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DLG & Critical Mass- What Next 2022-2024


The DLG & Critical Mass What Next 2022-2024 project comprises four interlinked strands which realise Investment Priorities alongside DLG’s strategic goals over a two-year period. These are: 

  • Network Leadership and Advocacy 

  • Learning and Skills Development 

  • Practice, Innovation, Research

  • Sustainability and Resilience 


As part of these strands, we have already achieved the following during the pilot phase delivery: 

  • Set up of three Sub-Regional Hubs with a dedicated Project Leader, Senior Ambassador and Youth Ambassador. 

  • A series of online access drop in sessions, and ‘In Conversation With’ conferences, with Critical Mass key player guest speakers.  

  • Investment in the DLG Brand Identity and how we wish to share our story to world. 


We are now embarking on the second phase of this work.

This project is funded by Arts Connect and Dance Hub Birmingham with additional support from Birmingham 2022.

Sub-Regional Hubs

As part of the network leadership & advocacy strand, DLG are establishing 6 sub-regional hubs, convened by established dance organisations alongside Senior and Youth ambassadors. 

Theses hubs are responsible for developing strategic sub-regional infrastructure to maximise collaboration and shared vision in order to build ambitious plans for the future and support connectivity within the region.

The DLG Sub-regional Hubs Are:

Coventry and Warwickshire

Convened by Mercurial Dance

Senior Ambassador - Ashley Jordan

Youth Ambassador - Lexy Garner

Black Country

Convened by Black Country Dance

Senior Ambassador - Jodie Stuss

Youth Ambassador - Ben Randall

Hereford and Worcestershire

Convened by Dancefest

Senior Ambassador - Katie Holtom

Youth Ambassador - Amber Cahill

Burton & East Staffordshire

Convened by Brewhouse Arts Centre

Senior Ambassador - Natalie Haslam

Youth Ambassador - Heidi Thomas

Stoke on Trent & North Staffordshire

Convened by FRONTLINEdance

Senior Ambassador - Lucie Labadie

Youth Ambassador - Amy Harrison

W Mids South Asian Dance Network

Convened by SAMPAD

Senior Ambassador -Reena Tailor

Youth Ambassador - Simran Sheemar

Learning & Skills Development

Building on successful action research, Experiential Learning Exchange Sequence 2017/18 and practical skills sharing as part of bi-annual DLG meetings, we are curating a programme of monthly meetings, workshops and skills sharing sessions, online and in person across the region, responding to issues raised by network members.

These include:

CPD Masterclasses

Inspirational speakers

Regular skills sessions

These sessions are free to access.

How to Survive and Thrive Working in Dance and Dance Participation
Research Into Sustainable Business Models For Dance

A research enquiry undertaken by Oliver Scott (Mercurial Dance), which gathers and shares inspiring case studies and business models to support dance professionals to survive and thrive in the sector.

Research findings were presented at the DLG Autumn summit 2023, and as part of a learning & skills CPD session. 

The final report is available to read now.

Dance in Education Strategy Group

A key issue identified by DLG is engaging young people not currently involved in dance, through schools. We have brought together a working group, who are mapping innovative and successful practice; identifying gaps and where existing provision will be enhanced by joint working; and developing an ambitious partnership proposal for developing a sustainable approach to dance in schools.

The group comprises independent professionals and representatives from funded organisations, who bring their specialist skills and expertise to drive the activity:

Alison Haynes - Independent

Anna Belyavin - Shropshire Inclusive Dance

Chris Radford & Sara Macqueen - Linden Dance Company

Katy Sterran - Flexus Dance Collective

Marcia Edwards & Fleur Hall- ME Dance

Mark Anderson- Infuse Dance

Ogechi Ochiagha - Independent Dance Artist

Paul Golz - University of Worcester

Rebecca Brookes - Birmingham Royal Ballet

Sam Lane - OneDanceUK

Steve Ball - Birmingham Arts School

Critical Mass

Critical Mass was devised in 2020 to be the most ambitious, inclusive dance and mass participation project to ever happen in the West Midlands. Inspired by the unique opportunity of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, we wanted to show how genuine inclusion can be achieved in mega-events and leave a lasting legacy within the West Midlands dance sector, ensuring disability inclusion became part of its DNA moving forward.

The Critical Mass collective is an integrated cast with people identifying as D/deaf, Disabled and non-disabled working side by side to show how genuine inclusion can be achieved in mega-events.

In March 2023 FABRIC was commissioned by Birmingham Festival 23 and United by 2022 (the Commonwealth Legacy Charity) to produce and present a large-scale inclusive performance by the Critical Mass Dance Collective (CMDC) as part of, Birmingham Festival 23: The Official One-Year Anniversary Festival, in celebration of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.

Solara was directed by ZoieLogic Dance Theatre and co-created with Critical Mass Dance Collective; presented as part of Birmingham Festival 23. Commissioned by FABRIC, supported by Dance Leaders Group (DLG), and funded by United by 2022

Solara Full Film

Participant Documentary

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