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Mass Dance

Over the past 8 years dna has been hosting our annual mass dance programme built on the legacy of the 2012 London Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Dance Network Association's 'Dancing Decades' 2023 funded by the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham

Dance Network Association's 'Dancing Decades' 2023 funded by the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham

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dna’s mass dance programme has a proven history of building confidence, increasing health & fitness, instilling a sense of fun whilst developing dance and movement skills.
This project offers all ages and abilities a creative dance experience not usually available in school or community settings.

Working with local dance artists and dance specialists to devise and create the choreography and dance captains from local schools, to support younger children, and Essex based composers creating bespoke music compositions, we have created a holistic programme from grassroots training, volunteering and employment opportunities.

With projects taking inspiration from great sporting, creative and cultural events, our dancers in the past have entertained crowds at international cricket games, national football games and school games.

DANCING DECADES 2023 in Barking and Dagenham
​In 2023 we celebrated the most popular dance styles found within the lifetime of Queen Elizabeth II (1920- 2022) which ended with a street party style celebration dance to acknowledge the coronation of King Charles III. Dance facilitators, Sam Blayney, Nic Smith and Rachel Newby, researched, created and choreographed the 2023 Primary and Secondary choreography and continued to support the programme up until the performance day. Three of the choreographic sections for the 2023 'Dancing Decades' programme, came out of a Continued Professional Development (CPD) workshop with Sunanda Biswas. Sunanda informed the creation of the Charleston, Lindy-Hop and Breakdance sections of the project.

As a continuation from our Early Years Programme in Barking & Dagenham in 2021/22, Early Years settings joined us again for this programme. Early Years Dance Artists, Rachel Newby and Lucy Brown crafted a creative dance edition of the choreography. These wonderful artists also offered bespoke workshops to 12 Early Years settings, to ensure that these settings received the support they needed in order for more children to access the programme.

New to the Mass Dance 'Dancing Decades' 2023 programme, we've had two front commissions created to open the live 'Dancing Decades' performance. These were created during our dna Holiday Programme which was funded by LBBD Holiday Activities and Food Programme 2023. This programme saw 19 young people, who qualify for Free School Meals, come together for 4 days of dance, nutrition and well-being workshops.
The front commissions were created and crafted by Sunanda Biswas and Bafana Matea, giving the participants the opportunity to learn Breakdance and Afro.
The interactive well-being workshops were lead by Dr Lucie Clements and the interactive nutrition sessions (for the young people and their parents) were delivered by Jasmine Challis and Kathryn Peters.

The live performance at Jim Peters Stadium went ahead on Wednesday 14 June 2023, our online video performance was shared on Wednesday 12 July and featured the two front commissions and all of the Early Years, Primary and Secondary students who participated in the 'Dancing Decades' mass dance programme 2023.

We can confirm that Mass Dance will be returning in 2024 and we also hope to bring the dna Holiday Programme back during Easter 2024.

Keep your eyes peeled for updates on our 2024 programme.

Previous projects have included:
2021-2022 - Jubilee Baton Relay
2019-2021 - Let’s Go, Tokyo! (Tokyo Olympic & Paralympic Games)
2018-2019 - World Cup Fever(Football World Cup)
2017-2018 - The Great War Centenary (World War 1)
2016-2017 - Bard to Bollywood (Year of Culture)
2015-2016 – Dance Rio (Rio Olympics)

Why not head over to our Video Library and check out our past performances from Barking, Dagenham and Essex!


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