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Free dance workshops for women seeking sanctuary

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From Marianne and Meg:

MegMazLadies Project

Meg and I are in our final year at Northern School of Contemporary Dance. After three years, we were beginning to get bored of working solely with trained dancers in sterile studios divorced from the world surrounding us. In partnership with City of Sanctuary we decided to offer weekly dance workshops to women seeking asylum which grew into the piece that we performed on 09.04.2015.

Initially we were both very nervous. This is the first time either of us has lead a group. Each session has been unique (sometimes hectic) because different combinations of people turn up…
It has been loads of fun meeting all the different women and sharing dance with them as seeing the art form through fresh eyes reminds me and Meg why we fell in love with it in the first place! The women always responded with curiosity to what we explored together, even though most of it was completely new to them.

The piece that we performed celebrates the voices and dreams of the women we have met during this process as well as famous female voices (Nina Simone, Paquera de Jerez, Carman Mirranda). We asked everyone what their ‘Perfect Day’ would be and have put everyone’s wacky thoughts into a scene which involves Abba, fruit hats and a shopping trolley. As Majida noted, ‘if everyday was perfect it wouldn’t be perfect’, so we have also explored people’s daily rituals in a phrase that will end the piece with eve-ryone on stage together.

To fund the MegMazLadies project we used the website JustGiving which people gave to very generously. This enabled us to book studio space (RJC Dance and Wodehouse Community Centre), cover bus fares and provide refreshments.

We’re currently looking into ways of funding this project so that the work-shops can continue in the future. Watch this space!!

If you’re interested in getting involved in dance email me: [email protected]