Dance and Wellbeing During Lockdown, NDCWales, Dance Ambassador, Angharad Harrop

National Dance Company Wales Dance Ambassador Angharad Harrop reflects on the challenges and creative activity she has developed during the Lockdown period.

Angharad is employed as one of the NDCWales, Welsh Priority Venue, Dance Ambassadors. This project is funded by The Foyle Foundation

NDCWales supports seven Welsh Priority Venues. Each Priority Venue has a Dance Ambassador who is local to the venue, knows the companies repertoire and has received specialist training. Their role is to support the public to access the work of NDCWales and keep year-round contact with its communities Wales wide.

Delivery is informed by the dance already happening in local areas. This model supports local communities to become audiences and participants. This helps with engaging more people in a broader range of dance but also to sustain and develop the dance sector in Wales as more people engage with the artform.

“Before the COVID-19 crisis came, I was working as a Dance Artist in schools, a Dance Ambassador with NDCWales and with community groups. Some work has been postponed, though much has continued.

The projects that have continued have shifted into a digital space and are being shared, as best as possible, with the spirit of the live interaction and emphasis of community that drives the work – including NDCWales’ Rygbi education pack and Ribidirês – early years dance sessions supported by Pontio. I am fortunate to have young children, who love to move and use their imaginations, and a supportive husband. This has allowed us to collaborate as a family to create learning resources that engage both children and adults in dance that supports children’s education and development.

Creating videos in this way has allowed me to use my work to support the wellbeing of my family, with the exploration and learning of my children becoming the heart of the work. We have made some wonderful memories as a family from within our home, whilst supporting the learning and development of our children.

We have climbed through forests, flown to space and scored a try for Wales in a crowded stadium.

Our hope is that through working as a family, we can give confidence to other families to use movement and dance to support their health and wellbeing at this difficult time. Inspiring families to get lost in a journey into the unknown from their own homes, to discover the power of touch and to learn through fun.

Our hope is that through our work families can strengthen bonds and make magical memories, of meeting aliens and winning the Six Nations for Wales, and to allow themselves a minute to find the value in flying as freely as a butterfly, without a care in the world.”

More information on Angharad and her work is below.

Angharad is a Dance Artist working in North Wales. She has worked as a choreographer and dancer for companies such as Light, Ladd and Emberton, National Theatre Wales and Theatr Genedlaethol. She is co-director of Cymru:Brasil and intercultural performance company who create work inspired by Welsh and Brazilian culture. Angharad works across the community and within education delivering projects for companies including National Dance Company Wales (Dance Ambassador), Pontio at Galeri and Theatr Clwyd. Angharad has a passion for Dance in Early Years and through her company Ribidirês runs bilingual classes to encourage a love of the Welsh language from an early age.  

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