The dance faktry in full flow

Royal Visit

Royal Visit

This week I’ve been speaking to lots of people and they all seem to think the same, that March has gone absolutely crazy, giving a little credence to the Mad March Hare Theory.  January and February always take time to get going after the lull of the Christmas holidays and the New Year sluggish return to work, with March beginning the season all over again.  But this year seems even more so.
Those of you who read my last blog will know that this week has been rather special in that we have had a Royal visit by HRH Prince Edward, The Earl of Wessex.  I was asked to create a site specific piece of work to celebrate the opening of the Diamond Jubilee Square at St Michel’s Church in Abertillery a while back now and decided it would be rather fitting to work with 4 of our ffin dance faktry senior dancers.  They are great youth ambassadors for our outreach programme, the Earl really enjoyed their performance (see image above)
The day after that we received a cheque for £2300 from Tai Calon Community Housing towards working with our youth volunteers, New Ground, working to provide dance classes for children in the community who find it difficult to existing dance classes due to financial constraints and travel issues.
On Saturday, I will be travelling down to Monmouth with our Chair of the Board, Sharon Smith, together with 3 of our youth ambassadors (Gemma, Emma and Louis) to a ‘dragons den’ style event organised by the Gwent Police.  They will be making a presentation together with 19 other community organisations to pitch for a share of the Gwent High Sheriff’s Community Fund: if successful the ffin dance faktry will be able to provide even more free dance activities for children and young people in Blaenau Gwent.
Then to round off a wonderful week of youth activity, I will be accompanying 2 of our youth dancers from our A Level Dance class to St Woolos Cathedral in Newport, where they will perform some of their own choreography at the 10th anniversary celebration of the Youth Eucharist Service (YES)

If you would like to help us in our attempt to create more opportunities for children and young people in Blaenau Gwent please follow this link for our current on line giving project

sue lewis

Holiday Dance Club 2014 | Performing Arts Projects | Sponsume

Have you seen our new campaign?

We aim to raise £400 to provide free holiday dance clubs for children and young people in Abertillery.  Please donate if you can, no donation is too small – there is also a free offer available to donors!

Holiday Dance Club 2014 | Performing Arts Projects | Sponsume.

Gallery Images

winter dance faktry festival 2013

winter dance faktry festival 2013

Happy New Year everyone, welcome back to our site.

We have recently put up lovely images of all of our outreach groups from the recent winter dance faktry festival, held at The Met in Abertillery in December 2013.  Please have a browse, and keep visiting the gallery as it’s updated regularly.  Please follow this link


IMG_3218It’s that time of year again when I seriously question the reason behind staging a showcase late in December.  It’s crazy spending almost every night for weeks going over and over material that you begin to wonder if it’s the right thing for that particular group.  Scratching time at 5.30am to make mince pies, racking home made elderflower gin at midnight and writing Christmas cards in batches of 20 or so in a rare coffee break, you seem to be caught up in a muddle.

Will things get done?  Why aren’t I out socialising?  Why aren’t I shoppping?
And then when you see the delight on the children and young peoples’ faces when you mention they are performing in just a week, you begin to realise that you are playing a part in that delight, that’s the reasoning behind it all.  It’s not about the taking at this time of year, it’s about the giving.
I know I say it a lot, but I really mean it; I feel most privileged to have a small part to play in the developing and maturing of our outreach groups in the ffin dance faktry.

The winter dance faktry performance will take place at our home theatre, The Met in Abertillery next Saturday at 7.30pm.  We will be showcasing work from primary level right the way through to professionals, who will be spending 3 days in the studio with us next week learning a new piece of work to perform at the festival.

Those of you who know me well, will know that I love Advent – the expectancy and anticipation of the coming Christmas is wonderful.
Likewise, the happy rehearsal period of our groups leading to the festival is highly infectious.
We hope you can join us next Saturday at 7.30pm, the box office number is 01495 322510 with tickets priced at £8 and £6.  Pre-booking is essential.

sue lewis

New A Level Course Gets Under Way

IMG_2616It’s been about 7 years since I last taught A Level Dance, and how I’ve missed it!

I introduced the course into Ebbw Vale Senior Comprehensive School back in the 80’s where I was Head of the Dance Dept.  It was a successful course back then and has continued to grow and develop, becoming the fastest growing A Level in the UK in recent years.  It covers all aspects of dance from choreography, healthy eating for dancers, anatomy, dance performance, and lots more.
Sadly when I left the school, Dance was no longer included in the curriculum at any level.

