We just can't get enough (of ProDance)

That’s why this week isn’t, as previously stated, the last week of ProDanceLeeds this autumn: we have ONE MORE WEEK to go! Whoop whoop. Come to Yorkshire Dance next week and join us for a week with:

Neil & Janina.png

Neil Callaghan & Janina Rajakangas

This class will share methods from their latest creation ‘Over your..Body’. Working to physically articulate moments where words fail us. Jointly taught by Neil Callaghan & Janina Rajakangas the class will work on the connection between internal emotion and external movement.

Through this dance between the inside and the outside we will address questions such as: How do we allow ourselves to access and embody internal states? And how can this shake us out of our habitual ways of dancing? How can we work with others to find the intimacy within ourselves.

The class will involve touch and working with others.

Hope to see you there!

Kate, Rebecca, Rachel and Sofia

Tree Rings - Nadine Freisleben [Anna reviews]


Tree rings.
Also known as annual growth rings, these circular concentric folders store the history of the tree they belong to; information about its age, its surrounding or the weather conditions which it has been exposed to each year of its life. What’s the human equivalent of tree rings? Skin seem the straight answer, but apart from estimating someone’s ethnicity, age or fitness level, one wouldn’t be able to discover much more about someone only by dermis observation. I’m not a total fool; I understand that trees and humans are very different creatures and reading a person’s history is far more intricate. I wonder if stereotypes appeared as a sort of unreliable yet necessary ‘human rings’.

This week’s guest teacher at ProDance Leeds is Nadine Freisleben. The class starts with a beautiful choice of mild techno music, bringing Berlin to my senses. We improvise across the floor, letting Nadine guide us into more specific variations which culminate in a short floor phrase. Then we practice some inversions where she takes the opportunity to introduce the idea of moving the body through shifting the pelvis. The techno beats fade out to open the space to African rhythms. Nadine explains her African roots, dancing and choreographing with local companies in Nigeria. We cross the room following her, exploring the musical and physical approaches of west African dances. Bouncing our feet, pelvis, shoulders, rip cages… the room becomes the preface for the soon coming Chapeltown Carnival.
We finish the session dancing through some repertoire from a new piece Nadine is working on. The aim of her creation is to challenge the traditional western approach to rhythm and play with the African and Arabic paradigm, as she mentions the input of her partner who is Arabic and a musician.

On my way out of class simplicity strikes me. Nadine’s history spoke to me through her dancing and her generosity. I’ve discovered on her a ring that talks of Berlin and its techno culture; a ring that shakes her body in Nigerian waves and a flourishing ring which is sniffing the potential of Arabic rhythms.


                                                                 By Anna Cabré-Verdiell Bosch


-You can still catch her class Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at NSCD from 9.30 to 11.00-

We're adding a few more classes for you...

We have a few more classes to announce this summer!


First off, w/c 22 July there’s our final Graduate Artist Week with Thom McKeon and Emma Hopley teaching class.

Thom is a freelance dancer based in Leeds. Having graduated from NSCD he has worked with Charlotte Spencer Projects, That Ribeiro Company, Vanessa Grasse and currently doing the artist internship programme at Open Source Arts.

Emma is a dance artist based in Manchester, just beginning life as a freelancer. She has recently graduated with an MA from the University of Salford/ Joss Arnott Dance’s Emergence Dance Company, having completed her undergraduate training at Northern School of Contemporary Dance.

We’re super excited to have them both onboard and hope you’re all ready to come and join their classes.

Secondly, we had another week of classes to fill and back on popular demand is Matt Lackford and Jennifer-Lynn Crawford splitting w/c 19 August between them.

Hope to see you there!

Kate, Rebecca, Rachel and Sofia

Change to schedule

Tomorrow’s class: Wednesday 24 January, will be taught by Ben King instead of Ella Mesma:


Ben is a freelance dance performer, choreographer, and teacher. He has performed work by Ransack Dance, Simple Dance Company, Maxine Doyle to name a few. Choreographic works include Ingrid Sørensen & Dancers, Nós a duet collaborated with Fernanda Prata. As a teacher Ben has been leading various workshops for professional national and international dance companies such as Focus Dance Company, Simple Dance as well leading classes at Siobhan Davies/Independent Dance, Spinae Dance Festival, Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts.

