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 Company - LGBT #PRIDE

Using iconic LGBT anthems this piece explores false social perceptions of the LGBT community based on their gender and sexuality. Through the lens of LGBT young people, the work follows a journey of self-discovery by overcoming prejudice and discrimination to finding self-worth, empowerment and acceptance. . The youth company are all from Leeds, aged from 14-19yrs and are made up of gay, bi and straight young people. They have done lots of research chatting to other LGBT young people, attending pride event, endless hours of documentaries/ discussion based workshops and the young peoples own experiences. The group have been working with DAZL Dance Development officer Vicky Mawson and NSCD Graduated/ VERVE Dancer Mason Jubb. This work focuses on all LGBT youths but with an extra focus on transgender young people. This project is a starting point for DAZL as an organisation lead by Director Ian Rodley to create a 3 year strategic program which is specifically aimed at LGBT young people across Leeds using dance/ the arts which we are currently awaiting the outcome of funding. The group is looking to perform this work in many showcase events and we welcome any organisation which is running a LGBT event to contact us to perform. We may use a LGBT Pride flag or ten, you have been warned! If your aged 13-18 and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans* or questioning your sexuality in Leeds and needs support Out 2 18 or Transtastic could be for you. You could also check out he Leeds GI Youth Group

DAZL Junior Youth Dance Company - Young People Mental Health #Implode

This piece explores young people’s mental health and wellbeing taking the audience on a journey of a young person’s anxieties, stress, and generally feeling of being overwhelmed with life. This is influenced by the constant messages from school, exams, social media, friends and complex home lives. Young people in today’s society are not always given the skills or equipment to deal with a busy mind and stressful working environment. We have never had a moment in time where we recived so much information so fast and were not always able to handel this, especially as a young person. With the social attitude of “pull up your socks, you will be fine”, mental health is not being taken seriously especially within young people. The young people have had a major input in the process and creation of this work. They have been given lots of creative tasks to showcase different elements of the work. They have had discussion based workshop and they initial ideas all steam from them and what they felt they wanted to focus on. The group is made up of 10 dancers from South Leeds aged 11-14 years who have used there own experiences as a starting point to create what you as an audience will see on stage. The group is working with NSCD Graduate Natasha Smith - For more information, support and guidance on young people and mental health please visit MindMate

KICK OFF Boys Project (Part 2)

Dance is an energetic, physical activity that develops strength, coordination and courage. Kick Off is an all-male youth dance group in Leeds and we are looking for boys aged 12-18 to join. The weekly sessions will run once a week on Tuesdays 6pm – 7.30pm at Leeds City College Park Lane Campus. Each week you will work with other boys to improve your dance skills and to make pieces to be performed around Leeds. The Lads will work with dance professionals to choreograph and get the chance to show off your tricks and moves at venues across Leeds, including Riley Theatre, Stanley & Audrey Burton Theatre and Morley Town Hall. Kick Off Boys Project covers the whole of Leeds, and is run in partnership by Dance Action Zone Leeds (DAZL), Northern School of Contemporary Dance, Phoenix Dance Theatre, and Leeds City College.

DAZL & Rees Dance Company Partnership #YorkshireConnection

Dance Action Zone Leeds have teamed up with Rees Dance Company supported by Arts Council England to create two new pieces of choreography. The Dancers Hero - DAZL boys Choreographed by Rees Dance Company during a youth development project with DAZL, funded by Arts Council England and Public Health Leeds. The performance piece came about as a result of one of the choreographers hearing a flippant comment, directed at the youth group: "boys will be boys" Through discussions with the dancers regarding their interests, and being mindful of their creativity with their aspirations, the piece 'Hero' was formed. Faith - DAZL Senior Choreographed by Rees Dance during a youth development project with DAZL, funded by Arts Council England and Public Health Leeds. 'Faith' is based on the pier support that became more and more apparent, throughout during the creation of the performance piece. Traditional contemporary techniques and physical theatre is not usually the 'chosen style' of these individual dancers, but faith encompasses what the choreographers felt to be the essence of the company, throughout the creation process.

