How can we best respond to a crisis

Dance Woking is currently on a 2 year programme called Change Creation, featured in Arts Professional last week was an article by Richard Watts Director of ‘people make it work’. Richard is one of the course leaders and with his team help Dance Woking navigate through this crisis. We will be sharing some of the insights and tools that we are using to help steer us in this time of great change.

Stick to your values amid the crisis, says Richard Watts

The Covid-19 public health crisis has clearly created an urgent and visceral threat. Our immediate challenge is no longer about how we reinvent the cultural experiences we deliver and become relevant to 21st century audiences. It’s about how we survive for the next six months, stay connected with our communities and audiences and support our staff and colleagues through this challenging time.

Arts organisations are experiencing unprecedented pressure as public-facing organisations at the heart of communities, as vulnerable organisations often reliant on the public to remain viable, as employers and a source of income for countless freelance and casual workers, and with staff who are family members, friends and neighbours and are people concerned and affected in myriad ways by this public health crisis.

To read full article click the link:

March 25 2020


Some links you may find useful from across the creative industries

Dance Woking is part of a much larger creative community that are sharing links and resources and as such we would therefore like to pass on ones that we think you may find useful.

Creative Industries Federation has collated advice from across the creative industries

and Arts Council England has announced plans to support freelance artists.

We are also holding a weekly online catch-up if you’d like to join us; please email Ellie and we will send you an invite.

March 26 2020


Some tips for remote working

Dance Woking is currently on a two year Change Creation Programme where as part of the programme we receive useful resources and good practise; there are over 60 other Arts Organisations on the programme and on a change journey.  We started the programme in November 2019 in order to help us review Dance Woking’s values, mission and purpose so that we are able to adapt to the changing landscape. So far the programme has been excellent, and it is now helping us react and change to the impact of COVID-19. We would like to share some of the tools and learning which you may find useful. The first is some tips for remote working.


We will also be setting up some chat rooms and groups in the coming weeks, more details to follow.

Friday 21 March 2020


Boys take centre stage

Boys take centre stage

Dance Woking’s Boys Platform took place on Thursday 12 March at Rhoda McGaw Theatre a contemporary led Boys platform that celebrated both male dancers and choreographers. with a focus on sustainability and the environment; some of the groups also took their stimulus from James Wilton Dance Company’s The Storm as part of Dance Woking’s Spring season of dance which provides opportunities to watch, perform and take part in dance.

Groups came from both Woking and across Surrey. Opening the platform were Dance Woking’s Rotate Parkour performing ‘Out of Control’. Oxford based Company Justice in Motion worked over three afternoons in February half term at Sheerwater Youth Centre with some of Dance Woking’s Rotate Parkour group to create this piece; this was the first time the participants worked with the set, gaining news skills, team working and learning how to move around the set safely. Best bit about the project from the leaders: “Seeing everyone’s confidence grow” Best bits from the Rotate group: “Learning to act and dance at the same time for the first time”, “Making friends”, “Working with the boys as a boy myself, I enjoyed dancing and creating with themThis was followed by a Parkour demonstration by Professional Parkour performer George Mayfield who showed what the group had learnt in order to perform. During a short interval the set was cleared ready for the Boys groups to take their turn on stage. The platform showcased boys just starting out on their dance journey with groups from Westfield Primary School and Horsell Juniors to those that has reached World level in their age group. Soloist Harry Cassin, aged 12, from Chertsey based Monarch Studios recently chosen to represent England in the Dance World Cup this year showcased the piece he will perform in the summer. The audience were spellbound by his technical skill and athleticism. Groups form Farnham based Weydon School and closing the platform were Guildford based Christ College who performed ‘Canopy’ about discovering the world beneath the canopy, featuring a blend of natural movement and animal instinct, a territory to uncover.

Dance Woking encourages peer-to-peer support, and with this in mind it was great to see Wesley Bingwa perform his new solo piece, Freedom. Wesley returned to the platform after first taking to the stage here in 2014, at the time he was a student at Woking College taking A Level dance amongst others. Now some years later having just completed a scholarship funded MA in Choreography at Laban, London and before that a BA HONS in Dance at De Montfort University, Leicester. Wesley enthused “Good to be back where dance started for me, when I first performed here in 2014 I was inspired by a group from Christ College where the whole drive to be professional dancer started for me”.

Sam McCaffrey, Artistic Director Dance Woking commented ‘the next steps for Wesley with us is how our organisation can continue to support him on his journey establishing himself in the professional dance world. He is passionate about exploring how dance can help those who have been bullied, including the impact of social media on one’s wellbeing. This fits in with an area of work we are also interested in and we are excited to see how we can support Wesley further”.

Dance Woking is a charity supported by Woking Borough Council, Arts Council England’s Project Grants, Active Surrey and Surrey Community Foundation.


Woking SLAM Review

Dance Woking held their 10th Annual Woking SLAM Platform on Saturday 29 February, the event was covered by Woking News and Mail.

Dance Woking hosted its 10th Annual Woking SLAM Platform on Saturday 29 February at Rhoda McGaw Theatre, Woking; Demand for tickets was high with the event selling out in advance; the atmosphere inside was electric; 15 groups, featuring 196 dancers from across Surrey and the South East performed to rapturous applause.

Sam McCaffrey CEO/Artistic Director enthused ‘this platform is really quite special as we are showcasing a range of different dance troupes from those at World level to dancers who are taking the stage for the first time. We are lucky to be able to show progression routes at a multi-layered platform like this, it’s really inspiring. Woking and Surrey have an amazing, vibrant and diverse dance sector that we should celebrate and showcases like these allow us to do just that’

Opening the show was a 28 strong troupe from Woking based Street Vibes Elite; who gained silver and bronze cup success at The World Dance Championship in Portugal in 2019. Following them was new to dance 18 dancers from Westfield Primary School Dance Club; taking their movement stimulus from James Wilton Dance’s The Storm; some of who had come to see the professional dance company perform at Rhoda on Tuesday 25 February as part of their journey into dance. Following them onstage were 16 dancers from Kingston on Thames based Vital Signz Juniors, and then Woking based BKD Performers Advanced Street Funk;

Next Dance Woking’s Evolve Youth took the stage, this group came together for 3 days during February Half Term to create their piece Turbulence; Choreography from James Wilton Dance professional company dancer Oliver Robertson. The dancers hailing from other dance schools, but taking the opportunity to work with a professional company to challenge and improve their dance skills. Maidenhead based Dance Inspired followed with Urban Dance School (UDS) and Buckinghamshire based Tuffney Performing Arts rounding off the first half.

An amazing 26 strong girls troupe from local school Saint John the Baptiste Dance Club opened the second half; Vital Signz Dance Seniors then BKD Performers Junior Funk followed with Oxfordshire based Betty Bloom Dance attending for the first time; Richmond College performed a highly theatrical piece to Diamonds, Vital Signz Adults followed and highlighted that dance is for all ages! Closing the show professional dance company Ombrascura sharing an exert of their current work The Moon and Me recently shown at Resolutions in London at The Place.

If that wasn’t enough the finale definitely brought the house down with an impromptu ‘Battle’ led by UDS where dancers took to the stage and performed their signature moves to I Like to Move it Move it from film Madagascar

Audience feedback: ‘Wonderfully exuberant, confident young performers’ ‘Amazing’

Dance Woking is a charity supported by Woking Borough Council, Arts Council England’s Project Grants, Active Surrey and Surrey Community Foundation.