Previous Dance & Health Projects

The DAZL #ASHtag Project

The DAZL #ASHtag Project is a Dance & Health Project which tackles issues around smoking in young people funded by Leeds City Council Public Health Department and Gemma Mann -Health Improvement Specialist. The Leeds city wide anti-smoking project targeted young people age 11 -19 years from Inner City areas (The top 10% most deprived areas of the city). All the sessions were community based we used existing DAZL Sessions and local schools/groups to recruit the young people for the project/individual #ASHtag groups. The weekly sessions consisted of 30 minutes health related workshops/discussions and a 1 hour dance session initially. The sessions explored the effects of smoking in young people and what would prevent them from smoking in the future. The dance sessions used contemporary/street dance styles to explore themes around smoking from a young person’s perspective, all the sessions fed into the young people’s choreography and ideas for the dance works Aim of Project Improve health & well-being in young people through dance Educate young people around the effects of smoking and to enable then to make informed choices about smoking. Project Outcomes The three #ASHtag dance and health projects have worked on and created a dance and health show. Dance and Health video project they have come together through performances to share this work. We have created two films with Wayne Sables Project - Dance For Film Company 60+ young people have been involved in weekly dance sessions improving physical and mental health. We have delivered 95 hours of activity for young people 60+ young people involved in 5 weekly health related sessions around effect of smoking and young people’s discussion session on smoking – workshops including ; X 21 performance events which include conferences, showcases, galas and guest performances reaching over 12,466 people across the city. Video completed on process from young person’s perspective and also YouTube clips of performances and promotion through social media and DAZL website. Targeted press on the work and local magazine to make people aware of the project. Performances for CBBC Roadshow Live and Health without Wealth Conference. Take a look here at this link to one of the amazing dance films created

YOS Urban Dance Project (NEET Work)

Following on from the HMYOI project there was a growing demand by young people to access a programme on resettlement. NHS Leeds, DAZL and the Leeds Youth Offending Service co-delivered this joint programme for At Risk Young People aged 14 – 18 years. Aimed at young offenders and those at risk of offending or on DTO or ISSP. It was a city wide project but accessible by young people from surrounding West Yorkshire region. The young people participated in regular weekly urban dance sessions e.g. break-dance, Hip Hop, Krumping and street dance with internationally renowned artist. The issues explored were about embedding a healthy lifestyle and emotional well-being within the programme.

DAZL Cheer Fit Classes

DAZL teamed up with Leeds Lets Get Active to offer Cheer Fit sessions to adults across the city of Leeds. All the session were FREE and also give the adults the opportunity to get involved in other FREE Gym and Swim with the Leeds City Council Bodyline Leisure Centres. DAZL offered dance classes for the young people at the same time so parents who find childcare difficult will be able to get their young people dancing. This programme was funded through Sports England and Public Health and we was extremely happy to be involved putting dance on the physical activity agenda. Over the 3 month period we had 48 parents join the programme which was fantastic many of them attending more than one per week and as a result of this they have joined the DAZL MUMS Cheerdance competitive dance team. here is a link to the DAZL Mums work at a previous Cheer & Chant Competition in Blackpool

DAZL Youth Dance Leaders Level 2 Course 2013

We believe strongly in investing and supporting our young people and one of the ways we do this is through our various Youth Dance Leader Courses. We have run courses ranging from Dance & Sport Leaders Qualification level 1 & 2 and Arts Award Bronze and Silver for young people aged 13 -16 years. The courses are normally attached to a specific targeted project such as non-school attendees or groups within school who wish to gain an extra qualification. The award is designed for young emerging artists with an interest in community dance and choreography and they will gain the necessary skills/ techniques to operate as a freelance artists.

So far over the past 12 years, DAZL has trained over 50 new artists. The Level 2 Dance Leaders course was run in 2013 and funded by the Inner South Area Committee. DAZL is also looking to secure funding for a city wide course for the future , We welcome anyone with a passion for community dance and health, some previous dance experience is require for this course and a commitment to working with young people.

Looked After Children Projects

We delivered projects in four homes for Looked after Children including Eastmoor Secure Unit. The participants could access dance in their own environment and were signposted to other DAZL activities locally or to one of DAZL partner organisations who could meet that young person’s needs. In the past we also opened up shadowing opportunities for recent graduates of the Northern School of Contemporary Dance to teach with our very experience dance practitioner. The programme then moved on to target looked after children city wide, bringing them together at various city centre dance venues to participate in dance activities.

