Giving back to the community

Fiona MyCharleston Dance

Dance in Brighton is about to boom, with a dedicated dance space being created in what used to be the Old Market, Circus Street. With cranes already dominating the skyline, South East Dance are working hard to engage people from the local Tarner community through The Welcome Project, their 3 year programme of dance activity in the lead up to the opening of The Dance Space.

Tarner is a little known and historically under-privileged area tucked between the Amex building, Planet India and the Setting Sun pub. So MyCharleston boldly went where no Charleston teachers have gone to before: The Brighton unemployed families project to surprise them with a pop-up Charleston dance class.

We had no idea how well our gorilla tactics would go down, especially as it was straight after lunch! But as people began to finish eating, we introduced ourselves and to our delight everyone stood up when requested. The group seemed genuinely happy to give Charleston a go and you can’t ask for more than that.

MyCharleston Dance

I don’t know if it’s down to the music or the dance but there is something about Charleston that always seems to put a smile on people’s faces. We had entered the building feeling very nervous and left with that life affirming feeling, everyone had been welcoming and enthusiastic. As to there dancing abilities, we were super impressed! not only did they master the Charleston, they even learnt a short routine, which they danced with energy and style.

Charleston is such a happy dance and it’s easy for beginners to pick-up. Over the years students have told us how dance has helped them with anxiety, confidence and social interaction. I know I am evangelical about the power of dance but I really believe this project by South East dance will bring a real gift to the Tarner community.