Funding level: £10,001 to £25,000


Ballet Cymru are seeking funding to deliver 8 inclusive dance residencies in England & Wales, with children and young people with disabilities and/or are experiencing poverty. We recognise that disability and poverty are huge factors in excluding people from ballet, in order to bring about change, it is one of our aims to always include.
The company is also seeking funding to help employ an Education Officer from Jan–Dec 2018.  The Education Officer would help organise/manage the residencies and have the necessary skills and understanding of how ballet can increase self-confidence in children and young people. 
Ballet Cymru are committed to inclusive dance. In 2012-13 a collaboration with community and professional disabled dancers and GDance, we produced a ground-breaking project, Stuck in the Mud, supported by Arts Council England. Its legacy is that our work now continues in collaboration with GDance and the Royal Academy of Dance, who are helping to identify and produce pathways into ballet for young people with a disability.
Ballet Cymru are already known for their innovation and collaboration with artists of the highest calibre. The company will be touring to 40 venues in England and Wales in 2018 with its unique version of Cinderella, and a new production of Dylan Thomas’ A Child’s Christmas in Wales, with music score composed by Cerys Matthews, MBE, Singer Songwriter and Patron of Ballet Cymru. 
Ballet Cymru aim to offer D-connect residencies in collaboration with 8 venues to provide pathways for children and young people into dance. They include:
• Touch Tour, Audio Described Performance
• Access to the performance 
• Participation in the performance with the professional dancers of Ballet Cymru
Residencies will be 2–4 sessions of 1-2.5 hours, depending on the group’s needs, and be fully inclusive; it is vital that no-one is excluded because of disability or poverty. D-connect will work with a diverse range of children including physical and learning disabilities, deaf, blind and visually impaired, children disengaged with learning, and a wide range of ethnicities. Participants will have opportunity to work with the professional dancers and artistic directors of Ballet Cymru. The professional dancers of Ballet Cymru hold DBS’ and are trained to deliver education programmes; the company’s education work is accessible and inclusive. 
D-connect residencies will occur a week prior to each performance, either at the performance venue or at a close local accessible venue eg school or community centre. We anticipate working with 20-40 children per residency. The residencies will be delivered in a fun, relaxed and exciting way to help develop the participants understanding of the ballet, in addition to providing them with a deeper level of engagement and a rich experience. Ballet Cymru will liaise with theatres/performance venues to ensure maximum concession is available for family/friends of participants to see the company’s professional performances. The residencies would meet our aspirations of inspiring more people to engage with ballet.
D-connect feeds into Ballet Cymru’s vision of opening up the world of ballet to fully represent the diversity of the UK today. The project would help us to map the interest in inclusive ballet throughout the UK and a careful and thorough evaluation of the project will be a lasting and important document in contributing to shape the future direction of Ballet Cymru, and inclusive ballet. Ballet Cymru have worked with a diverse range of people over the years and it is always a privilege to witness the joy dance can bring to people.  Our aim is to open up this opportunity to everyone.
Our plan is to replicate the inspiration and training that the Para-Olympics created in Sport but within ballet and the arts. Ballet Cymru realise this is a long-term aspiration but is committed to this goal and is supported in this vision by The Welsh Government and the Arts Council of Wales.

Project Video

Ballet Cymru (Gwent Ballet Theatre Ltd)

We are proud to provide opportunities to engage a diverse range of people in dance, those with disabilities, living in low socio-economic areas and cannot afford to access dance, ethnic minorities and marginalised groups. We care about people and strongly believe this project will make a difference.

Location: Wales