Excursions & Activities
One of our activities the past two summers has been to Exim Dance Company the contemporary dance workshop, hip hop and street dance, is one of our newest and most popular activities. As well as teaching our students to dance, Exim has also facilitated business development discussions with our business students.
We spoke to Laura, Exim’s Artistic Director to find out more about the company.
How was Exim started?
Exim Dance Company CIC was set up by co founders Claire Summers, Stacey Weeks & Jessica Mcmunn in November 2011. Exim Dance Company is the University of Plymouth, company in residency. It was set up as a graduate company from the University of Plymouth, BA Hons Dance Theatre course. Exim exists to provide opportunities for at risk young people to participate in socially engaged dance sessions. We are dedicated to reducing barriers to participation for everyone of all ages marginalised as a result of their disadvantages in life (whether due to social deprivation, disability, special learning needs, vulnerability due to care arrangements or otherwise) to provide people with skills (e.g. communication, problem solving and leadership skills) to help them in their future lives. To do this we believe that, as well as delivering our own programme of work, we must also provide high quality training and opportunities to students and professionals wishing to work as dance practitioners in the community. We work in schools, universities and communities across Devon where our projects can have most effect,
Suzanne Sparrow students
helping to explore & support the growth of dance as not just an art form but also as a healing practice, support mechanism and an educational tool. Laura Henry current Artistic Director who was appointed the position in 2016 had worked with the company for three years previously within different roles ranging from intern, performer, practitioner and general manager.
“The company delivers dance on average to over 350 participants each week!”
What are all the things that Exim do?
At current Exim Dance Company run 18 weekly sessions that range from age 4 all the way up to 70+ this is within primary, secondary, SEN, community/outreach and professional settings across Plymouth and further afield. The company delivers dance activities, facilitates training sessions, business development talks and provides accredited dance qualifications throughout the city as well as producing professional inclusive touring work that tours both nationally and Internationally. The company delivers dance on average to over 350 participants each week!
What is the age range of the people you teach dance to?
We teach from age 4 all the way up to 70 years+.
What is the favourite part of your working day?
What makes working for the organisation so very special is the variety that comes with each day, not one day or week is ever the same. It’s constantly fresh, exciting and keeping me on my toes! I get to meet new people on a daily basis which is pretty special.
What is the best thing that has happened to you since you started Exim?
Since I took over the company in 2016, my mission was to get the professional company touring and working internationally. 2018 has seen the company present work in Moscow and represent the United Kingdom in South Korea at Korea International Inclusive Dance Festival. We have delivered dance workshops in Spain and across the UK. Our educational outreach programme has increased hugely and we are now in a position where we work alongside big Plymouth partners regularly and are commissioned for big city wide projects and local events. We have secured large quantities of funding from various funders, trusts that mean we can support some of our community/ outreach projects over a three year period.
Is there anything, in particular, you are most looking forward to for the future of Exim?
I look forward to every week with the company and the opportunities that are presented to Exim all the time. I’m looking forward to the company keeping expanding and working both within Plymouth and across the world.
If you are interested in any of the services Exim offer you can find out more and contact them through Facebook @EximDanceCo.
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