Young people from across West Midlands offered chance to dance on world stage

Young people from across the West Midlands are being invited to perform at events including the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games Opening and Closing Ceremonies.

People aged 16-30 are being invited to join Critical Mass 2022, a unique opportunity to be involved in some of the biggest events of 2022.

This project invites 300 young people to be a part of a dance and movement collective where participants will learn new dance styles, meet other young dancers and work with professional dancers to create and participate in a wide variety of performances.

Critical Mass 2022 will form a disabled and non-disabled dance crew that will perform at events across the West Midlands including the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games Opening and Closing Ceremonies; the opening show of the Birmingham 2022 cultural programme; Birmingham International Dance Festival 2022 and Live Sites around the city during the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games. Critical Mass 2022 has been made possible thanks to generous support from Spirit of 2012, the legacy funder of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Raidene Carter, executive producer for culture programme and live sites at Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games said: “This is a truly once in a lifetime opportunity for young people from across the West Midlands to be involved in some of the biggest events to ever take place in our region.

“We are on the look out for a truly diverse collective who represent Birmingham’s vibrant communities with an enthusiasm for creating memorable moments for spectators to enjoy on a regional, national and international scale.

“This August, we look forward to welcoming hundreds of young people to our summer camps and beginning this unique journey together - I encourage all of those interested to sign up online today.”

Sessions and rehearsals will take place across the West Midlands, with a range of summer camps taking place from this August where participants can find out more about the project and begin their journey with this exciting project. Summer camps will take place across the region including Birmingham city centre, Selly Oak, Leamington Spa, Shrewsbury, Walsall, Wolverhampton, Coventry and Worcester.

Alex Henwood, head of participation at DanceXchange, the Birmingham based dance organisation that is lead delivery partner for Critical Mass, added: “We’re working to make Critical Mass 2022 a truly welcoming, empowering and fully accessible project and we’re so excited to be launching our Critical Mass summer camps.

“Participants don’t need to have any previous dance experience and we are particularly keen to hear from young people who self-identify as disabled and/or from Black, Asian, mixed and non-white ethnicities.

“The summer camp programme will be a mixture of online and in person sessions and we recommend that participants take part in at least one of each type to get the full Critical Mass experience.”

Applications are now open at criticalmass22.org.uk where you can also find a full range of answers to frequently asked questions.

Critical Mass 2022 is a collaboration between Arts Connect, Birmingham 2022, DanceXchange and the Dance Development Leaders Group (DDLG), a dedicated network of 70-plus dance organisations across the West Midlands who are passionate about developing dance participation. The project is a part of the Birmingham 2022 culture programme and made possible thanks to generous support from Spirit of 2012, the London 2012 legacy funder that invests in projects which help people feel better about themselves, others and their communities.

For more on Spirit of 2012 visit spiritof2012.org.uk.

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