Dance City is proud to be celebrating 30 years of delivering amazing dance opportunities in 2016 and there is plenty to celebrate. The region’s leading dance organisation and National Dance Agency for the North East, is throwing open its doors for a programme of special events throughout 2016 to celebrate.

Starting life just across the road from its current location the original three studio Dance City was opened as base for English Dance Theatre. The North East was an early leader in dance development and became one of the first National Dance Agencies in 1989. In 2005 the new bespoke Dance City building opened on Temple Street with five studios and a specialist dance theatre.

Dance City touches the lives and hearts of the North East community in many different ways. Today Dance City’s Newcastle city centre home is thriving and full of students, class attendees, community groups and schools, professional dancers and touring companies from across the world.

Dance City’s 250 seat Theatre boasts the UK’s biggest programme of dance performance outside London and brings leading national and international performers to Newcastle. The 2016 programme is the most ambitious yet featuring performances by Gary Clarke Company, Phoenix Dance Theatre, Ockham’s Razor, Motionhouse and Tavaziva.

Since 1991 Dance City has worked with education partners to offer professional dance training, and today this programme, run in partnership with Gateshead College, Northumbria University and Teesside University is even stronger than ever. Many young dancers go on to train at the world’s most prestigious dance schools and join leading dance companies such as Rambert, Cullburg Ballet and BalletBoyz. Earlier this year student Connor Scott was named BBC Young Dancer 2015 during a live BBC2 broadcast.

People of all ages and abilities come together to keep fit and active through a programme of over 60 public dance classes every week from belly dance to ballet, hip hop to flamenco. The recent advent of classes for people aged 55 and over has seen a huge increase in this age group keeping active and enjoying the great health benefits that dancing brings.

There are more professional dancers living and working in the North East than ever before. Professional dancers and choreographers meet, develop their skills and train at Dance City through special programmes designed to develop their skills and through commissioning opportunities.

Every year more than 8000 people take part in community engagement work out of our building which inspires and touches the lives of many who have never danced before. The programmes include classes for people with Dementia run in partnership with Dementia UK and inspirational programmes of work with The Princes Trust that bring new meaning to people’s lives through dance as well as workshops run in schools, workplaces and community centres.

A series of special events is taking place across 2016 to celebrate 30 years of dancing in the North East. In a special open day event in February Dance City will be giving away 1000 free taster classes for all ages and styles of dance. There will also be a chance to explore the building, watch professional dancers creating work, a party atmosphere and face painting. Dance City has collected memories form Dance City alumni past and present and combined this with beautiful dance images for a special exhibition celebrating the story of Dance City through the people who danced created and dreamed it, which will be shown in the building. Dance City celebrates 30 Years at the same time as the definitive dance film Dirty Dancing and is inviting people to dress up and dance along to the film with host Chris Stuart-Wilson. More exciting programme announcements will be made throughout the year.

Anthony Baker Dance City Artistic Director said:
“It’s exciting to be celebrating 30 years of Dance City. So many people have been part of that 30 year journey; audiences, dancers, choreographers, businesses, students, parents, staff, funders and partners – we want to say a big thank you to all those people who have helped to shape success so far. Dance City is thriving and we’re thinking big. We have exciting plans for the future and look forward to making announcements of our future plans during the celebration year.

Join us to celebrate and take part in some of the great things we’ve got planned for this celebratory year. We’ve got our best performance programme ever in our theatre, more classes for all ages and all abilities to come and take part and a high performing ‘Learning Academy’ for people who want to train to be the best in dance.

At the heart of Dance City we believe that everyone has the right to be involved in dance and that dance can enhance and even transform lives so whatever your interest or background come along and get involved. We want to introduce dance to everyone’s life, whether as an audience member, participant or student.”

Jane Tarr, Director North, Arts Council England said, “I’m delighted to congratulate Dance City on its 30th celebration year. The organisation is funded as one of our National Portfolio Organisations and makes a significant and growing contribution to the dance ecology in the north of England, in particular its work to ensure that everyone can have access to dance as part of their life.”

Councillor David Stockdale, Cabinet Member for Communities and Facilities said:
“Newcastle City Council is delighted that Dance City will be celebrating 30 successful years with such a diverse programme of events. It’s status as the North East’s National Dance Agency is a vital part of our city’s reputation as a significant cultural destination. From hip-hop to ballroom, contemporary to classic, Dance City offers something for everyone and makes a significant contribution to the health and wellbeing of our city. The council has supported Dance City since the early days and wishes it all the best for a long and successful future.”

Mick Henry, Leader of Gateshead Council and a member of Arts Council England’s North Area Council, said: “Dance City contributes to a portfolio of great cultural opportunities within the region, which is fantastic for nurturing and attracting creative talent. It plays a significant role in cultural, community and economic growth, as well as promoting health and wellbeing in the region.”

Dance City receives funding from the Newcastle Culture Investment Fund to which the City Council contributes and is an Arts Council England, National Portfolio Funded Organisation.