The Collective IDentity Project has a vision beyond the delivery of regular workshops or even the production of the artistic outputs. This vision is that we can build a lasting community for the dancers that gives value to their contributions to a wider dance ecology, and gives them ownership over their evolving dance friendships.

Last year during the pandemic lockdown, we started reflecting on the way our relationships were deepening and the vulnerability that was being shared in the online space. Jaka Skapin and I wanted to feature this as part of the Collective IDentity 2021 project to make meaningful links between dancers last beyond the weekly classes. So the dancing community was born, and this community expands beyond our London based dancers, and across England to our four regional classes. It exists as an online space to dance together, share responses to the dancing, celebrate our contributions, have meaningful conversations and enjoy one another’s company online.

I found the session so enjoyable; the music really touched me. I also enjoyed the movement… I found (it) very freeing. I am glad I took part and look forward to the 10th July to join others in this…

Next weekend marks the last of our summer get togethers. We will join on 10th July for a national workshop online, bringing up to 85 dancers together from all six of the partner classes involved in the CID Project. We will meet, share, dance and discuss the next steps as we continue the dancers community into the autumn.

I am so moved by how committed and open the dancers have been so far during this project. Even those who have not met before, have joined together with openness and willingness to share. The zoom dance studios that we have moved in together have been spaces for respecting and witnessing each other and that has been so humbling to be part of. I can’t wait for the last in our summer workshops and to see what comes next for the national dancers community.

Danielle Teale