Ben’s class will utilise different exercises and games, shifting between structured improvisation and taught form so the participants can find freedom within a certain style. The physical language we find we will allow us to explore; moving from intention and/or sensation, flow, risk and trust, playing with in/out of balance, and use of weight. Ben is committed to seeking the relationship between mastery of craft and technique with each unique expression of the individuals to find something real in performance.

New Bird - Sandrine Monin [ Anna reviews]

Andrew Euan

Andrew Euan

A real sense of spring was filling the streets this morning on my way to the studio. Spring is in essence renaissance, which from its original French etymology means ‘rebirth’, to ‘be reborn’.  Maybe as a coincidence or maybe as an ideal match, this week’s guest teacher is a French lady who is, professionally speaking, growing anew herself. Sandrine Monin, formal dancer at Phoenix Dance Theatre for the past five years, has recently embarked on the adventure of freelance artistry. With a palpable thirst for new horizons and a big smile on her face, Sandrine Monin takes the space; and we follow her into it.

The class begins nice and slow; a stretchy floor phrase that awakens the body, tuning into core and thighs. We stand up to continue working on a series of traditionally structured exercises which cover plies, tendus, upper body work, balances... although it’s used subtlety, Sandrine’s material is highly  Cunningham influenced. It brings my thoughts back to renaissance, it being a movement that stands for the revival of classical-based art. I notice in my body the memories of familiar yet half forgotten shapes; I take the challenge to remember a language not spoken for a long time. As the session moves forward, the dynamics increase and so does our obstinace to fill up those blanks in our bodies and minds.

The session culminates with a phrase and an adagio where classic and contemporary are fused. I suspect the phoenix bird does not leave behind the knowledge acquired from its previous lives with every renaissance. I suspect it’s not a matter of starting from zero, but starting from fresh, with new eyes to see new possibilities, without dismissing that what has been gathered, but with the desires to gather even further.

More classes announced!


We’ve had a small change to schedule as Alleyne Dance are unfortunately no longer available to teach for us in April. Instead, we’re super excited to welcome Katie Lusby back to ProDanceLeeds. Katie is currently working with Gecko and her class is a chance to connect to yourself and others in expression and play. Read more about her class here.


The following week we’re looking forward to welcome Charlotte Arnold and Anna Cabré-Verdiell to our third Graduate Artist week. Charlotte’s class is an attempt to integrate her own research into the seven fundamentals of movement (squat, lunge, push, pull, twist, hinge and locomotion) with everyday training, whilst Anna’s class freely explores group dynamics, progressive patterns from floor to standing and sequential exercises.

If you’re a dance artist who has graduated in the last five years and would like to teach for us, read more about this opportunity and keep an eye out for the next call out.

Looking forward to seeing you all in class!

Uncertain, yet together, we are stronger - Jennifer-Lynn Crawford [Anna reviews]

As soon as I step into the studio, I can feel it; she is back! The room is busy, filled with expectant silence and stretching bodies. She does not give a presentation speech, as most of the attendees know her from previous experiences or have at least heard about her. She surely won’t agree to being called a guru, but to many, to me, she is indubitably someone to look up to. She’s back; she is Jennifer-Lynn Crawford.

We begin. Gathering on the floor, Jennifer-Lynn shares some thoughts with the group while spreading a small collection of optical illusions on the floor. She talks about our very human need to feel and portray certainty and the unsettling discomfort often generated by ambiguity. The illusions open up the discussion as the images perceived vary depending on the observer’s perspective; ‘I just see spots’ someone says, ‘don’t you see an animal?’ others around suggest. Through the images, we rethink the certainty of certainty. Could it just be a place for shelter, a strategy for self-assurance?

 ‘Oh, I see a giraffe now!’, and some nod in a joyful gesture of collective achievement. Incertitude is a big, big sine qua non of our existence, therefore ‘what occurs to me as the main reason for humans getting together is cooperation’ says Jennifer-Lynn in her almost always quiet voice. Whether you see spots or giraffes, your perception can always complement someone else’s. All our little certitudes put together create a shared net of knowledge, a common ground into the unknown.

