Dancefest's Dance stories

A 30th Anniversary Celebration of Why People Dance.

In a delightful synergy of spoken and written storytelling, Dancefest draws together a treasury of uplifting, life-affirming testimonies, exploring the reasons why people dance.

The five podcasts, produced by Sara Conkey (BBC Radio Producer) and accompanying written stories, form part of Dancefest's 30th anniversary celebrations (1990-2020) and include people who have been part of that history; as participant, artist, audience, friend.

Dancefest was, and still is, a national pioneer of community dance, originally through the animateur movement and now in its status as an Arts Council England National Portfolio Organisation. These stories form part of Dancefest's legacy and demonstrate its place in the national story of community dance.

During the last thirty years, Dancefest has worked with over 200,000 people of all ages, all abilities; in village halls, schools, care homes, colleges, theatres, universities, studios, a huge range of outdoor spaces and unusual indoor locations.

We have danced, performed and learnt together; created, observed, applauded, laughed and formed life-long friendships. We have been inspired and inspired others. Dance has given us a voice, joy, hope and a way out of the darkest times; a career for some, a safety net for many; the freedom to be expressive in thought and movement.

And now, in a new area of work for Dancefest - we talk, write, listen and read together - about what dance means to us; our dance stories. The ephemeral nature of dance, captured and shared, informally and intimately.

A legacy to be treasured and to inspire - the story of the power of community dance.

"The world of dance is a charmed place. Some people like to inhabit it, others to behold it, either way it is rewarding."
Margot Fonteyn


Dancefest receives financial assistance from The Elmley Foundation to support the Why I Dance project

The Elmley Foundation