Leeds Community Foundation #HolidayHungerLeeds Fund awards DAZL Grant

DAZL is excited to announce we have received funding from the Leeds Community Foundation - Holiday Hunger Fund to enable vulnerable children to have access to food & fun activities in half term & summer. The young people will be provided with breakfast, Lunch and Snacks, this will be provided by FareShare you can visit their website , This will be complemented with some fantastic fun activities. We will be using the hashtag #HolidayHungerLeeds to create awareness of the project and we will be working in partnership with our friends from Active Clubs Experience (ACE) The Change 4 Life Service (C4L) and Watch-It children weight management service, incorporating healthy lifestyles and Change 4 Life messages in fun, creative sessions for 4-13 year old children. Camp 1 (Tuesday 3rd- Friday 6th April 2018) – The South Leeds Youth Hub, Belle Isle, LS10 3JA. 9am-3pm each day and we have 25 places available. Camp 2 (Monday 30th July – Friday 3rd August 2018) – Dame Fanny Waterman Centre, Brander Street, Gipton, Leeds, LS9 6QH. 9am-3pm each day and we have 25 places available. Camp 3 (Monday 6th August – Friday 10th August 2018) – The South Leeds Youth Hub, Belle Isle, LS10 3JA. 9am-3pm each day and we have 25 places available. Camp 4 (Monday 13th August – Friday 17th August 2018) – Swinnow Community Centre,Swinnow Lane, Leeds LS13 4RF. 9am-3pm each day, 25 places available. Children can be dropped off from 8.30am is required.

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 [email protected]

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.

DAZL Youth Dance Companies - 2017-18

The DAZL Youth Dance Companies are made up of gifted and talented young people from across the city with a passion for contemporary dance. We have an All Male youth company and a Junior and senior youth dance company for young people aged 11-19 years. The companies create work using contemporary/ urban dance styles and have the opportunity to work with artists from across the region alongside DAZL Artist Stephanie Dobson. As DAZL is a Dance & Health organisation and prides itself on been a leader in the field we have an extra emphasis on health related topics such as – Drugs, Alcohol/ Substance misuse, Mental and Sexual health related topics. The work is toured/ showcased across the city Leeds and throughout Yorkshire linking with other youth dance companies/ organisations to share their experiences/ work.

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

DAZL backs #LeedsGirlCan Campaign - Improving Girls Health

Improving Girls Health through Dance #LeedsGirlCan LEEDS GIRL CAN - DAZL uses dance as physical activity to engage with hundreds of young girls every week and over 15,000 since the program began. Dance can be a fantastic tool to engage young girls who maybe not interested in conventional sports/ physical activity. We at DAZL see the clear benefits of dance to everyone physical and mental health and we advocate this daily #MoveMoreDanceMore DAZL is proud to be backing the Leeds Girl Can campaign, you can see the DAZL sessions for young women across Leeds on the Leeds Girl Can website. DAZL has been featured as organisation and its work with young girls - Leeds Girl Can Interview DAZL Dance Development Office Vicky Mawson - “We’re the DAZL Diamonds, we’ve been running for ten years and we are national and regional champions, we work really hard and it’s just really important for us to get cheer dance recognised as a competitive sport. When people think of cheer dance and cheerleading they think of the film bring it on and they see cheering on football games and it’s not just about that, it takes a lot of skill and it takes a lot of physical energy you have to have a lot of stamina to do this, it’s like running a marathon in 2 1/2 mins it’s crazy. You just need to come and give it a go because you’re getting fit but in a fun way. And you learn new techniques and dance that’s good for the body. Because DAZL started off trying to get girls into physical activity that’s always been our goal and our reason for doing what we do. I think it’s great that girls can access totally different sports that they normally wouldn’t access is amazing.”

