We thought it might be nice to introduce ourselves to you – you may have come across our work in the past or this might be the first time you’ve heard about us, so here’s a little introductory round-up of who we are, what we do and where we do it.
EVERYBODY DANCE is a small charity with inclusion at its heart – we think that people of all backgrounds and abilities should be able to live their lives to the full and join in with the dance-based and cross-arts projects that we do.
Lead artist Rachel Freeman originally trained as a nurse but soon realised that she was “more interested in health than ill-health”, so she left the NHS to pursue her passion for dance, marrying it with her experiences of different bodies and physicality. She says, “There’s a huge buzz in connecting with people through dance and our experience has demonstrated the resulting satisfaction, pride, joy and sense of wellbeing that comes from that.”
Rachel is joined in her work by, freelance Project Assistant, Rebecca and our team of fabulous professional aerial dance artists, who worked on Our Man in the Moone in 2019. We’re also supported by our brilliant Board of Trustees, Tiggy, Marie, Tom and Richard: click here to find out more about the team.
The charity is based in North Herefordshire, a place of beautiful farmland and countryside, which also has challenges for the people who live there. For example, public transport can be a big problem for rural dwellers and facilities are sometimes poor in rural places, so people can become isolated. That’s one reason that it’s so important to us that we can offer a range of projects for people of all ages and abilities.
Rachel explains, “Over the past ten years we have developed a unique programme of aerial dance that has taken us all over the world to work with a wide range of amazing communities and exciting festivals. We don’t want to be dazzled by the international lights though, and we’ve been mindful to keep our feet firmly on home ground.”
“Much of our ongoing local programme is made up of small projects, from intergenerational tea dances with elders living with dementia to aerial fitness with young people of all abilities.”
Rachel has worked throughout the Covid pandemic to keep communities connected through online dance sessions for older people and meet-ups that brought different generations together. We’re all looking forward to rebooting Our Man in the Moone this year, to creating more dementia friendly tea dances and getting people moving together again this year.