Birmingham 2022 Festival – Moor Pool Hall Presents Keep Dancing for the Commonwealth Tea Dance and performance

Birmingham 2022 Festival

Birmingham 2022 Festival brought excitement and opportunity to organisations across Birmingham during the 2022 Commonwealth Games. Xpress-Yourself Dance CIC in partnership with Moor Pool Hall were grateful to be part of such a brilliant festival that celebrated Birmingham’s, arts and culture.

On Tuesday 28th June, Moor Pool Hall, Harborne. hosted Xpress-Yourself Dance CIC tea dance, the first since 2019. The tea dance was the final part of the Keep Dancing for the Commonwealth project where Xpress-Yourself Dance CIC worked with 10 dancers who attend their weekly Keep Dancing classes to choreograph a dance piece to be performed at the tea dance event. The event and dance project was generously funded by Birmingham City Council as part of the Birmingham 2022 Festival.

The Xpress-Yourself Tea Dance has always been a highlight on the calendar, bringing dancers from keep dancing classes together to dance some keep dancing routines together, enjoy some tea and cake and make everyone feel that they are part of the Keep Dancing community.

The tea dance as always was a celebration of how Keep Dancing brings people together because of their love for dancing.

‘It was my first tea dance and I thoroughly enjoyed it. The hour of dancing was so much fun- so many people all joined together, dancers united, fantastic. The afternoon tea was sumptuous, the singer was delightful – the perfect accompaniment for us to enjoy our afternoon tea.

Tracey Coleman

The afternoon was perfect. Dance brings out the kindness and happiness in people. Keep Dancing, I highly recommend the classes.

Christine Przybylak

Back in January 10 dancers put themselves forward to work towards a performance for the tea dance. 10 dancers came together from across the West Midlands wanting to show people that older people dance too, to be part of a project to celebrate Birmingham hosting the Commonwealth Games, to put themselves forward for a challenge and because they love to dance.

Over five rehearsals with the direction of Faye O’Connor and Faye Hadley a 10 minute dance piece was choreographed step by step. Dancers have all been so committed writing down every step, practising steps whilst waiting for the bus, rehearsing round their neighbours house and practising with their dogs watching as there audience. It has brought a group of dancers together from different Keep Dancing classes and the camaraderie amongst the dancers has been fantastic. so supportive of one another and their have been many many laughs along the way.

As part of the project Xpress-Yourself were lucky enough to work in partnership with Moor Pool Hall, Harborne and work with an incredible videographer, Kelvin Cornwall from Jake Photography and Lucy Crew who designed and made our costumes.

Thank you also to Birmingham City Council for the opportunity and generous funding to allow us to facilitate this project as part of the Birmingham 2022 Festival.

Birmingham 2022 Festival
Keep Dancing for the Commonwealth team

After months of hard work we are incredibly to present our dance journey and final film.

You get to a certain age and you think that’s it for me and you sort of feel like you have been put on the shelf. Once I had performed in front of that audience at the tea dance, I felt very much alive and ready to take on my next challenge. It is amazing the power of opportunity, dance and performance.

Keep Dancing for the Commonwealth Participant

If you enjoyed reading about our involvement with the Birmingham 2022 Festival find out more about what happened across Birmingham during the festival here

Xpress-Yourself Dance CIC run weekly dance classes, Keep Dancing, suitable for older adults across, Birmingham, Solihull, Walsall and Sandwell. Find out more information here