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  • Guest Blog from somewhereto_ Freelance Delivery Partner Ashleigh Ward

    Continuing our series of guest blogs from the people that made summer of somewhereto_ we hand the controls over to another inspirational figure. Meet somewhereto_ Freelance Delivery Partner for the South East Ashleigh Ward.

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    Launching summer of somewhereto_ in Brighton has been the biggest exhibition I have ever organised, and definitely the most rewarding. Over the past five months I have been networking with different young people and because of this campaign I managed to secure a huge warehouse space in Circus Street, which allowed me to pull together all the talented young artists and give them a space to exhibit and perform.

    Getting the space was a challenge to say the least, but I was determined to make it a somewhereto_ space, even after everyone warned me away. I just knew that for a big creative festival like summer of somewherto_ there was nowhere better than this huge abandoned warehouse in Brighton. 

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    I had three key members that helped me make this event happen and everyone was so enthusiastic. All had different skills and qualities and I wanted to give them the freedom to do what they wanted. Al from Iklect is starting his own collective and has a number of artists he wanted to exhibit. Becky (first year sculptor at University of Brighton) was a good leader so I put her in charge of the sculptors and she did an amazing job of organising and curating the 3D element to the show.

    Hannah from Canopy Creative was the first young person I met in my new job role as freelance delivery partner for somewhereto_SE, so when I secured Circus Street, I knew I wanted her to bring her ideas to this venue which was amazing. She built and hung Sussex meadows from the ceiling which had a long table underneath, this brought a beautiful elegance to the juxtaposing industrial warehouse which worked perfectly. On the Saturday night she organised a ‘Pot Luck Supper’ where people brought a dish and bottle of wine each and shared the food table which was like ‘the last supper’. 

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    Over all the variety of the show was brilliant. Not only did we have over 100 artists exhibit but we also had amazing workshops and events. One of my favorite workshops was the 3D projection-mapping workshop from the collective L.E.G and this was a rare opportunity to learn 3D projection-mapping for free.

    The opening night saw more then 700 guests come through the door. The few people that I got to talk to on the opening night loved the show. I spoke to someone that works at Lighthouse Gallery and he said that this show didn’t feel like Brighton but had the feel of Berlin to it, which was incredible to hear. Also local Brighton MP Caroline Lucas came down and said, “It’s a brilliant use of space. It’s challenging, exciting and everyone should come and see it.”

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    When I closed the shutters at the end of the opening night the crowd outside cheered and clapped, which was a lovely moment. It made me feel proud to be part of somewhereto_ giving young people this incredible opportunity and seeing it all come together so wonderfully.

    I loved every moment of curating this exhibition show, and working with such talented and motivated young people has been brilliant. The support of the public has been really positive and seeing them blown away but what we’ve all achieved, has been the most rewarding. This is by far the best show I have done to date. 

    – Ashleigh Ward 25 Freelance Regional Delivery Partner for somewhereto_SE

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    Inspired by Ashleigh’s incredible 3 day event? Want to get involved yourself? Head over to somewhereto.com to learn more and find out what’s going on near you!

    Guest blog from somewhereto_ young person Jennifer Collier

    somewhereto_ young person Jenny Collier takes the reigns for a fun-filled rundown of summer of somewhereto_

    This summer I decided to join the somewhereto_ East Midlands team and honestly it’s been just one fantastic experience after another.

    Tina, the regional somewhereto_ representative is more of a mentor and friend to me, opening up so many opportunities and getting me involved in the national and local campaigns, such as The Big Positive campaign. Through somewhereto_ Tina has opened up shopping centres for After Dark Takeover Films which feature amazing urban athletes such as BMX Champs Keelan Phillips, Mat Armstrong and Cam Peake.

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    somewhereto_ has also helped my blog to become a virtual space holder for local young creatives. I can now offer people who sign up the chance to be interviewed by me, which I’ll then write a blog, which they can use on their own websites and post out on their own social media platforms. This also helps to evidence a young persons event and experience with somewhereto_.

