The aim of this project is to prove to boys that dance is exciting, engaging, fun and challenging. We want to show that dance is a great mix of spontaneous physical and mental activity – it requires physical strength like in sport and it provides a great workout for the mind.

Warwick Arts Centre has been running boys dance activities since 1998. In 2005 we began our hugely productive working relationship with Beingfrank Physical Theatre whose Artistic Director, Dave McKenna, had begun to specialise in creating dance work with boys after very successful projects in Staffordshire and Warwickshire.

Boys Dancing has two simple aims:-

•To prove to boys and young men, who think that dance is just for girls, that through exciting, creative work that inspires and energises, dance could be something that is most definitely for them.

•To create dance opportunities for boys of all abilities, all backgrounds and from all communities thereby recognising, reflecting and celebrating the rich diversity of the West Midlands.

So far we have worked with over 2500 boys ranging from age 9 to 19 across 8 local authority areas in the West Midlands in schools, youth centres, after-school groups and prisons. The boys have performed on stage, on film, in an aircraft hangar, on a football pitch, in office space and on an historic working farm.

For examples of Boys Dancing projects, see Gallery

West Midlands Boys Dancing Alliance

The Boys Dancing Alliance was formed in 2009 in response to the decision that the West Midlands would focus on dance as part of the cultural programme that accompanied the London 2012 Olympic Games. As a region, we were tasked with producing projects that would inspire as many local people from across the West Midlands as possible to dance.

Working with partners in the Alliance from across the region has meant that the work of Boys Dancing is now bigger and broader in scope, more truly reflecting the diversity and talent within this region.

The members of the Boys Dance Alliance are:

Brian Bishop, Carly Mee, Clare Mitchell (Warwick Arts Centre)
Dave McKenna (Beingfrank Physical Theatre)
Alexa Pugh (Shropshire Council Arts Development Service)
Gill Callaghan (Music and Performing Arts Service, Staffordshire County Council)
Maggie Lewis (Black Country Dance Hub)
Sarah Jassal (Independent consultant)
Rose Beeston (Dancefest)
Steve Wilson (Worcester County Arts Service)

Find out more about our partners here.

Impact and Legacy

Warwick Arts Centre commissioned an independent evaluation of the impact of project work in 2012. You can find the full report here.

Contact

If you would like to find out more about Boys Dancing, please contact:

Education Department
Warwick Arts Centre
University of Warwick
Coventry
CV4 7AL

ed.artscentre@warwick.ac.uk

024 7657 4786 / 7615 1793