On that note, the groovy part of the class set off. Come and experience it, she’ll be there for three more days, that’s for sure!


By Anna Cabré-Verdiell Bosch


-You can still catch her class Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at RJC Dance from 9.30 to 11.00-

Nandi Bhehbe to teach instead of Alesandra Seutin

As Alesandra Seutin unfortunateley is unable to teach this week, we’re happy to be able to welcome another company member from Vocab Dance to teach instead: Nandi Bhehbe.

Nandi Bhebhe is a long time Alesandra Seutin | Vocab Dance dancer & collaborator. Nandi Bhebhe is a British-born Southern African living in London. Nandi's performance work has spanned countries, dance companies and theatres, including; the international tour of Bill T. Jones' Fela! and projects with Vocab Dance Company, the Young Vic Theatre and Shakespeare's Globe.

Change to Schedule

Due to unforeseen circumstances, Alesandra Seutin is unfortunately unavailable to teach this week. Instead, João Maio will be teaching Monday’s class. More infor to follow about the rest of the week. Class time and venue remains the same.

Photo: Igor de Aboim

Photo: Igor de Aboim

João’s class is designed to provide a pleasurable journey to the movers, whilst deepening their connection with their individual dancing bodies and space. We will start with finding mobility and freedom of movement through evolving floor-work sequences, progressing to standing work where we will be re-visiting and solidifying those same qualities, alongside grounding and travelling through space.

Born in Portugal, João Maio initiated his movement driven journey in 2009 at Balleteatro Professional School, Porto. Following this, João trained at the Northern School of Contemporary Dance, graduating with a First Class Honours in 2015. Whilst at NSCD, João was invited to work with Carlos Pons Guerra’s DeNada Dance Theatre, playing the soloist role of the Virgin Mary in “O Maria”, and after graduating, he joined Rosie Kay Dance Company in several projects, most recently “MK Ultra”. While working as a dance artist and teacher, João completed his MA in Dance & Creative Enterprise in August 2018.

Space Odyssey - Gianluca Vincentini [Anna reviews]

Last weekend felt like two Mondays on a row; early mornings, work to get done and tight schedules to be followed. When the alarm went off today, my eyelids declared themselves on strike; I promised good coffee and a reassuring layer of concealer and so I convinced them to open up and free the eyes. Then I faced another Monday, the third one of my week, and I felt exhausted and disoriented.

I made it to the studio thanks to the autopilot qualities of the human subconscious and, once there, I tried to focus my gaze and work through the struggles of my tiredness. I was happy to see that this week’s guest is Gianluca Vincentini, a familiar face in the local artistic community and someone from whom I didn’t have to hide my spaced out state. To my satisfaction, the session begins with an internal exploration to dig into the body in the search for space. Then, the research expands into the outer space as we cross it, shape it and affect it with our movement. The rhythm of the class accelerates through a series of dynamic release floor work and after moves up into standing phrases.

The end of the session mirrors the beginning; we settle and rescan the body in space and the spaces within the body. Gianluca’s space odyssey leaves me lost in thought...space is everywhere yet we often only notice it when we lack of it, whether it is the need for some mental space or the luxury of an out of schedule Sunday.

By Anna Cabré-Verdiell Bosch


You can still catch Gianluca’s class on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 9.00 to 10.30 at Leeds City College.

me, we, it - Jamaal Burkmar [Anna reviews]

I am lately quite obsessed with my body. Wait, let me rephrase this...if I am my body and my body is me I should therefore say that I am lately quite obsessed with me. That’s more accurate. It may not be big news for some, but me, I have recently become aware that most humans live in permanent body-mind dissociation, unaware that those two elements could not exist separately. It being a simple fact, its implications have become a complete ‘head fuck’ of mine. Muscles, bones, organs, fluids, gases, thoughts, emotions... all that I am and so are you.

