Soaking it up

8 December 2023

With 45 young people involved, Chameleon Youth is bigger than ever this year!

Training started in September and following on, our young dance artists have been gathering weekly to soak up the opportunity to dance, play, express themselves through movement and broaden their understanding of what dance can be.

Erin Pollitt, Dance & Health Artist and Lead Practitioner for Chameleon Youth Juniors, tells us more about what they’ve been up to in the studio and what’s to come from the youth company next year.

 1) What have the youth company been up to over the Autumn Term?
This term has been about introducing the young people to the Chameleon experience and inviting them into our space to explore, create and connect with each other and the company.

Being a professional dance company, we understand the importance of technique and we approach our training like an athlete would! This first term is about laying strong foundations, covering the fundamentals and building up from there. Our aim is to develop our young people so they can move in a confident and powerful way, ready for lots of performance opportunities later in the year.

Chameleon Youth Juniors are working towards our U Dance North West application and Chameleon Youth Seniors are in the process of creating two works, one for theatre and the other an improvised piece to be performed in different settings.

2) What has been the highlight?
The highlight for me so far has been hearing from the young people what they are passionate about and what kind of work they want to make and perform. In Chameleon Youth we pride ourselves on allowing our young people to have a voice in the work we make and it’s always so inspiring and interesting to hear what’s important to them right now.

3) How have the young people developed as young dance artists?

Both Chameleon Youth Juniors and Chameleon Youth Seniors have been working hard training weekly with professional dance artists who are passionate about passing down their knowledge and experience of working in the industry.

Every Monday and Tuesday, Chameleon Youth gather at our studio and really soak up the opportunity to dance, move and play together. We’re starting to see the youth company really bond as a collective and as the weeks progress we’re witnessing the young people become more confident in their creative work, enjoying the opportunity to express themselves through movement.

It’s inspiring to work with them and we’re super excited to get them onstage in 2024.

4) What are you most proud of this term?
I am most proud of the young people for the way they are starting to come out of their shells. Each week I see new relationships forming, confidence building, and a continual growth in their approach to new things and new styles. I see them starting to take risks, and their idea of what dance can be broadening massively.

5) What’s coming up for Chameleon Youth in early 2024?
The spring term is all about rehearsal and performance! Both Chameleon Youth Juniors and Chameleon Youth Seniors will be refining their creative works to showcase at various events and platforms across the region.

In the summer, we turn our attention to performing outdoors, much like the professional company, taking dance into unusual spaces and places across the city! Additionally, in January Chameleon Youth Seniors will be performing a unique piece as part of a professional production at Woolwich Works in London!

So… watch this space and make sure you catch a Chameleon Youth performance in 2024.

Image: Chameleon Youth Juniors in the studio
Video below: Chameleon Youth Juniors & Seniors in training

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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"

Thank you to everyone who comes to watch us perform and for all your wonderful comments and feedback!