance, led by Youth Dance England, aims to create more dance performance opportunities for children and young people.

U Dance Derbyshire brings together a range of partners from Derby and Derby City to enable children and young people in our area to have these opportunities.

We will help to deliver dance events at local level, and an annual County Dance Platform.

The first County level event took place in Derby in May 2009.

The event helped children and
young people from the city and across Derbyshire show off their best performances in a show staged at Derby's Assembly

On display were a range of dance styles, from street, to cheerleading to salsa, all
performed by young people aged five to 19.

Many of the groups were from primary and secondary schools, while others danced as part of their local community group or private dance school.

Hundreds of children and young people from across Derbyshire have been involved in the
project, with many local and district dance events held in the preceding weeks, and the
best performers progressing to get the chance to show off their routines at the Assembly Rooms.

Opening the night were talented young choreographers Sally Mason and Alex Bower, whohave been selected to perform at the Royal Opera House in London on July 5.

U.Dance was launched by Youth Dance England in April 2009, and in Derbyshire was cohosted by Deda, along with Derby City School Sport Partnerships, with additional funding support from Derbyshire Schools Sports Association.

Libby Bridge, Partnership Development Manager for the Derby City School Sport
Partnerships, said: U.Dance is a new venture for Derbyshire and Derby City and has been created to give young dancers the opportunity to perform at a higher level than has previously been possible in the county.

The young dancers involved have had a tremendous journey, from their first rehearsals to this performance.

Next year's Derbyshire platform is already scheduled for Monday 17 May 2010, at Buxton
Opera House.

Keep visiting this site for information about who is organising events in your area and how you can get involved.