What we do

Tuesday, 15 December 2015 16:13

I started work as a part time Development Worker for RJC Dance in July 2015 and have previously been on its Board, so I a bit know about the organisation's history, reputation and work with young people, the black community and the dance world. Plenty to learn about though! My background is in learning, education and community development.

My work splits into 3 main areas:

Projects and partnerships

This has focussed on getting to know and meet some key partners, work on developing an embryonic Chapeltown 'Cultural' Quarter and the plans for the Mandela Centre. There is a great desire to promote the potential of the organizations who are based around us. RJC Dance have agreed to lead on this work and meetings are planned for later in October. We try to align this work strategically with our broad aims to empower and develop young people, work around health and wellbeing issues, develop black dance nd strengthen our organization. Other project work in development includes a Holocaust project with Leeds University and Bla Bla Bla Theatre, looking at apprenticeships for RJC Dance, developing our existing volunteering and placement opportunities and work with students.

Marketing

We want to improve our visibility – in the community, the city and region. You will soon see a relaunch of our Newsletter and Just Giving facility and I'm learning about contributing to our website and Facebook page. I'm always on the look-out for case studies and I'm starting with Omari Swanston-Jeffers, a previous member of RJC Youth Dance Company, now embarking on his own creative career. I'm putting my photography skills to good use, which you can see on the website.

Fundraising

Though we receive funding from the Arts Council England and Leeds City Council, all community organisations like ourselves constantly seek out ways to generate other income. We generate 30% of our running costs ourselves – young people pay subs, buy our merchandise and we regularly get project funding for things like our dance camps. We are trying to improve our links with local businesses and organizations who very generously have contributed raffle prizes, trophies and other goods for our events programme.

Events

I have recently supported our young peoples' residential at Herd Farm residential and am working on our future programme from October to March, which includes Dance Camps, Leeds Light Night, the Annual Xmas Show, Black History Month, Northern School of Contemporary Dance's Community Platform and Fresh 2016.

Watch out for further blogs from staff at RJC Dance – 'always fresh, surprising and a little unpredictable'.