Moving Stories

 Moving Stories is FRONTLINEdance’s community performance group for the over 55’s. The group would usually meet at The Potteries Museum and Art Gallery, Stoke-on-Trent City Centre, where they create new contemporary dance work, in all the different areas of the museum. They perform annually at the Live Age Festival, and have made guest appearances at a number of local events.

Currently our ONLINE sessions are a creative, explorative, inclusive movement and dance workshop, still aimed at the over 55’s, but can be enjoyed by all ages and abilities.

These sessions allow you to explore creative & contemporary dance in a relaxed, supported and enjoyable way. Challenging yourself physically and mentally whilst keeping your body safe.  We combine improvisation and choreography, stretching your imagination with words, images and sounds.

New Members are always Welcome. Get in touch for more information: hello@frontlinedance.co.uk

Transcend – January 2020 to present


A FREE programme that offers many different pathways. It is person-centred and tailor-made for each individual, so length of time on the programme, content, and outcome is different for each individual. It’s been designed for dDeaf and disabled adults living in Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire

Transcend aims to help those who want to develop current skills and gain new skills, explore their workforce* skills, and seek out new opportunities. You can join us for 7 hours or 12 weeks. Lots of different options to suit each individual.

(*training, volunteering, supported permitted work, paid employment, self employment).

Tailor-made around each participant, Transcend is person-centred and the ideal programme for those who:

  • needs space and time to work out what they are good at, and what they can offer
  • would like to build confidence and increase their self-esteem
  • want to try something new, with a different approach to learning
  • want to develop skills, but needs extra time to do so
  • would benefit from extra time to process information and better understand themselves
  • are keen to volunteer, gain new qualifications, or find paid employment / permitted work
  • would like to find their place in society and local community
  • requires support to understand others 
  • is unsure what career path to take
  • would like to work out what reasonable adjustments they require and how they can work with employers to support them in the work place
  • have recently become disabled and want to work out what is next
  • have transferable skills but not sure which direction or job matches them
  • would like to find their self-worth and have a positive outlook on life and work

Transcend is designed to be relevant to each individual.

Who is it for?

Transcend is for deaf and disabled people* who are:

  • economically inactive
  • over 16 years old
  • have the right to live and work in the UK
  • registered unemployed
  • not currently doing another ESF course
  • living in Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire

* FRONTLINEdance defines a disability as any condition that makes it more difficult for a person to do certain activities or interact with the world around them. These conditions, or impairments, may be cognitive, developmental, intellectual, mental, physical, sensory, or a combination of multiple factors. We welcome those who self-identify as disabled.

If you are not sure that you qualify, or are non-disabled and think this programme is ideal for you, then please get in touch: rachael@frontlinedance.co.uk

What can you expect?

You will take part in weekly workshops that use tried and tested methods, tailored and designed to support all individuals.

You’ll have the choice off attending in person or online. Dates and Times are to the right of this post. We are following strict Covid-19 guidance and will ask you to do the same. You will be one of 6 participants if attending in person. Or one of fifteen if taking part online.

Whilst equipping each individual with new and improved communication skills, awareness of self and others, the ability to express own, and understand other’s needs, you’ll also gain an excellent work ethic and understand different work place protocols.

You can also expect to learn methods of relaxation to help reduce and manage stress levels and anxiety. Tasks to help increase memory. Exercises to keep fit, mobile and healthy. Plus lots more besides!

Participants will explore methods to help discover what strengths, skills, and aspirations each has, as well as what job roles and career paths may suit them. FRONTLINEdance will then create bespoke learning plans with each learner and collectively set clear goals and monitor progress.

FRONTLINEdance will help you search for and sign post you towards opportunities that you are interested in.

Why take part?

  • REALISE potential
  • Be part of a a TEAM
  • LEARN social and interpersonal skills
  • ENHANCE problem-solving skills
  • LEARN how to exercise judgement
  • ADDRESS challenges
  • GAIN transferable skills
  • FEEL empowered
  • INCREASE confidence
  • GET the right mind set
  • BREAK-DOWN preconceived barriers
  • PROGRESS
  • ENHANCE health and well-being via physical and creative activity,
  • BE BETTER equipped with the knowledge and attitude needed

Who is delivering it?

Course Leader: Rachael Lines plus guest specialists

Support Workers: Matt Byatt and Suzanne Frohlick

For more information and to register your interest please call Rachael on: 07484 874335 or email hello@frontlinedance.co.uk All Transcend participants will need to be fully registered before a place on the programme is offered.

5th Anniversary Tour

The performance was visually stunning and a great collaboration with musicians – especially liked them getting involved in the dance! Really good work” 

To celebrate our 5th Anniversary, Artistic Director Rachael Lines, in collaboration with musicians Mr Will & Paul Rogerson, created ‘Sacred Place’; a new piece of integrated contemporary dance, which was then toured throughout Staffordshire.

The Tour was a huge success reaching 9 artists, 80 participants and 1,150 audience members. It allowed us to tour to 8 venues and work with six different groups as part of our outreach work. The groups consisted of youth clubs, day centres and disability groups, which provided us with a diverse group of young people, adults and older people. Participant’s age ranged from 12-91 yrs.

