Xpress-Yourself Dance CIC 2022

Xpress-Yourself Dance CIC – Another year of dancing!

Xpress-Yourself Dance CIC have danced through another year. Another year and another year of working to build communities through a love of dancing.

We have taken great strides in building new partnerships with local organisations and funders to build sustainability to ensure that we can continue to keep people dancing. Furthermore it has been the year of the return of the Tea Dance and Christmas party and the year which offered three performance opportunities for our dancers.

We also to continue to support active older adults and older frailer adults with our work and this year has also provided opportunity to work in an intergenerational capacity working with adults and children together.

Our Keep Dancing classes continue to be a fundamental part of our delivery and it has been enjoyable to be back teaching in the halls as well as continuing our online classes. We have launched new Keep Dancing classes in Sutton Coldfield, Knowle and Moseley.

Here we share the highlights from our year:

The Commonwealth Games came to Birmingham this year and with the support of Moor Pool Hall, Harborne, we were successful in receiving Creative City funding from Birmingham City Council. This allowed us to run our first ever dance project, Keep Dancing for the Commonwealth where we worked with a group of 10 dancers to choreograph a performance piece.

The participants all represented different Keep Dancing classes but together represented the Keep Dancing community working together over 5 rehearsals to learn and choreograph a 10 minute performance piece. The whole rehearsal process and performance was filmed and the project culminated with a film sharing.

Keep Dancing for the Commonwealth dance project provided opportunity for people to perform in front of an audience for the first time, build new friendships and that challenges can be embraced at any age.

Watch our film here.

Performing was an honour and a privilege. Having performed on Sunday I think got us over the hurdle of an audience, enabling us to enjoy the dance itself – loved every moment! Really felt as though we have bonded over all our rehearsals – a real camaraderie developed between us. Super excited for many hours after.

Tina Hackett
Xpress-Yourself Dance CIC
Xpress-Yourself Dance CIC, Keep Dancing for the Commonwealth performers at Moor Pool Hall, Harborne.

My mom cares for my dad. This project has given her something to look forward to and something else for us to talk about. My mom has told her neighbours all about the project and has been practising in their backgarden. This project has touched more people than just the participants or the audience in this hall.

Daughter of participant.

Xpress-Yourself Dance CIC annual Tea dance made a return this year for the first time since 2019. A joyous occasion in the summer at Moor Pool Hall that brought our Keep Dancing participants back together again from around the West Midlands. An opportunity to allow people to enjoy our dances together and socialise with one another. all attendees were treated to the Keep Dancing for the Commonwealth performance and a live vocal performance from Asha- Louise.

Having so many people back together from our Keep Dancing classes was truly special and significant in how far the organisation has come since in its recovery from the impact of the pandemic.

Xpress-Yourself Dance CIC Tea Dance 2022 at Moor Pool Hall, Harborne

Great afternoon with wonderful people, great dances and fabulous tea. An afternoon of joy and happiness.

Tea Dance attendee

Dance Garretts Green

Another exciting project for Xpress-Yourself Dance CIC which was another result of the Commonwealth Games running in Birmingham was Dance Garretts Green project. This was a project in which we were asked to deliver for Arts In The Yard through Celebrating Communities funding from Birmingham City Council. This project certainly celebrated the local community of Garretts Green inviting local residents to join us for a series of dance workshops which then culminated in a performance at Kent Moats Park accompanied by Oya Batucada Birmingham Samba Band .

The colours from the dancers in the parade and the sound of the drums created intrigue amongst local residents to come out and watch the performance and join the parade back to Blakenhale Community Centre to share food and chat to one another. The sun shone and the local community came together with local residents putting themselves forward to volunteer at Blakenhale Community Centre and enjoying the benefits of the arts in their community.

Arts In The Yard Dance Garretts Green Project

Dancing in the community

Our work in the community has continued this year and bringing dance to care homes and dementia cafes has as always been well received and memorable. This year were fortunate enough to work with Better Understanding of Dementia (BUDS) on numerous projects, delivering workshops earlier in the year which were purely for the participants to experience the joy of dance , we facilitated a tea dance to celebrate the Queen’s Jubliee where clients learnt a few traditional dances and performed for their family and friends.

Finally just before Christmas we worked with BUDS and a local primary school to facilitate a intergenerational dance workshop with BUDS clients and children from year 4 to dance together. Watching the children dance with the clients was magical and completely embraced the feeling of Christmas and community .

BUDS Platinum Jubilee Tea Dance celebrations

Building Community Together

We continued to host Building Community Together’s and Birmingham PlayCare Network Tea Dances across Sutton Coldfield, at Acock’s Green Baptist Church and Blakesley Hall. Fun and friendship have been key factors to these events and opportunity to for people to dance socially, opposed to just attending a weekly dance class has been significant. Giving people opportunity to dress up and attend an occasion has been a key factor for people supporting the tea dances this year.

Building Community Together Tea Dance at Blakesley Hall

What a fab afternoon! Such fun and tea! Brilliant meeting up with friends and like minded new friends. Loved the venue. Huge thanks to Faye, Becky and Kelvin – all with their lovely smiles. Thank you.”

Tea dance participant

Keep Dancing at Christmas

Our final project for the year, Keep Dancing at Christmas made possible by Heart of England Foundation Solihull Celebrating Communities. Again we invited our Keep Dancing participants to join us for project where they would learn a routine to perform. With only three rehearsals a group of 11 ladies came together to learn new routines, working together in pairs and as a group. Different Keep Dancing classes were once again represented as participants came together to share their love for dance and strong social bonds formed. Keep Dancing at Christmas was performed at Solihull Methodist Church and our film of the performance will be shared over Christmas on our social media channels.

‘The whole experience has been great and we are a lovely group of ladies who just clicked.’

Gill Hanson
Photo credit Kelvin Jake Photography


Finally our Keep Dancing year ended as always with supporting the Alzheimer’s Society Elf Day . Keep Dancing dancers donned their best elfits to our Keep Dancing classes across the West Midlands to raise awareness and funds for people living with dementia. Their efforts were impressive and this year we raised even more money for a a very worthy cause. Read more about the ultimate highlight of of year here

We are extremely grateful to supporting organisations of our work Kelvin Jake Photography , Moor Pool Hall , Birmingham PlayCare Network, Stockfield Community Association, Arts In The Yard, BUDS, Avery Care , Royal Voluntary Service and to our funders Edgbaston Neighbourhood Network, Sutton Coldfield Neighbourhood Network, Yardley Neighbourhood Network Scheme ,Sport England, Heart of England Foundation, Birmingham City Council, Arnold Clark. Active Black Country and Midland Mencap. We are also grateful to all of the members who make up our Xpress-Yourself team delivering classes weekly with enthusiasm and smiles and the members of the board who provide ongoing support which has been invaluable. A huge thank you to all.

Find our more about Xpress-Yourself Dance CIC here.