Nimble dance company moves out and moves online
The Assembly Rooms, in Lancaster, have been a long and proud home to Ludus Dance but they are now preparing to move out of the building and move on. As the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic unravelled, Ludus Dance like many other organisations had to change their working practices with staff home based and classes delivered online. The prolonged period of lockdown allowed for a refocus on their practice and the realisation that their model of working was ideal for outdoor, moveable, digital and mobile dance.
Over the past 18 months, Ludus Dance has delivered projects for children and young people far beyond the Assembly Rooms. The Promenade of Galaxies (Light Up Lancaster), We are Reading in Nelson Library, State of Flux at The Cove and Virtual Reality workshops with Mill Girls and Militants and Line in the Sand for schools.
Kit Abramson their interim CEO says, “This is an exciting departure point for Ludus Dance, as we embark on new ways of working within the heart of the community. Our focus remains children and young people, introducing them to dance no matter their background or experience. We continue to take dance to social, educational, mental health and wellbeing settings and no longer need to be anchored to a physical space, allowing us to be more inclusive, test new and innovative ways of working and stay nimble on our feet, responding to needs and adapting to change. Always moving, always listening, we are committed to making art that matters through workshops and performances which inspire and empower children and young people. ”
Over the Summer, Ludus Dance have tried and tested outdoor delivery in Williamson Park, More Music courtyard and Ryelands Primary and Nursery School. The Studio Programme will be hosted from different locations in the future. For Autumn/Winter 2020, they will be working in partnership with Ryelands Primary and Nursery School, in Lancaster, to deliver cultural education and targeted learning in school during the week and running the Studio Programme from the school grounds and other public spaces on Wednesdays and Saturdays. They have implemented new systems for booking and payment online with safe and social distanced dance enjoyed in the outdoor classes.
Kate Threfall, Dance Development Officer said, “The feedback from everyone has been really positive, the online classes have allowed us to be together, although apart. The outdoor trials have given everyone a boost and parents have commented on the positive impact on mental health and wellbeing.”
The move marks a significant step for the charity as it stays nimble, showing strategic and financial resilience. Moving into the community and making new connections to create opportunities for collaborative, creative, and inclusive dance.