If this wasn’t enough, this week’s guest teacher Jamaal Burkmar has added an extra layer of existential drama into my dilemma. His session begins with an exhaustive exploration of densities within the body. Through improvisation Jamaal guides us in and out of textures, viscosities and grades of solidity. Using terms such as honey or fresh cement he triggers our brains into searching for those qualities in our system; I can’t escape from relating to the consistency of glands, bones and tissues. The class then moves into crossings where Jamaal encourages us to challenge velocity when changing from one quality to another. We spend enough time to break through stress and soften into speed.

The last section of the session brings in the universe, the immaculate synchrony of the solar system. We work as an ensemble refining the forces of attraction and gravity between us. We listen, we connect and we respond moving as one body, as one mind. Maybe we are me, maybe me is them or maybe we are just all one big it.


By Anna Cabré-Verdiell


You can still catch Jamaal’s class on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 9.00 to 10.30 at NSCD.



ProDanceLeeds and Möbius Dance Co-present Class

Photo: Danilo Moroni

Photo: Danilo Moroni

ProDanceLeeds and Möbius Dance are excited to co-present morning class over the coming few weeks. Whilst in residence, Möbius will open up two weeks of morning class as part of ProDance’ regular programme:

w/c 11 Feb - Jamaal Burkmar
w/c 18 Feb - Gianluca Vincentini

Möbius will also be opening classes w/c 11 March at Yorkshire Dance when ProDance are on a Spring Break.

Note that these classes will run a little bit earlier than ProDance regular classes: 9am - 10.15am.

Möbius’s residency will result in an explosive, passionate and highly physical performance featuring two robust contemporary dance works choreographed by celebrated artists Jamaal Burkmar and Douglas Thorpe, and a new short-film directed by Gianluca Vincentini.

Lovers of both dance and music will be enthralled by Burkmar’s Time Moves Slow, an incredibly passionate, fast-paced and dynamic work. A long serving ex-Phoenix dancer and Leeds-based artist, Thorpe creates a powerful, theatrical and compelling piece for the company formed of 4 international dance artists based in the North of England. Vincentini’s new film Encounter Two explores what it means to be a man in today’s society, and why men are still discouraged from showing emotions.

Kala Sangam, Bradford - Thursday 21 March 2019, 7.30pm
Civic, Barnsley - Saturday 6 April 2019

Do you have a residency or project that includes morning class? If so, ProDance may be able to support it! Get in touch with us on programming [at] prodanceleeds.com - we’d love to hear from you!

Kate, Rachel, Rebecca and Sofia

Feeding connections - Eugenia Demeglio [Anna reviews]

Triggered by my last review, I must admit a new guilty pleasure. Some wear crocs shoes secretly; others get orange fake tans and claim it’s their natural skin tone; well, I currently read through the Collins dictionary for my delight. Today I haven’t woken up at an indecent time to seek definitions; instead, today I have studied the sacred book of vocables at midday, after attending ProDance class. As this week sessions are dedicated to Countertechnique, the prey of my search keeping my brow furrowed was the term ‘counter’. As I scroll my eyes down through its synonyms (opposite, respond, react...) I’m left wondering, craving to find connections.

Walking into the studio I bump into Eugenia Demeglio, a red headed woman whom I recognise as the Countertechnique master. Her daring energy gets us quickly moving through the space. She talks us through the body parts which precipitate the travelling forwards and backwards. Soon we get working on a series of exercises where the purpose of Countertechnique gets increasingly clearer; although the patterns resemble conventional dance routines, the approach is the antipode of the harsh dogmatism that one would relate with traditional dance practices. Imagine her majesty the queen rioting against monarchy and you’ll get a good depiction of what I mean; the shape is familiar but its behaviour is revolutionary.

The class moves on and Eugenia guides us into more intricate routines. We cross the space floating side to side and it gradually becomes obvious that Countertechnique uses body opposition as a principle to facilitate the moving body, the dancing body. Eureka! I’ve found a connection!
Fed yet not satiated I will surely go back tomorrow, as each day bring a new chance for uncovering hidden connections.

By Anna Cabré-Verdiell


You can still catch Eugenia’s class on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 9.30 to 11.00 at RJC Dance.

How can we help?

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Do you have a creative project or company? Do you sometimes run classes in the area? Please let us know! Why? So we can collaborate!

