Hayden Burns – a case study of Chameleon Youth

18 September 2016

As we enter the final week of fundraising for Chameleon Youth, we look back on one of the success stories of our work with young people in Manchester. Hayden Burns first became involved with the company in 2009 and has since gone on to work with us frequently, developing his passion for dance into a career. We catch up with him to find out about his journey and why he is excited for the future of Chameleon Youth.

Q.1 How did you get involved with Company Chameleon?

When I was 17 Company Chameleon led a dance workshop at Young Oldham Dance Company in Oldham, where I was a member. It was a workshop for STRIDE (the annual young men’s dance project in collaboration with Dance Manchester) which took participants from ten different boroughs of Greater Manchester, and prepared us for a performance. That year we performed to a large audience at The Lowry.

I’ve worked with Company Chameleon quite a lot since then, I’ve taught classes, I’ve been a part of the actual ‘STRIDE Making Of’ project, I have also worked with the company as a dance assistant.

Q.2. How have you found it working with the Company?

Company Chameleon, especially Kevin and Anthony, are really good teachers. They encourage lots of people of all ages and experience to consider a career in dance and are really encouraging. From my experience, they encouraged me so much that I went on to college and did dance, I then went to the Northern School of Contemporary Dance and did a foundation course, and now after a further three years I have a degree in Dance and Aerial Performance from Edge Hill University.

Q.3. Why do you think people should support Chameleon Youth?

Company Chameleon support young people, teaching them and encouraging them with their career aspirations, or just to participate in dance in general. I don’t think there are many professionals in the dance industry that go out and teach for free, making classes accessible. The fact that they’re doing it off their own back, because they want to give back to their community, just speaks for itself. I would certainly encourage people to support Chameleon Youth and help Company Chameleon provide high quality weekly provision for young people in Greater Manchester. Every penny helps!

We have until Friday September 9th to reach our crowd funding target of £3000 to support Chameleon Youth in their first ever year. Funds raised will go towards kitting out the young people, hiring rehearsal space at Manchester Central Library, providing high quality weekly classes and funding Chameleon Youth’s premiere outdoor performance in Manchester.

 Read more about the campaign and PLEDGE TODAY

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"10 was such a wonderful experience - I cant wait to see more of your incredible work!" "Effortless grace, strength, humour and athleticism - a visual treat!" "We brought 65 young people to your performance tonight - every single one loved it! What an amazing show!" "This show reminded me why I dance and what I’m constantly working towards! Thank you for this experience!" "Such beauty in the small moments of this show - please don't stop doing what you’re doing"

Wow, what a brilliant Autumn UK Tour of 10!  We’ve enjoyed every minute and can’t believe it’s over!

It’s been amazing to receive such wonderful comments, thank you to everyone for their feedback.