Enriching lives through dance
From the Artistic Director
We have been enriching people’s lives through dance since 1979 and in 2019 we will be celebrating our 40th birthday. Since 1979, we have developed a national reputation as an organisation that specialises in talent development, artist support, show-casing and personal engagement, instilling loyalty among our team, our users and artists.
I myself arrived at Swindon Dance in 1983 to attend a summer school and never left!
So why? Why are we still here after 40 years? Why do our users, our young dancers and artists return to us again and again? Why does one small organisation based in a rural town in the south west instill such loyalty?
Let’s face it, Swindon town does not have a great reputation. It is a town better known for its roundabouts, especially the magic roundabout (5 in 1), the railways and being somewhere between London and Cardiff.
Maybe it is our lack of understanding of the word ‘no’. Whenever we hear ‘no’ our usual response is ‘why’ and then we go out and do what ever it was we were told ‘no’ to.
Or, is it our love of leaping off cliffs! That leap of faith? Or maybe it’s simply our belief that people come first, that people should have the freedom to follow their dreams no matter how big or small.
Or, is it because we are simply having too much fun doing what we are doing that others want to come and join in too.
We see our role as supporting and guiding that it is about the people and artists, it is their pathway, their dream and no one else’s’. That dream, that pathway may take may different routes and that is fine, people are allowed to follow a different path and see where it leads them – that is OK.
I often ask people, “When you are old, really old and reflecting back on your life, do you want to reflect on a life of dreams fulfilled, full of enriching experiences and wonderful encounters with amazing people or a life of ‘what ifs’ and compromises to fulfil society’s concept of what life should be?
I believe it is all these things delivered by a team with complete and utter faith, belief and passion in what we are and what we do.
A wise man (my father) once told me, “It is better to have tried and failed than to spend your life wondering”
I have tried, I have failed, I have tried again but I have never spent time looking back wondering. For me Swindon Dance is a life fulfilled.
Viv Slayford, Artistic Director Swindon Dance
Each year thousands of people of all ages, backgounds and abilities take part in our comprehensive range of quality classes, projects, events and performances
We provide opportunities to learn how to create and perform dance
We take dance out into schools and into the community
We work in areas of high disadvantage and low engagement
We work to support and give guidance to talented dancers and professional artists
We show-case professional and non-professional dance performances
For many it is a social and fun way to improve their health and well-being whilst for others, it is the first stage into a career in dance that will impact the changing face of the UK’s evolving arts industry
Enriching lives through dance
To be an organisation specialising in the support of our artform through personal engagement, talent development and professional artist support
Our beliefs and values
- We value people. People come first
- We believe people should have the freedom to follow their dreams no matter how big or small
- We believe everyone regardless of age, creed, gender or background is entitled to access and enjoy the richness of art and culture in their lives
- We see no value in the word ‘no’. It creates barriers, prevents dreams and caps achievement
- We love to leap off cliffs – taking that leap of faith keeps the arts fresh, new and exciting
- We value fun. We like to have fun doing what we are doing so that others want to come and join in too
- we are supporters and guiders helping people to follow the path they wish to follow
- we value lives of dreams fulfilled, full of enriching experiences, of wonderful encounters with amazing people
“As a non-dancer, I did my first ballet class at 47. You don’t have to be three years old to start. Age, size or shape don’t matter; anyone can come along. that’s what’s so special about Swindon Dance.”
Community user of Swindon Dance
“It was wonderful for Ethan to access a group that catered for his abilities. Inclusive groups like the Salto Dance project are very rare, so hugely appreciated”
Feedback from a parent of a child with learning difficulties
“Swindon Dance has been pivotal in the development of SAPAC they are genuinely interested in developing the cultural scene in Swindon this includes the diverse cultural offering. We share the vision of putting Swindon on the cultural map in the South West. Our partnership is mutual, professional and reassuring”
Indu Sharma; Deputy Chair SAPAC
Swindon Dance is committed to safeguarding children and young people. If you would like to know more about or view our policies and procedures please contact us on 01793 601700 / firstname.lastname@example.org
Swindon Dance is a charity and not for profit organisation. It is a National Portfolio Organisation, funded by Arts Council England and is supported by Swindon Borough Council.