We are very pleased to announce that Boys Dancing has been chosen as a finalist for the National Lottery Awards 2014!
The awards recognise the difference that Lottery-funded projects make to people, places and communities across the UK, and Boys Dancing is in the running for the Best Arts Project award.
You only need to look at the Stories section and the testimonials that pop up across this site to see the impact the project has made in the lives of the boys and men, teachers, parents and communities involved, so we truly believe that Boys Dancing is worthy of winning this prestigious award.
Help us win
In order to win, we need your votes! The project with the most votes will be announced as the winner in September, so please click the voting button below, which will take you through to the Awards website where you can vote and help us win:
The moment you've all been waiting for…
All films from Boys Dancing 2013-2014 projects are now online and available to view in the Gallery section of this site, along with images.
Shropshire's Manitou legacy >>
Coventry, Solihull and Warwickshire's Artful Dodgers performance >>
Sandwell's Boys Dancing performance >>
Dudley's I performance >>
Worcestershire's Our Brave Sons performance >>
Staffordshire's White Feathers performance >>
We hope you enjoy this amazing record of the fantastic achievements of all the boys, artists, teachers and everyone involved.
Well done, Boys Dancing class of 2013-2014!
If you enjoyed your time with Boys Dancing, we'd love it if you would take a moment to vote for us in the National Lottery Awards. Boys Dancing is up for Best Arts Project. Click on the vote button above or go to www.lotterygoodcauses.org.uk/project/boys-dancing to vote for Boys Dancing.
Through BeingFrank and Boys Dancing I've been running dance projects for boys and young men for 10 years, so when I took over as artistic lead for Worcestershire's project, I thought that I was ready for anything and everything that the participants from Worcester University, Nunnery Wood, Hagley High, Regency High and W’ireboyz would throw at me… How wrong I was!
Every project in every area is unique - which is what I really love about Boys Dancing - and with it being 100 years since the start of World War 1 it was decided that Worcestershire would present a memorial piece remembering the soldiers that went away to war. Specifically, the dance would highlight the plight of the 250,000 young men who applied to go to war even though they were under the legal age of conscription. Through researching the theme I found myself shocked by the personal accounts, I felt guilt that my life is so easy in comparison and I felt anger - I could not believe that young men, one as young as 12, were sent away to fight. It was as if I, in some way, started grieving for them.
That posed a question for me. If I was affected so strongly by the theme, how were the young men going to take it? If we were going to do justice to the memory of the soldiers, would the boys be mature enough to empathise and give a respectful performance? Well, they answered me on Saturday the 5th April! The show that they presented will stay with me for as long as I live.
Performed at College Hall - part of Worcester Cathedral - and accompanied by a live pianist it was the most emotional piece I have seen presented by a young cast and I was very proud of each and every one of the boys. They created a really fantastic, intense physical dance vocabulary that looked amazing in the space. But it was the way they rose to the challenge of performing the more focused, intimate, emotive dance material that I was impressed with the most. To be frank, it did not come as a surprise because all the way through the rehearsal process they had shown levels of maturity that was way beyond their years. They tackled the difficult subject matter with truth and honesty and the way they empathised with the soldiers and their families by sharing intimate experiences they have had quite literally at times took my breath away.
I would like to say thank you to Rose Beeston and the team at DanceFest for building such a memorable project, I would also like to thank all the teachers and support staff from all the schools that made the project run so smoothly and also congratulate all of the young men involved on an incredible, powerful, emotional performance that was one of a kind! I cannot wait for the film to be edited so I can relive the experience again!
Thank you, thank you, thank you one and all!
Sore arms, legs like jelly and backs in agony! Was it worth it? HELL YEAH! Top performance from all @Dancefest @BoysDancing #ourbravesons
“One boy, who is severely autistic , has been completely changed by boys dance. Other boys now respect him for what he can do, and he has gained the confidence to go up on stage. He has asked to attend outside groups, which he would not do before, and has joined a local breakdance crew. He has been able to develop a social circle he did not have before.”
They may only be three, but they are powerful...
The lads at Worcester University are putting together some really great moves for their part in Our Brave Sons - Worcestershire's contribution to Boys Dancing 2013-2014. The whole performance pays respect to the underage lads who lost their lives in WW1, and as you can see in these clips here, it looks set to be a really moving performance:
Thanks to participant Cory Wood for the YouTube video. It features Cory, Tim Cannan and Stuart Campbell in rehearsal.