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Bloom Inclusive Dance Festival 2017

SideKick Dance strive to run the Bloom Inclusive Dance Festival every year. It is hoped that the annual festival will raise the profile of dance and inclusive practice in Leicester and give people with additional needs the opportunity to experience dance, perform, work with nationally recognised groups and artists, and to be a part of the wonderful dance community. The festival also offers CPD opportunities for dance artists and teachers to develop their own skills for working inclusively in dance with the strong belief that dance should be accessible to all.

Here's what happened at last years festival

What happened at Bloom dance Festival 2017? Sidekick Dance were thrilled to receive funding from Big Lottery Fund to run the festival – an exciting programme of 5 full days of dance in Leicester, culminating in a performance in Leicester City Centre as its finale! We are now planning for the 2018 festival so watch this space, the programme will be announced soon!

Day 1

Corali Dance Company joined us at Attenborough Arts Centre for a full day of dance for adults with and without learning difficulties. The day began with morning warm up and technique class before experimenting with choreography. After a well-earned lunch break the dancers then combined their choreography to create a performance for friends and family. Thank you Corali, this was a fun filled, creative and inspirational day, and well done to all the dancers who took part!

sidekick dance workshop

Day 2

STOP GAP Dance company joined us at Leicester College for an exciting day of dance and CPD for dance artists and teachers. The day was full of fun and exciting activities which included technique class, creativity and informative discussion. Thank you StopGap, everyone involved loved the day and we hope to work with you again!

“I found the workshop so useful to develop my skills as a dance practitioner and it really inspired my thinking around inclusive practice. So much so I developed some of their tasks straight away into my sessions” – Emma Bouch – Dance Artist
sidekick dance STOP GAP Theatre company

Day 3

SideKick Dance were working hard in their usual company class rehearsing for their part in Fridays performance. They also opened their doors for others to come and experience what SideKick do. Thanks Ellesmere College and Curve Theatre for providing us with fantastic rehearsal space every week!

sidekick dance class

Day 4

We were thrilled to welcome Candoco Dance Company at DeMontfort University for a jam packed day of fun and exciting workshops! The day began with selected little movers from Key stages 2 and 3, followed by a session for dancers in key stage 4 and sixth form joining the company for gifted and talented dance workshops. Following this professional dance artists from across Leicester and Leicestershire were able to come along and take part in class with CandoCo! Another busy, successful and inspiring day! Thanks CandoCo and DeMontfort University, thanks to the dance artists for joining us, and of course thanks to the schools for enabling their young students to take part, we hope to do more with you next year!

sidekick dance Candoco dance company
Photo from | Photography by Helen Ree

Day 5

Large Scale Inclusive open air, community performance

We have secured permissions to use the Laura Jones’s


The Finale! During the weeks and months leading up to the festival, dance practitioners Charlotte Tomlinson & Kirsty Clarke have been visiting schools and community groups leading workshops and teaching choreography for the final performance. The choreography was adapted by that of Laura Jones‘s work of Stop Gap Dance Company, who created the piece for the Paralympic Heritage Flame Opening Ceremony Celebrations. Thank you Laura! Approximately 150-200 people of varying ages and abilities performed the routine in Leicester Cathedral Gardens on Friday 30th June. It was a beautiful ending to the festival and a true example of inclusive dance. Thank you Leicester Cathedral and thank you to everyone involved!

sidekick dance performance

The Future of bloom Dance Festival

We are now fundraising and planning for next years festival. If you would like to make a donation, or be involved somehow by housing a workshop day at your venue, or of course by taking part then please do get in touch with simon or charlotte.

[email protected]

[email protected]

Sue RosenbloomWho is Sue Rosenbloom?

This festival is named after Sue Rosenbloom. ‘Bloom’ was nothing short of insprirational! Her passion and drive to give young people of all abilities the opportunity to dance and perform has left a truly wonderful legacy. Bloom worked tirelessly for young people for her whole career. It was Bloom’s initiative and spark that began much of the work that has taken place within the city and county’s special schools in dance. It is estimated that now, a decade on, around 1000 young people have performed at Curve through these projects. These experiences have been amazing for young people and their families. We are aiming to honour and build on her legacy through the ‘Bloom Dance Festival’ and ensure that young people continue to get the very best experiences in dance and the arts.’ Thank you Bloom!

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