Non-schoolers age 11-18, dancing for enjoyment. You don’t have to be “good at dance”!
Date: We’re resuming for 2018. To hear when dates are fixed, make sure you’ve been in touch with dance-meetup at non-school-nottingham dot org dot uk, so that you can be sent emails.
In the past, we’ve varied the day-of-the-week, so that it won’t always clash with the same other things, to enable more people to join in sometimes.
Age range: 11 to 18. Unfortunately this has to be an exact limit, as it’s set by the venue we’re using (presumably related to their funding agreements). In practice so far, it’s mostly 11 to 14 year olds who have been interested. There has been some talk of setting up a similar event for under-11s at a different venue.
Time: Meet in reception around 12.45/12.50 for dance session 1pm to 3pm.
Venue membership, free: If you’ve not been to NGY before, you’ll need to get a membership card. You’ll need the card to beep into the door from reception to go upstairs. Beep out every time as well, as it’s how they keep track of who’s in the building in case of an emergency.
It’s free to join. Filling in the membership form takes maybe five minutes, and then allow another five minutes for the reception person to make your card. If you like, you can download the membership form here, print it out and fill it in beforehand, to save time on the day.
From 3.30pm, 11-18-year-olds can use the social space for free (table-tennis, pool table, comfy chairs, snack bar etc).
Venue: Dance studio at NGY myplace, 29-31 Castle Gate, Nottingham NG1 7AR.
Area: Nottingham city centre, just off Maid Marian Way.
Price: £2 each, for the dance studio hire. Pay the reception person when you arrive. (NGY’s dance studio can be booked by any NGY member at a rate of £1 per person per hour.)
Booking: You don’t have to book as such – but it’s a good idea to be in touch and say you’re planning to come, just in case there was a week when plans changed at the last minute.
How it works
The young people themselves are deciding what to do in the 2 hours.
At the first meetup, people took turns to choose a song to dance to. Not everyone knew each other beforehand, but everyone was friendly.
One idea for future meetups was that half the time could be more of the “choose songs and improvise to them” and the other half could be developing and rehearsing duets or trios or group dances. But it just depends on what people decide to do on the day.
A quote from the first meetup: “No-one was in charge, but we all had ideas”
Guidelines for the session
We want everyone to have a good time!
so here is a kind of “dance group code of conduct”:
(let us know if you have ideas for making it better!)
* Look out for each other in a friendly way, so e.g. if someone seems to be left out or seems not to know what’s going on, it’s everyone’s role to include them, as a team.
* Discuss together how to use the time and what everyone wants to do. Consider dividing up the time into chunks. For example, you might agree at the start to have 20 mins doing X, 20 mins doing Y, then stop and have a think about what to do next.
* Try to make sure that everyone gets to do at least a little bit of what they wanted – e.g. if one day, most people want to do Thing A but one person wants to do Thing B, have at least 5 or 10 minutes that day where some Thing B gets to happen.
* Take turns making suggestions, and listen to each other’s ideas. If you’re doing one big dance, think about ways to build up a big dance from smaller pieces so that everyone has come up with part of it.
* It’s OK for someone to be a leader or choreographer for one particular dance. Over the weeks, everyone should get a chance to take that role if they want to, or to put in ideas to someone else’s dance if they don’t want to choreograph a whole one.
* If you’re leading the group in learning something, think about respectful ways to point out to people how you’d like them to do it, e.g. “Could we have everyone doing it like this?” (and demonstrate how you want it and how you don’t want it)
* No criticising other people’s clothes or bodies, and no teasing (except maybe some friendly teasing with people you know well enough to know for sure that they don’t mind it). Not that we think you would do this, anyway! Just saying.
* If there are any problems with the room, e.g. the music player doesn’t work or it was too hot or cold, talk to the person at reception. If they can’t help you themself, they can probably find someone who can.
* If there are any disagreements or problems that don’t get resolved entirely satisfactorily, talk about it afterwards with [coordinating parent] and your parents.
* The main aim is to enjoy the dancing and enjoy each other’s company in a friendly way, as well as the satisfaction of practising and learning 🙂
Practical tips & what to bring:
The dance studio comes with a music speaker that has an input cable with a small plug, like the kind on headphones. So if you want to bring music to play, it needs to be on something with that kind of headphone socket (e.g. a phone or an ipod).
You can get the venue’s wi-fi password from the person at reception, and there were no problems with the wi-fi being too slow. So as long as it’s working, you’ll be able to get music from the internet, as well as whatever you brought.
Clothes & shoes
Wear comfortable clothes that you can move about in.
Most people will probably dance barefoot, but if you’d rather wear shoes, wear soft clean grippy ones.
Dancer checklist for the day
£2 for the studio hire
Your NGY card if you already have one
Anything else that you might need that not everyone would, e.g. asthma inhaler or whatever
Music, on phone/ipod/similar
Notebook & pen/pencil, or phone or tablet, if you might want to make notes or swop contact details
Snack, or extra money for the food counter if it’s open
Dance shoes, if you don’t want to dance barefoot
Access: The NGY building has a wheelchair-friendly toilet, and a lift and ramps. If you have any other access needs, email dance-meetup @ non-school-nottingham dot org dot uk, and/or contact the staff at NGY, and we’ll do our best.
Map showing NGY myplace:
Transport: It’s just off Maid Marian Way and about 320 yards’ walk from the Old Market Square, hence not far from any of the city centre bus stops. Nearest tram stop is Old Market Square.
Parking: One simple method for parking is to use one of the Park and Ride sites and get the tram into town. Feel free to comment if you have other tips for city centre parking.