Dance artist and Local associate Katy Dunne tells us all about Breathe: the Dance for Wellbeing summer school she is running with the Garage in August 2017.


Who is the summer school for and what will be involved?
The dance for wellbeing summer school is for anyone 16 plus with no upper age limit. The focus is on how dance can help us improve our general wellbeing. Each day will involve a meditation, a gentle dance class, creative tasks and improvisation. Each day I will work with the group to create sequences of movements that will form part of the final performance.

The 4 days will end with a performance in The Garage theatre. This will be alongside D4Dance Performance Company who will also be performing that evening. The evening will be very informal and will be a free event to friends and family.

I wanted to offer the chance to perform as although performing can feel very uncomfortable for some I also think the benefits of leaving your comfort zone in a safe environment can be very empowering and confidence building.


What made you want to teach a dance for wellbeing summer school?
Dance is a way to both find yourself and lose yourself! For me dance and wellbeing come hand in hand. I wanted to combine both my dance knowledge and experience with my mental health experience and knowledge to create something specific and unique.

For me dance ticks all of the 5 ways to wellbeing. The 5 ways to wellbeing are a set of evidence based actions that promote wellbeing. These are connect, take notice, give, be active and keep learning. I love these simple things that are often at no cost of have little material value these are the things that truly make us happy. For me dance helps me connect with myself, with others, when I dance I feel truly in the moment and am always learning and giving and dance has the added benefit of being brilliant exercise. During this course I hope others will feel as I do about dance and leave the course feeling good physically and emotionally.

Another important element to the four days will be having fun and making new friends. I hope we will have lunch together each day weather permitting this can be in the Chapel Field Gardens if not The Garage has a lovely café. The social side of the four days is just as important as the dance side.


Do you need any experience?
No experience is necessary, beginners welcome! I will adjust and amend movement to suit the individual so everyone feels comfortable, slightly challenged and inspired!


Why is it called Breathe?
The breath has been a running theme for me recently. I watched the Netflix series the OA and was really inspired by the dance in this and its use of the breath within the carefully choreographed movements. I have recently completed a 8 week mindfulness course with Norwich Mind a big part of mindfulness is the experience of the breath, the breath as an anchor, to bring us back to the present moment. Focussing on my breath has helped me find clarity and relaxation in moment of stress.

Having experienced a loss in my family last year the importance of living life one moment at a time one breathe at a time has really rung true to me, we never know when are last breathe will happen. And living one breath at a time helps make life more fulfilling and manageable!

Breathing has so many different qualities that I hope will inspire some dynamic movements. Being out of breath, slow breathing, deep breaths, the pause of the breath, the swing of the breath, the rise and fall, the top and end of the breath the space in between breath will all be part of our creative process.


What is the cost?
This summer school has been partly funded by the Norfolk Community Foundation so the cost for the four days is just £40

How do I book?
Call 01603 283382 to book your place with the friendly Garage reception team!

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