DanceEast aims to inspire a new generation of dance lovers

DanceEast aims to inspire a new generation of dance lovers

Dance is such a big part of all our lives, but it’s often the case that people don’t consider watching a dance performance in the same way they might do a play, panto, musical, or even a football match. DanceEast is on a mission to challenge misconceptions about dance events and performances, to show how accessible, inclusive, and affordable they can be.

The charity is launching a new project called Future Dance Audiences to appeal to a wider range of people and welcome newcomers to the Jerwood DanceHouse. Bryony Hope, Head of Communications and Development at DanceEast said:

“It is important to us that everyone feels contemporary dance is for them, and knows they are welcome at this publicly funded venue. We are delighted to have secured funding from Foyle Foundation to help bring dance to a wider audience. We are proud of the work we have already done to grow a completely new audience for dance in Ipswich over the last decade and this project is intended as the next step.

There is so much moving, exciting, joyful, and surprising dance on offer at the Jerwood DanceHouse, for people of all ages, right here in Ipswich. It’s a friendly place to visit and you are just as likely to see a show with us that has its roots in Hip Hop dance, as in classical dance!”

As part of the project, the organisation has appointed Tim Wood as an Audience Development specialist. Tim will work with three new Audience Ambassadors to engage new people with the joy of dance. Speaking about his appointment, Tim said,

“From Strictly to Tik Tok to Kitchen Disco — people everywhere love dance and dancing. I’m really excited to work on this project to understand more about how we can learn to build new and lasting connections between everyone excited by dance, and the exciting dance that happens at DanceEast.”

Tim is a former Chair of the Arts Marketing Association and until November 2020 was Deputy Chief Executive of Rambert. Previously he was Director of Communications at The Place, home to London Contemporary Dance School.

The search is now underway for those three enthusiastic advocates for DanceEast, the Audience Ambassadors who will connect, network, and introduce under-represented people to the organisation.

The groups of people who are currently under-represented in DanceEast audiences are families, 18 – 35-year-olds, and people of the Global Majority. The latter includes people who define as being of African, Chinese, Indian, Pakistani, Latin American, Black/African/Caribbean backgrounds, and other mixed ethnic backgrounds.

Each Audience Ambassador will focus on working with one of those under-represented groups. Details of the Audience Ambassador role and the Future Dance Audiences project are available at

Tim Wood DanceEast Audience Development Specialist, Photo credit DanceEast