December 17, 2014 News

Youth-led dance group perform at Walkden’s Tesco store

IMG_0008On Friday the 12th of December 2014 the Rio Ferdinand Foundation was incredibly proud to see our youth-led dance group perform Walkden’s Tesco store!​

In autumn 2014, we worked with a group of young people to design, record and edit a radio show all about the area. We found that a lot of young people feel excluded from some of the central spaces in the town. We asked the young people what they’d like to happen about this, and they came up with some really cool ideas.

404 Not Found Young people in Walkden and Little Hulton are desperate for more local youth provision. Especially involving more positive uses for the empty retail spaces within the central Elesmere Shopping Centre, a known hotspot for anti-social youth crime.

Listen to the radio show here:

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LH 1One young man involved in the radio show, John, is an aspiring dance company director. We set about matching him to a mentor, a former Breakdance champion and dance professional Danny Price, and together they have been working with a group of young people to get ready for their performance. He has since gained additional opportunities such as taking his Bronze Arts Award qualification with the Lowry.

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The choreography itself was inspired by the idea of mannequins coming to life and having fun. We loved the creative way of sharing their message about the poor use of space and the way young people sometimes feel treated in Walkden. The dance performance will be part of a hip hop dance music video which features some animations also made by young people as part of our sessions.

There’s a lot of support for the young people, with local families, housing associations, shops, police and politicians keen to support this kind of youth led change.photo3

The final performance within Walkden’s Tesco attracted the attention of local politicians, with MP Barbara Keeley tweeting her support and Councillor Richard Critchley attending the event. Manchester Evening News even came along to capture all of the action and achievements of the young people.

Joshua Lloyd, our volunteer film-maker is in the final editing stages of creating a video bringing together all of the footage shot from the last 6 weeks. We can’t wait to show you!photo1

The success of this project is all down to the hard work of our young participants and volunteers, a massive thank you and huge congratulations goes out to everyone involved!

With special thanks to The Walkden Gateway for allowing us to deliver workshops in their community rooms; to LightsCameraAction! for their support; and to staff at The Bridgewater Youth Centre for their valued help. ​