The tour was made possible by funding received from the National Lottery through Arts Council England, Awards For All, Stoke-on-Trent City Council, Staffordshire Moorlands District Council, Reginald Johnson Foundation and the Strasser Foundation.

Dancers: Gemma Chadfiled, Amy Tomson, Kevin Jewell, Daniel Daw, David Jowett, Rachael Lines

Double Bill

In 2003/2004, FRONTLINEdance received an Arts Council England RALP grant to create two new collaborative pieces of work between artistic director, guest choreographer (Lorena Todino), artist and costume designer (Joanna Geldard), composer (Joe Wilson), singer( Sarah Miller and company dancer Emma Waller). The work then toured to theatres in London, Wolverhampton, Birmingham, Stafford, and un-conventional theatre settings throughout Stoke-on-Trent & Staffordshire

“I want to see it all over again – NOW! A truly amazing experience and wonderful performance. Thank you.”

“Really well presented and very accessible (both pieces) – music and costume beautiful and great to see an additional sculptural element…thanks for your performance”

Dancers: Gemma Chadfiled, Amy Tomson, Michael King, Rachael Lines

Game of 2 Arfs

In 2008 FRONTLINEdance was asked by ACE West Midlands to work with local companies to create a site specific performance project; A ‘Game of 2 Arfs’ was created. It saw the community of Stoke-on-Trent engaged as participants and audiences in a professional dance performance with poetry, music and theatre.  This contemporary dance event animated public spaces in the town centre of Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent. The project included professional performances which were interweaved between 6 community groups that we formed especially for this project. The project was very well received by the City Council, venues/partners, those who work in the city and members of the public.  A need has been found for the city and this project must be built on in order to bring accessible arts to the many and to support the regeneration of the people and livelihoods in its fullest meaning.

Guest performances from Wired Ariel, Rotten Park Rd, and Staffordshire Dance Collective

Live Age Festival

September to October 2015 to celebrate ‘International Older Peoples Day’, our Artistic Director created a new work to be performed at PMAG as part of the Live Age Festival. It engaged an intergenerational & integrated team of dancers (15yrs to 66yrs) with live choral accompaniment and delivered workshops. FLD are an active partner of the Live Age Festival steering group.

Moving Together

Moving Together was created following an Outreach Programme to our 5th Anniversary Tour where we worked with Trinity Day Opportunities in Stafford. A successful result has meant many projects that have developed and grown over the years. It was originally a partnership with Staffordshire County Council Day Opportunities in Stafford, Stone, Eccleshall & Meir Heath (which grew to two extra rural care settings in Stafford) up until the council closed down there day services for older people in 2011. However our relationship continued with the groups, as individual staff set up their own day care services.

Moving Together exists to improve the Health and Well-Being of older people through the delivery of regular movement and dance sessions and much needed social interaction. The sessions mainly focus on gentle exercise, falls prevention, postural stability, mobility, the engagement of body and mind, social dances, interaction, enjoyment, structure and improved memory. The main aim is to enjoy and achieve together demonstrating the powers that dance can play.

In 2012 the regular sessions had a change of focus when our Artistic Director came up with the concept & idea to create a light-hearted contemporary dance film, ‘Pack up your troubles’. It promoted positive images of older people and integrated a group of dancers (60yrs to 97yrs ) from 3 different settings together.

Older People

FLD have been working with older people since 2007 (though as a freelancer our Artsitic Director has been for a longer period of time and has completed the Mark Morris ‘Dance For Parkinson’s’ training programme, and Beth Johnsons ‘Active In Age’ course).

TRANSCEND

In 2008 we set up TRANSCEND to ensure that FRONTLINEdance can facilitate the need of young disabled artists who want a career in dance but cannot, for very individual reasons, access university courses to fulfil their dreams. This continued until 2013 where it became ‘Breakthrou’aDvANCE’. Since it started trainees have taken part in regular workshops – shadowing and assisting, playing a vital and important part in our education & outreach work. They take part in technique classes, make their own work and perform. The frequency of this depends on the type of projects we have running.

In 2013, Transcend became a 12-week programme for adults with a disability funded by the European Social Fund. Its aim wasn’t to create new jobs, but to give disabled people new skills and the confidence to find and keep jobs.  32 individuals took part in our pilot project with 4 participants taking part in more than 1 programme and 4 being invited to volunteer on the programme. We used Creative Dance, Voice & Speech, Drama and Role Play, to provide new skills and to increase confidence in order to allow each participant to take their next step into work; whatever that may have been. FRONTLINEdance was able to develop a strong partnership between Staffordshire County Council’s learning disability employment team and being funded by The European Social Fund has meant that we have been able to reach the employment sector and new organisation of those who work with adults with disabilities (including mental health).

IGNITE!

IGNITE! Funded by Robbie Williams’ Give it Sum was our first cross-generation integrated dance project. It was supported by The Stoke-on-Trent College and Princes Trust Millennium Volunteers and Sally Rew (who at the time worked for ACE) commented that it was the best integrated project she had seen to date. An age range of 16 to 65 and of all abilities took part which culminated in a new dance work which was created & performed along-side professional dancers from FRONTLINEdance. Two paid trainee’s also joined the professional team for the project.