One Dance UK Article

Rees Dance - Dazl, Wayne Sables Project, Yorkshire Connection Team

Young aspiring dancers of Yorkshire are set to dazzle audiences, in a number of performances across the region.

These performances will be the product of an exciting new project, Yorkshire Connection: a collaboration between Dance Action Zone Leeds (DAZL), Rees Dance and Wayne Sables Project funded by Arts Council England’s Grants for The Arts.

The aim of the project is to provide the level of dance training only available at some of the country’s finest schools, to disadvantaged areas of Leeds.

Award winning Children’s Charity DAZL was founded in 2000 and funded by Leeds Public Health, with the goal of “improving the health and wellbeing of young people aged 3 – 19 years, through dance as physical activity in disadvantaged communities across Leeds.”   DAZL’s sessions range from street, cheer, hip-hop to creative and contemporary dance.

Commenting at the beginning of the project, DAZL Director Ian Rodley stated:

“It’s amazing to start such a huge project that will benefit so many of Leeds young people. Physical health has so many positive, knock-on effects in a child’s development, from mental health to developing strong work ethic. Yorkshire Connection is breaking down the barriers for these young people and they now have some of the best dance education available to them on their doorstep.”

West Yorkshire based dance artistes Gavin Rees and Caroline Smalley of Rees Dance, trained at the Northern School of Contemporary Dance, Leeds and have since performed with some of the UK’s leading contemporary, ballet and physical theatre companies. They have drawn upon this experience to provide the young dancers at DAZL with weekly technique classes, and have worked collaboratively to create to two new performance pieces.

Gavin Rees, Artistic Director of Rees Dance, commented:

“It’s amazing to be a part of something that will have such huge benefits to these kids. We’re already seeing amazing results and can’t wait to continue and put on some great performances.”

Wayne Sables Project’s involvement in the collaboration has resulted in the production of a short film, which depicts the young people at DAZL, coming together through a passion for dance, in their own communities.

Commenting on the support of both Rees Dance and Wayne Sables Project, Mr Rodley added: “We have some of the best creative minds in dance working for us on this project, but the best thing about it is the focus on Yorkshire artists. We have a Yorkshire project, with Yorkshire companies, providing something amazing for the benefit of kids across Yorkshire.”

The project will culminate in numerous performances through 2018 at youth dance platforms throughout Yorkshire, with further details to be announced over the coming months. 

Kala Sangam Residency

Rees Dance - DAZL Seniors

Since its beginnings in 2015, West Yorkshire based contemporary dance company REES DANCE has gone from strength to strength, producing exciting and thought provoking dance theatre, not only with the company’s five strong, professional dancers, but also with a younger generation of dancers and performers.

Since November 2017, Rees Dance has been working on an Arts Council England funded project with Dance Action Zone Leeds (DAZL).  Rees Dance has worked with DAZL’s Senior Youth Group and Boy’s Groups, to develop their technical and performance skills, offering sessions in contemporary, physical theatre and ballet. As well as the technical development of the DAZL Dancers, Rees Dance has worked with them to produce two performance pieces, as well as a short film, in collaboration with Wayne Sables Project. One of the two live performance pieces will be performed by the DAZL Senior Youth Group, at Kala Sangam’s Youth Dance Platform ‘Kala Utsav’, on the 21stJuly.  Artistic Director, Gavin Rees says:

“I am incredibly proud of what we have created with the DAZL dancers, and look forward to the Bradford audience witnessing all that has been achieved within the project. It will be apparent in their performance, the shear hard work effort and determination the DAZL dancers have had throughout the project.”

Rees Dance will be in residency at Kala Sangam from 16thJuly.  This week long residency will allow Gavin Rees to work alongside the company’s professional dancers, in an exploration of ideas that will inform a new production piece.  More specifically, this particular stage of the new production’s development will be focused around the introduction of digital concepts to Rees’ work.  

Throughout the residency at Kala Sangam, Rees Dance will operate it’s usual ‘open door policy’, inviting any other artists, or members of the public to drop in and observe the creative research practice and to witness the beginnings of something that will undoubtably develop into yet another thought provoking and powerful production.

For more information on Kala Sangam please visit:

Kala Sangam – Home

Our new home and the future

Welcome to the new home of Rees Dance. Over the next few weeks we will be updating our website as we get ready to embark on a new creation.

Our main focus is to bring all of our information up to date and offer you an insight to how we are getting on. You can follow our progress through a variety of channels, for example; Facebook, twitter and Instagram.

Not just a new website…

We have a new physical home as well. Yay! We have an office space and studio, located in a lovely, newly renovated mill, in Halifax. The new space is shared with the team of Studio 59. This space is something we have been waiting for, for a very long time. Its cool, spacious as well as a great place to get things done. There will be pictures, when its all ship shape and sparkling.

New work on the way…

With our audition out of the way we are moving ever closer to starting the new   R&D development for our new piece. Expect updates from in the studio as well as the shenanigans outside the studio, as we get the creative juices flowing.


You can catch our previous work Helium, which is returning later this year. More information to follow.

So for now, we want to say thank you, we hope you like our new home.  Finally, we look forward to keeping you up to date and entertained in the future.

All the best from the Rees Dance Team.