DAZL & Slanjayvah Danze #6Feet3Shoes

Slanjayvah Danza and DAZL have linked up on the #6Feet3Shoes project supported by Art Council England, Leeds Inspired, Awards For All - the project brings the company out into the community working with DAZL and other organisations. The company has been delivering Flamenco, Scottish slanjayvah danza and DAZL Seniorsand Contemporary dance workshops to DAZL participants 3-6yrs and their parents. They have also been working with young people aged 7-11years and the DAZL Diamonds Senior girls HIP-HOP Crew engaging with over 60 people already. The families are from across South Leeds most deprived areas and the reaction to the Slanjayvah Danza has been truly amazing. The work has been challenging and at times push the young dancers/ parents out of there comfort zones but overall the experience has been extremely fun. slanjayvah danza and DAZL We aim the develop this partnership with a 12 week project starting in January which will have a intergenerational feel and have a real family focus. The project not only engages the families/ community through high quality artistic work but is improving the whole families mental and physical health through dance as physical activity. The project also encourages social interaction with parents and children bringing communities together which embeds the DAZL ethos. We are so happy to have this experience and look forward to future partnerships and collaborations across the city. For more information on Slanjavah Danza visit or email

Four Films, Four Days, One Project

Four Films, Four Days, One Project is a dance film project for young people in the Inner and Outer South Areas of Leeds supported by the Inner South and Outer South Community Committees in partnership with Wayne Sables. the project will happen across four locations, The South Leeds Youth Hub, Cottingley Community Centre, Tingley Youth Centre and The Scout Hut Rothwell. Each venue will have a different theme and focus of there individual dance video. The type of film we will create will come from the young peoples ideas sessions and this will then be explored and turn into wonderful pieces of art. All videos will be published in late September 2016 in a lead up to the DAZL Annual showcase event.

HMYOI Wetherby (Youth Offending Work)

In April 2008 DAZL started a project to improve the health and wellbeing of the young men in HMYOI Wetherby through a programme of fun and accessible urban dance activity including; Hip Hop, Breakdance, Krumping, Locking and Popping, and Streetdance. The participants trained hard to complete accredited and non-accredited dance programmes before performing for friends and family at the YOI’s “Family Day” which was a massive achievement and the first time that audience members had seen them do anything like this. Through a combination of taster sessions and accredited courses we engaged approximately 250 young men in a variety of dance workshops that attracted those who were not accessing the gym, boosting confidence and social skills, focusing on developing new skills and feeling positive about the learning experience.

“I just wanted to share with you a public health session I had the privilege of watching at the YOI. I watched 15 boys dance and sprint their hearts out. They were taught by a very competent teacher, concentrated for more than an hour, worked together, helped each other out, used every muscle in their bodies, worked individually and in a group and in the end developed their own routines to show off to each other.” Claire Shepherd, NHS Leeds.

#NoFilter Dance & Health Project

#NoFilter is a dance & health project that looks at the issues surrounding young people and social media. As part of the project we are working in collaboration with Wayne Sables (WSP) creating a short dance film which will also feature in the live performance of the dance piece for the DAZL is 15 year show at the Stanley and Audrey Burton Theatre in November. The project has evolved from the initial stating point and the group with Wayne Sables assistance have now created a stand alone dance film "DISCONNECTED" encouraging young people to interact more. This is the first time that both the DAZL male and female youth companies will be working together on a piece choreographed by Vicky Mawson and Mason Jubb. This piece will also be DAZL's submission to be involved in the regional dance platform FRESH 2016.

The Dance Makeover (Dance & Health Work)

In 2008 to 2011 we successfully delivered a weight management programme in partnership with Watch It, an NHS weight management service. After an intensive three week summer programme, participants took regular weekly dance sessions as well as a range of activities to celebrate a positive self-image including pampering sessions, nutrition and cooking classes. Simultaneous gym sessions were also provided for families. Participants demonstrated increased confidence and performed alongside other DAZL groups at the Christmas 2009 showcase.

Dance Whispers

Dance Whispers Groups has been developed by Wayne Sables Project and Yorkshire Dance this partnership project with Wayne Sables and the National Youth Dance Company (NYDC) give Choreographer Vicky Mawson and the DAZL Male Youth Company and 9 other youth companies across Yorkshire a unique opportunity. The project is funded by Arts Council England, Each group will create a new piece of choreography, led by a young choreographer nominated by the organisation. We all receive some artistic support and direction for one day of our devising weekend. This will be offered by guest choreographer Joss Arnott who will be supporting the artistic direction of the project. The 10 young people nominated will have an introductory day at Yorkshire Dance the a day trip to London to visit NYDC at Sadler’s Wells to watch the premier of NYDC at Sadler’s Wells. We will receive £400.00 to support our group’s involvement in the project. The choreographer will also have an exchange visiting another youth company all working upto a final performance at the Northern Ballet on 11th and 12th July 2015 PLEASE TAKE A LOOK AT THE FINAL PERFORMANCE ON THE LADS ON YOUTUBE

Try a DAZL dance session

Classes across Leeds for anyone aged 3 -25 years. We're here to make sure you have fun even if you've never danced before. DAZL can introduce you to all kinds of dance; Street / Cheerdance / Hip-Hop/ Breakdance/ Creative /Jazz and Contemporary and more.... Express yourself, you'll have a great time make new friends, not to mention keeping fit whilst filling you with confidence!