Kick Off Boys Project

Kick Off Boys Youth Dance Project Free boys dance project with Northern School of Contemporary Dance, Phoenix Dance Theatre and DAZL. Are you aged between 12 – 18 years? Take part in our boys dance project and work with professional dance artists. Want to try it out before you commit? Then come to one of our taster sessions. TASTER – Northern School of Contemporary Dance, 98 Chapeltown Road, Leeds, LS7 4BH Friday 7th April 1 – 3pm TASTER – Phoenix Dance Theatre, St Cecilia Street, Quarry Hill, Leeds, LS2 7PA Sunday 9th April 11.00 – 1.00pm TASTER – DAZL, South Leeds Youth Hub, Middleton Road, LS10 3JA Saturday 15th April 9.30 – 11.30 Next Steps… If you then decide to join the Kick Off Boys Dance Project after your taster session, you will be required to attend all of the weekly sessions, intensive dates and performances listed below. Weekly Sessions Northern School of Contemporary Dance, 98 Chapeltown Road, Leeds, LS7 4BH o: · Wednesday 19th April / 6.30 – 8pm · Wednesday 26th April / 6.30 – 8pm · Wednesday 3rd May / 6.30 – 8pm · Wednesday 10th May / 6.30 – 8pm · Wednesday 17th May / 6.30 – 8pm · Wednesday 24th May / 6.30 – 8pm · Wednesday 7th June / 6.30 – 8pm · Wednesday 14th June / 6.30 – 8pm · Wednesday 21st June / 6.30 – 8pm · Wednesday 28th June / 6.30 – 8pm · Wednesday 5th July / 6.30 – 8pm · Wednesday 12th July / 6.30 – 8pm Intensive Dates DAZL, South Leeds Youth Hub, Middleton Road, LS10 3JA · Tuesday 30th May / 10 – 4pm · Wednesday 31st May / 10 – 4pm · Thursday 1st June / 10 – 4pm Performance Dates Northern School of Contemporary Dance, 98 Chapeltown Road, Leeds, LS7 4BH Saturday 1st July / 4pm & 7.30pm Phoenix Dance Theatre, St Cecilia Street, Quarry Hill, Leeds, LS2 7PA Friday 14th July / 7.30pm Bookings To book your place on a taster session or weekly classes please complete the below online form:

Leeds LGBT+ Sports Fringe Festival 2017 supports DAZL

Leeds LGBT Sports Fringe Festival Supports DAZL. The Leeds FIRST and only LGBT Sport Fringe Festival will happen this year in the lead up to Leeds Pride 2017. A week-long festival with 18 different inclusive activities to choose from between 28th July and 6th August! Enjoy indoor and outdoor fitness/ Sports activities and classes. There will be a small entry fees to each activity which will support DAZL and its Community/ LGBT Youth Dance work. Checkout the full listings on the Leeds Freedom Quarter website. The DAZL Workshops are as follows Session 1 - ​Streetdance for families Wednesday ​2nd August, ​5.15-6.15pm ​at Ebor Gardens Community Centre, Burmantofts, Hazlewood Drive, LS9 7PS (Just before St James Hospital and just after Northern Ballet if coming from City Centre) This is a Streetdance for family’s session part of the Leeds LGBT Sports Fringe Festival - Lead by Natasha & Amy​- Championship Winning DAZL Comp Teams Coach’s. (Session suitable for all ages 7yrs and above) You can book via Eventbrite link below Session 2 - Streetdance for families Saturday​ 29th July, 10.30-11.30am at the South Leeds Youth, Middleton Road, Belle Isle, LS10 3JA. (12, 13, 13A from Corn-exchange Leeds City Centre) ​This is a Streetdance for family’s session part of the Leeds LGBT Sports Fringe Festival - Lead by Stephanie Faye Dobson & Amy Smith - Championship Winning DAZL Comp Teams Coach’s.​ (Session suitable for all ages)​ You can book via Eventbrite link via this link -

Try a DAZL dance session

Classes across Leeds for anyone aged 3 -19 years and 25 years with a disability. We’re here to make sure you have fun even if your new to dance. DAZL can introduce you to all kinds of dance…. Express yourself, you’ll have a great time make new friends, not to mention keeping fit whilst filling you with confidence!