Celebrating International Dance Day with YDance’s Horizons Youth Dance Company

Agnese France, one of the dancers from YDance’s Horizons Youth Dance Company in Glasgow, has been with the Company since its formation as part of the Let’s Dance European community dance project in 2016. Agnese has attended workshops and exchanges as part of the project, including the final performance at Granada, Spain in February 2017. She has written a blog post to share her experience of the Let’s Dance project with others.

Black and white photo of Agnese dancing.

Photo by Lucia Rivas

The experience of being part of Horizons and participating in the Let’s Dance European project can never be taken away from me. Being part of integrated company has opened up a whole new world to me in the beauty of being connected through dance. With Horizons, I’ve been blessed to have an opportunity to participate in the community dance project Let’s Dance.

The project brings together dancers of all ages and abilities from the following four countries: Scotland, Spain, Holland and Germany. Each country selected five people from their individual companies to travel to each participating country to actively participate in choreographic tasks and create material towards the big performance at the end of project, performed in Granada, Spain in February 2017.

The theme of this project was ‘Migration’ and, because of our differences in nationalities, abilities and experiences, we all had so much to share. The end result came together in a wonderful 1h 15min long piece called Home, Sweet Home, which we performed at the Alhambra Theatre in Granada in February 2017.

A colour photograph of the YDance company during a performance. A soloist in a red dress spins as a group of dancers looks on in shock.

Photo by The Camera Quines

Not only did I learn to break through the language barriers of other choreographers and dancers, but every time I went to another country I learnt about their culture, passion, dreams and stories. I learnt that there are no such things as ‘barriers’ in this world regarding anything – migration, communication, understanding each other in greater depth, or collaboration. We are all human, and we are all beautiful in the way we move and express ourselves. To be brave enough to open our hearts to strangers and let them in instantly without any questions asked was one of the things that moved me the most in this project. In four exchange weeks, I met so many people and shared the most unforgettable and wonderful moments, and it resulted in a very emotionally rewarding experience.

I feel blessed to be able to take part in this project, to be part of Horizons and can’t hold the excitement for all the future projects. Words don’t really do it justice.

Agnese France, Horizons Dancer

YDance (Scottish Youth Dance) is the national dance organisation for children and young people aged 3 to 21 in Scotland. They aim to offer every child and young person in Scotland the opportunity to realise their potential as individuals through dance and work through key partnerships in education, culture, health and sport, to provide a range of high quality dance experiences across three main areas of work – developing talent, education and participation.

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