For the past 2 years, I have been researching the demand for the course and attempting to persuade the post 16 education providers in Blaenau Gwent to partner FFIN DANCE to facilitate the course for young people in the Borough.  This has proved to be an exceptionally negative past time.  However, all things come to those who wait!
We have joined with Abertillery Comprehensive School who is our registered centre, and have made this course possible to young and adult learners on their own doorstep.  We are delivering the course from our home studio in The Met, Abertillery and our first session took place last evening.

The moral of the story?  Be brave – leap in faith and make your own destiny ..

Sue Lewis

My Life Ambition

Jasmine with FFIN DANCE workshops

Jasmine with
FFIN DANCE workshops

Rehearsals are starting to get busy as the days get nearer for the Easter Dance Faktry Festival. I am attending four dance classes a week with the dance faktry which add up to 5 hours a week! But in the end it all pays off when you have nice clean piece. 
One piece in particular has a small humour element (AYDC – Abertillery Youth Dance Company). This dance has a mixture of technical dance and theatre dance.  Theatre dance is a style of contemporary we’ve haven’t experienced before so it’s a great opportunity for us. The prop we are using surprised me at first, we’re using shopping bags! We are using them in a mixture of ways. The music we are dancing to is a drum and bass rhythm.
Another one of the pieces performed in the show is to the music “Green Onions”, which was in the film “The Blues Brothers”. This piece is performed by the class Leapers and this time we’ve had a whole bunch of under fives join us.

Also, lots of our younger children are developing their skills and knowledge of dance and are coming up with great ideas for their creative work.

As the years go on, I hope to develop further as I experience more opportunities with FFIN DANCE.  One day, I will hopefully succeed in my lifetime ambition of actually becoming a professional dancer!

Jasmine aged 11 ♥


Busy preps

Aimée Broad The Move Image Paul Trask

Aimée Broad
The Move
Image Paul Trask

As a member of Combination Dance,  The Move Youth Dance Company and a Leapers Dance group leader, I am busy preparing for our Easter dance faktry festival and have been for weeks, along with my fellow dancers.

As it is the first showcase of 2013 we are all eager to perform and set a high standard for the rest of the year.  I am currently recovering from an ankle injury, I badly sprained it and tore ligaments, which stopped me physically dancing for weeks on end, but I still attended classes to ensure I could participate by learning visually. I have been back in classes for a few weeks now, fortunately, just in time for the rehearsals and preparation of the showcase.

We, the members of Combination Dance will be performing a very vibrant piece, a work in progress, that we have been working on for a few weeks. Undergoing regular rehearsals, ensuring a lot of hard work, focus and commitment. The music for this piece is very different to the recent Combination Dance pieces, as it is a tango remix. This has been challenging in some ways, but refreshing in others, as we have had the opportunity as a class to discover and explore a new type of music.
The Leapers Dance class will also be performing a new, never seen before piece. The piece is very funny and funky, and the little dancers (some as young as 4) seem to enjoy every minute of it. As well as working hard to learn the choreography, they have have also been working hard creating their own movements and choreography to include in the piece, with the help of myself and the other group leaders. Recently we’ve had many new little Leapers start the class and they’ve all settled in very well, I hope they enjoy their first ever dance show as much as they’ve enjoyed learning the piece.
The Only Way Is Plastic, will be performed by The Move for the last time in he Easter dance faktry festival. We’ve all enjoyed working on and performing this piece, which depicts the importance of body image and appearance within society, and features hits from Duran Duran and The Rolling Stones. It’s a piece that focuses more on physical theatre than technical dancing, which is a form most of us have barely experienced previous to this opportunity, so it was nice to experience and widen our knowledge in a new area of dance. I’m sure we’ll all be a little sad to perform this piece for the last time because of all the fun we’ve had and skills we’ve gained, but we’re also looking forward to a new challenge.
Hope to see you at the show on April 5th at The Met in Abertillery
Aimée Broad – Youth Dancer

Brace, brace…

photo Paul Trask

I’m preparing for a crazy week ahead.  In spite of the fact that FFIN DANCE is not a Dance In Education company, we have a real passion for excellence and high quality in our youth and community programme.  I am not ashamed to say that and make no bones about the fact that quality open happens when you care enough to do your best.  Sometimes, high expectations can be unfashionable and not trendy, we at FFIN DANCE don’t buy into that philosphy.

At the forthcoming Winter Dance Faktry Festival this Saturday, we are showcasing our community projects with some children who have been dancing for just 3 weeks, together with others who have been dancing a lot longer.  However, we still have a very high ask of them.  We will be holding a week of intensive rehearsals with them this week.

On Friday and Saturday, our guest companies, Ceyda Tanc Dance and Exim Dance will be coming to Wales to our studio to work with us on production and technical details.  We are very much looking forward to welcoming them to our home.

Throughout the week, there will be various blog posts, we hope you’ll join us …

sue lewis