We need your help though. We’ve been incredibly busy lately with sister project Gracefool Collective, meaning we’ve had less time to catch up in class and hear about who’s around, creating work and, in this case most importantly, opening out their classes. As we’re still a relatively small community, we can’t afford to compete for participants. If you’re planning on running classes in the region, there are two ways in which we can help:

  • We can programme you! It means paying you a full teacher fee, which with enough time in advance can go towards an ACE application. Whoop! In return we would use your studio space for the classes. You would also be expected to pay for any dancers you bring.

This route is not always an option, as our programming choices depends on lots of different factors to serve the programme as a whole. When we can’t programme you, we can still:

  • Have a ProDance break in the week of your residency. Then you can open out and charge for your classes without competing with us for participants. We would also re-direct people to your classes from our website and social media.

Our capacity for research is at this point limited, so do give us a shout and let’s help each other out! It may be helpful to know that we programme quite far in advance, typically 3-6 months, so get in touch even if plans aren’t set in stone yet. It is also helpful for us when you include us in your Arts Council applications - as that evidences to the Arts Council that we are here and needed.

If you don’t have a project, but still want to influence our programme - you can. Please let us know who you would like to invite,  give us recommendations of good classes you have taken and teachers you are interested in.

Kate, Sofia, Rebecca and Rachel

ga·ga - Natalia Iwaniec [Anna reviews]

Following my boyfriend’s promise, I woke up at 6.15am this morning hoping to see a ‘once in a lifetime’ blood moon waving at me. Well, the red moon did not turn up to the appointment; I was stood up, sleepless and far too early for class, so I had a matinee wonder through the mysteries of linguistics. I grabbed a dictionary and, in an etymological attempt to prepare for Natalia Iwaniec’s arrival, I looked for the word ‘gaga’. Under such term the dictionary offers three definitions to the reader, which I found rather informative of the gaga movement language:

ga·ga/gaga adj. wildly enthusiastic
For those who know Miss Iwaniec and for those who are still to meet her, she is genuinely an enthusiastic teacher. Gaga sessions work under the structure of a guided improvisation, which demands from the provider to be spirited and attentive to the room’s vibe. Natalia conducts the session with the use of an eloquent multifaceted repertoire of phrases which feed the dancers imagination.

ga·ga/gaga adj. madly in love; infatuated
It’s when infatuated that we break rules, jump forbidden walls and go against the conventions. Gaga is a venture to help dancers search beyond what they perceive as familiar, to take risks and discover new movement horizons. ‘Disconnect the ambition and tune into your passion to move’, Natalia shouts as her love hymns push our quest.

ga·ga/gaga adj. demented; crazy; dotty
As the session goes along, the dynamics, textures, images and feelings that have been explored separately melt into one big collage of movement. Gaga works with the multilayer of tasks as part of the discovery process, which results in a crazy dance where a bunch of people are dancing together alone. One could think that we are not sane if it wasn’t for Natalia’s voice making sense of that beautiful chaos.


By Anna Cabré-Verdiell


You can still catch Natalia’s class on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 9.30 to 11.00 at RJC Dance.

no CAN’T do - Azzurra Ardovini [Anna reviews]


On my way to the studio this morning, I was feeling cheerful; I was excited to meet Azurra Ardovini as I hadn’t seen her for quite a while. I expected her to be her joyfully Italian self, as always; and so, she was. I expected her buzzing energy and her generous smile to welcome me to the studio; and so, it happened. I expected her to hug me warmly; and so, she did. What I did not expect was to find out that she is expecting!! She will soon renew her motherly vows while being a testament that motherhood and dance is a possible match!

With this wonderful news and the vigorous sun illuminating the studio, we were guided into some sun salutations, which set off the beginning of the session. Azzurra’s class follows a traditional and reliable structure and combines elements of the Release and Limon techniques. Her material helps us get back to the fundamentals of a plié or a twist while challenging the participants to deal with a fusion between explosion and dynamism. As the class moves on, the rhythm of the combinations accelerates. At the same time, the sequences increasingly melt in an out of the floor. Pointing at her belly and shouting ‘if I can do it, you can do it!’, Azzurra stimulates the dancers to push their boundaries; definitely, seeing her moving, one wonders if there’s such thing as limits. She is detailed in her corrections and explanations, which she delivers with that tone typical of a supportive mum.

