Young people in Wiltshire will be stepping back in time, with style, because they will be learning dances from the First World War period, as part of an arts initiative to help bring history to life.
Wiltshire Council has been awarded £34,600 from the Heritage Lottery Fund for Dancing Back to 1914 – a project combining dance with learning the social history of 1910 to 1920. The council will be working through its Wiltshire Youth Arts Partnership together with Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre on the venture.
The project is aimed at secondary school age children between 12 and 19 years old across the county of Wiltshire.
There will be regular dance sessions in Trowbridge, Tidworth, Salisbury and Malmesbury, to inspire young people, their families and communities to engage in sharing and learning about the social history of 1910-20, focusing on the First World War.
Trowbridge Arts is pleased to be welcoming the event to Trowbridge Town Hall from the 27 April.
Trowbridge Arts Director Tracy Sullivan says:
We are delighted to be kicking off the event in the Town Hall, and we hope young people will be inspired to have a go and learn something new.
The dances of this period were an important part of the social calendar, and were the primary way that people were able to socialise and let off steam in a difficult social period.Dance is a great way to engage with young people and for them to share what they have learned with others.
The project will include pop-up dances and performances, plus celebrations of learning and achievement which will be shared with other students, family members and the wider communities.
Anyone who wants to learn the dances are being invited to attend. Also if you are interested in getting involved in preparing for performances - including costume and stage design you are also encouraged to come along. You don’t need to have any previous dance experience to take part.
As well as preparing dance performances, young people will gain an insight into the social history of that decade by visiting museums and historic buildings, and talking to inspirational people who will be relaying stories from the time, as well as reading letters from the frontline.
Stuart Wheeler, cabinet member with responsibility for heritage and arts said:
This is a unique way to bring a crucial period of time in our history to life for people living today.
By covering the whole decade we can understand how society changed during this time, what happened to people who went away and the changing role of women. I’m looking forward to watching this exciting project evolve.
The project will run for a year, during term time, with performances in the summer, Christmas and Spring 2016.
Young people are able to sign up for one term, or for the whole year. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or to sign up.