6 December 2019
The joy of dance has inspired Welsh broadcaster S4C this Christmas - with dancers both amateur and professional starring in the channel's Christmas idents over the festive season.
The idents – which will be shown from Saturday, 7 December - appear during programme breaks and this year the channel got together with four of Wales's leading dance companies and asked them to present a performance by dancers which reflects the impact dance has on their lives.
Come and meet the dancers!
Roger and Angela Harrison from Penylan, Cardiff became involved in the National Dance Company Wales's Dance for Parkinson's project which is aimed at helping and supporting those living with Parkinson's Disease.
Angela, who has been diagnosed with Parkinson's said: "Dance for Parkinson's is lots of fun and laughter and it does me the world of good. I go in feeling tired, but I come out feeling energised."
Her husband Roger also enjoys the weekly sessions: "I enjoy the social interaction – seeing other people who are also living with Parkinson's – we are all in the same boat. It is a positive and cheerful experience which helps us forget our worries."
Also featured on S4C over the Christmas period will be the extraordinary skills of Joe Powell-Main - a young dancer from Montgomery, Powys training to be the UK's first differently abled professional ballet dancer with the help of Ballet Cymru.
Said Joe: "I truly believe that the attitudes and positivity demonstrated towards inclusion in Ballet Cymru are pioneering towards change in classical ballet. I am delighted to showcase the skills I have nurtured through working with them on S4C."
Young dancers from Cardiff-based Jukebox Collective offer something completely different – street dance. As part of their community work, Jukebox Collective offer progressive street dance classes to inspire and support young people in the Butetown and Ely areas.
Three of the dancers will be featuring in the Christmas idents – Jo-el Bertram (aged 16), Shakira Ifill (14) and Renae Brito (14).
Said Shakira: "The positive impact that dance has had on my life is that it provides me not only with a balance for my upcoming GCSEs but also with a great experience to learn and teach as a profession in that sector. Being involved in the S4C Christmas ident was really beneficial for developing my experience of dance on film and enabled me to explore my character further."
Said Renae: "I love dancing because I feel really free and comfortable! It puts a positive impact on the day and you just forget about the bad things! Jukebox helps open up my confidence, and I love being around the whole team!"
Jo-el said he enjoyed working with S4C. "Being on set with S4C was amazing. They made us explore our scene more and gave us the feeling of Christmas. This was cool because I imagined myself as someone watching the TV and we would look like a family that can't wait for Christmas."
S4C Christmas idents feature a performance from NuWave – a dance group of women aged 55 plus from the Newport area. The group is run by Rubicon – a community dance development organisation which provides dance activities to people of all ages and abilities.
Kathryn Williams of Rubicon said: "NuWave is a dance performance group for ladies from all walks of life but for them the group extends beyond just dancing and performing. It offers them friendship and companionship. The dancing keeps them active, so they challenge themselves and challenge what it means to be creative when you are older too."
Bethan Tame, S4C ident producer said: "I wanted the idents to portray the idea that dance is beautiful, inclusive, accessible and fun which in turn reflects the warmth, fun and togetherness of Christmas. I hope that our Christmas idents will raise awareness of the fantastic work done by all the organisations taking part."
Discover more about National Dance Company Wales and the Dance for Parkinson's project at https://ndcwales.co.uk/dance-parkinsons
Learn more about Joe Powell-Main at Ballet Cymru's website www.welshballet.co.uk
Find out about the work of Jukebox Collective and their academy programme at www.jukeboxcollective.com. The Jukebox Academy provides a unique inclusive opportunity for those with talent, irrespective of background, to fulfil their potential and shape positive, creative futures.
For further information on Rubicon Dance please visit www.rubicondance.co.uk
Photographs available by following this link: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/pnm3atzbl24rie9/AACVJ2YMFr4py1oCMIN320PPa?dl=0