This class is a progressive work-out, ideal to awaken the body from head to toes. You can still catch Azzurra Ardovini’s class on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at 9.30 in The Dance Studio Leeds.

By Anna Cabré-Verdiell Bosch

The wonderful Friends Card


Hello ProDancers!

I hope you enjoyed our first week of classes with Martina Bussi last week? We certainly did!

We wanted to do a little shout out to you all here at the beginning of the year to remind you that you can be a Friend of ProDanceLeeds by buying one of our Friends Cards!

The Friends Card is super useful if you are a regular to the classes. It costs £30 for 10 classes, meaning a total saving of £10 - bargain! To top that up, it also includes some perks that we have gobbled together with our partners to treat you all:

At Yoga Hero you only pay £5 for morning and lunchtime classes instead of £6.

Yorkshire Dance offers discounted rate on certain performances.

And at The Dance Studio Leeds Friends of ProDance get 10% discount on studio hire. You also get 10% discount on advanced series classes using a discount code. Ask for the code when you buy your card!

Remember that the easiest way to pay is to bring cash, as we don’t take cards. From this term, it will also be possible to do a bank transfer if you can do it before class and show that the payment has gone through on your smartphone. Our bank details are:

Lloyds Bank
Sort code: 30-98-93
Account number: 60414068

See you in class!

Kate, Rachel, Rebecca and Sofia

Spring Programme Launched

Happy New Year Leeds!

A whole term has gone by already and we have had a selection of amazing teachers and equally amazing participants. Thank you so much for continuing to support this project by keeping on coming to class! We have, of course, booked in a fantastic line-up of teachers for the coming months and it’s about time that we launch… drum roll… ProDanceLeeds Spring Programme!

Martina Bussi

Martina Bussi

This term will see us welcoming 4 new exciting teachers with Motionhouse dancer Martina Bussi kicking off the New Year on the 7th of January. Alesandra Seutin/Vocab Dance is another new face - we’re thrilled to experience her distinctive hybrid movement language, focusing on musicality and fluidity of the limbs and spine. Sandrine Monine is new to ProDance but not to Leeds - having danced with Phoenix in the past - which makes us extra happy to have her on board the ProDance train. And finally, Heidi Weiss will be coming all the way from Berlin to teach a class based on her *weissman technique at the end of March.

Alleyne Dance. Photo: Kooneìpics

Alleyne Dance. Photo: Kooneìpics

Then there are three firm favourites coming back to Leeds, all bound to draw in a good crowd. We know how much you like Gaga, so Natalia Iwaniec will be here already in the third week of January. The week after, Eugenia Demeglio is back to teach Countertechnique on popular demand - that’s a January treat for you. And later on in April, Alleyne Dance bring back their eclectic and stamina building class. Having worked with both Akram Khan and Ultima Vez, they teach a special fusion of styles which always makes us push our limits and sweat buckets.

Azzurra Ardovini

Azzurra Ardovini

It’s exciting also to realise how many great teachers we have just around the corner. Azzurra Ardovini’s track record includes Phoenix Dance Theatre, VDT and Luca Silvestrini. She was also incredibly supportive in our early ProDance days by brokering contact with many of our best teachers. We feel lucky to have caught Vanessa Grasse for a week of teaching, as she seems to be everywhere at the moment: running Leeds Contact Improvisation Leeds, whilst touring her new work MESH and teaching at conservatories and universities. And favourite Jennifer-Lynn Crawford will be back this term too, filling up the studio as per usual.

Jennifer-Lynn will also be a mentor in one of the two Graduate Artist weeks we have on this term, offering teaching opportunities to recent graduates. The call-out will go up in the next few weeks, so keep an eye out if you would like to teach for us this Spring! The first Graduate Artist week is now programmed and we’re super excited to invite Samuel Burkett and Matilde Torres Laborde to teach two days each in February with mentoring by Gianluca Vincentini.

