TWO Worcestershire dance teachers are taking part in an innovative project to promote dance during the Coronavirus crises.

Anna Lines of Worcester, who runs Translucent Dance Company, and Jaime-Lee Johnson from Kidderminster, who heads Jaime-Lee Dance Company, are among 11 choreographers and dance leaders from across the West Midlands joining forces for #DanceConnect, which aims to bring together dance professionals, young people and a digital artist, to explore creative research within the current quarantine restrictions..

The project, which will take place online, seeks to discover new methods of creative exchange and investigate what artistic language can be uniquely developed in lockdown. This will explore new ways of working and open up possibilities for enhanced dance and digital collaborations that create fresh, exciting work. The teachers specialisms cover a wide range, including  contemporary, street and martial arts. This new commission is funded by Arts Connect, the West Midlands development agency that works to improve the quality of the arts and cultural engagement of children and young people, and is produced by DanceXchange, the Birmingham-based dance agency, on behalf of the wider Dance Development Leaders Network (West Midlands). The development process will be supported by artistic facilitator Orit Azaz, a specialist in creating large scale, outdoor, collaborative performance. Susan Goodwin, associate director at Arts Connect said: “The Dance Development Leaders Group brings together dance professionals leading the development of dance participation amongst children and young people and representing all parts of the West Midlands dance ecology. We are excited and energised by the opportunity to experiment and innovate and are delighted by the quality and range of dance practitioners taking part.”

#DanceConnect’s ambition is that the creative research will support the development for an audacious, ambitious, regionwide youth dance project in 2021 and 2022, celebrating the West Midlands as seen through the eyes of young people.