We will also continue our collaboration with Mobius this term, by programming Gianluca Vincentini and Jamaal Burkmar to teach a week each when Mobius is working in residence.

As you can see, this Spring is jam packed with exciting teachers and we’re super excited to get started. See you in class!

Kate, Rachel, Rebecca and Sofia

Thursday Class Covered by Vanessa Grasse

Hi all, a slight change in schedule means that tomorrow’s class, Thursday the 22st of November, will be covered by Vanessa Grasse. Read more below:


This dynamic class will begin with guided explorations and suggested movement pathways that will support us to explore: center to periphery and periphery to center; nurturing our capacity to guide our inner flows of energy; the under-curves and over-curves of our swinging and spiralling movement; multidirectionality; listening to our fluid weight. As we access our full dancing body we'll be encouraged to remain curious and attentive to our individual discoveries. We will also nurture our playful and relational selves by relating and responding to others around us, and through some contact explorations. Vanessa's classes nurture a curiosity about how the body transforms as a result of imagination, active shifts of perception, attentional dynamics and a clear relational engagement with the environment and others. Whilst finding clarity and playfulness in our awareness of the physiology and physics in motion.

Vanessa is a dance artist from Sicily, based in Leeds. She explores the crossover between choreography, walking-art and installation through site-specific, improvisation, participatory and cross-disciplinary practice. Her work has been commissioned amongst others by The Great Exhibition of The North, Dance4, Yorkshire Dance, Still Walking Festival, The University of Leeds, Ludus festival, Juncture festival. She has been an artist in residency in several visual arts settings such as Yorkshire Sculpture Park, The Hepworth Wakefield , MoMa Oxford, 4Bid gallery in Amsterdam. Her recent touring work MESH is a participatory choreography for public spaces in response to a divisive global political climate, inviting audiences and passers-by to join public rituals of togetherness. She holds an MA in Creative Practice from Laban and Independent Dance in London. She teaches regularly at Universities as guest and part-time lecturer, including Leeds Beckett University, Northern School of Contemporary Dance and Trinity Laban. She teaches Contact Improvisation across Europe and runs Leeds Contact Improvisation. www.vanessagrasse.wordress.com

A belated welcome back


Well hello again dancers of Leeds. For a while now we have wanted to welcome you all back to an exciting term of new classes, but due to a busy Gracefool autumn (for those of you that don’t know, the ProDance team’s creative alter ego is Gracefool Collective) we have had a somewhat slow start at ProDance HQ. As things are calming down now, we thought it’s about time that we say hello and introduce the project properly!

So - hello to all of you who are new to ProDance and welcome back all you regulars! We’re so excited you are all around in Leeds! We’re absolutely delighted to be able to say that we’ve been awarded funding to start up ProDanceLeeds again, and since the start of the programme in September we have already had ten absolutely fantastic teachers lead physical, challenging classes for professional dancers.

The programme of inspiring teachers over the next few months contains many familiar favourites of the community, so we look forward to welcoming you all back to class to get sweaty with us!

Tomislav English1.jpg

There are a few changes this year to take note of:

Most of our classes will now start at 9.30am to allow time for you to travel into Leeds. We understand that public transport can be a nightmare! Please double check times e.t.c. before you come along as a few will still start at 9am.

Our classes will run Monday-Thursday. Fridays can be spent with the excellent Dance Open Training.

And finally, we have started a Graduate Mentoring Scheme. The scheme will be an opportunity for recent graduates and emerging artists interested in developing their teaching skills to be paid to teach two days of professional level class for us. They will receive guidance and mentoring support from highly experienced teaching professionals in the field: Tiia Ourila, Gianluca Vincentini and Jennifer-Lynn Crawford. We have already finished the first round of four, with Katy Hewison and Stefania Pinato sharing their practice with us. The next round for applications will open shortly so keep an eye out! We are delighted to be able to offer this opportunity to help develop the practice of northern based artists and find new teachers for the programme.

Next week Marilena Dara will be teaching class, Monday to Thursday, 9.30am at RJC Dance. More info about her and her class can be found on our website.

See you soon!

Kate, Sofia, Rachel and Rebecca