    The summer of somewhereto_ was three weeks of pure craziness in Leicester, we had talks and workshops run by young creatives, street art, photo shoots, FIVE pop up shops and auditions & workshops with SYCO Entertainment, seeing some of the best bands from Leicester performing live such as By The Rivers and The Day Dreamers. To top it all off an influx of incredibly talented young creative’s coming to our own shop Wotspace. It’s been fantastic to realize how many young people have so much talent, which you would never realize without this project.

    somewhereto_ has helped young people start their businesses, realise that they have creative talent and just offer support in general. I know for certain that I wouldn’t be where I am today without the help of Tina and somewhereto_ and it’s helped me to build my own confidence in what I’m doing so that I felt that I could start my own freelance blogging business. By linking me up with other creatives, start up businesses and giving me the support I needed to take the next step from having an idea to actually doing it.

    It still surprises me every day just how many ideas young people have for so many different things such as business, creativity, teaching and events just for fun people, all in such different spaces. One girl wanted a space to cover in bubble wrap then film people as they come in and popped it, crazy but we do want to make it happen. We get such a mixture of young people I always thought that I was alone in my decision to go down the creative route and not go to university. But it’s really good to know that people understand that you want to get hands on experience and that they will help you to do so, and that there are people in the same boat as you. 

    My somewhereto_ experience is constantly changing with the different roles that I take, from being a ‘space user’ to a ‘space holder’. Working with somewhereto_ has allowed me to develop skills in many areas because of the different experiences they have to offer. I’m travelling down to ExCel London to attend the BET conference for somewhereto_digital badges soon, which is another interesting and new experience, and I wouldn’t change a single moment of it. 

    Massive thanks to Jenny! Feeling inspired? Head over to somewhereto.com to learn more!

     

    somewhereto_ Weekly Update!

    Hello everyone! Yara’s back with your weekly update of everything somewhereto_!

    Here’s your dose of weekly somewhereto_ news! Yara’s been busy this week,
    If you want to know how to propose to your future wife or see the latest telly watching tech then check us out this week! Don’t forget to subscribe so you don’t miss out on Emily’s dance video in the infamous York Hall boxing ring. 

    Don’t forget to subscribe and check back on Friday for an amazing video featuring ballet dancing in a rather unusual location…

    somewhereto_ feel at home in your body

    Jamie interviewed Irreverent Dance’s founder Amanda Jones on her career as a social entrepreneur and asked for her tips for young people starting out. Amanda founded her first social enterprise in her early 20s and went on to create two successful organisations. Irreverent Dance is a project that offers dance classes from ballet to hip hop to adults with little or no experience of dance. It makes use of spaces in East and South London. 

    Amanda Jones is a pro-profit social entrepreneur based in London. Last year Amanda set up Irreverent Dance, an organisation that offers a range of dance classes to adults of all body shapes and sizes.  The project was inspired by Amanda’s experience of ballet as a teenager. The criticism she received in dance classes led her to lose confidence in her body. Amanda was able to use skills she developed as a young social entrepreneur to set up a dance space based on body positivity.

     

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    Amanda’s career as a social entrepreneur began seven years ago,  shortly after she graduated from university. In 2007 Amanda co-founded Red Button Design, a social enterprise that “designs, manufactures and supplies products exclusively for the humanitarian market”.  One is these products is the Midomo, a water purifier that  can be used by people in developing countries to access safe water independently.  Amanda originally pitched the Midomo (then called the DD5 Ross) on the BBC programme Dragon’s Den! 

     

    Irreverent Dance was set up to make dance fun and accessible for people of all body types and abilities.  You might have noticed that most professional dancers are super fit - which generally involves being slim and toned.  Unfortunately this means that dancers of all ages, including very young children, are expected to fall in line with ideals of beauty and fitness. The Irreverent Dance studio is “body positive” which means it aims to create a welcoming and supportive space no matter what your body is like. It is one of the few places in London where adults with no prior experience can turn up and learn to dance without feeling like their body is being scrutinised or criticised. 

     

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    As a social enterprise, Irreverent Dance works as a profitable organisation, yet also helps people improve their attitude to themselves and their body through dance classes. Social enterprises are organisations that use commercial strategies to solve social or environmental problems.  I asked Amanda what advice she would offer young people looking to get started in social enterprise. She encourages young people starting out not to be afraid of approaching established social entrepreneurs for support:  

    “Throw yourself into the start-up community. Social enterprise, by its very nature, is full of people willing to share their experiences and dispense advice. Don’t hide at home until you think your idea is ‘finished’ or ‘presentable’ get out there while it’s just a seed, it’ll be better for the early input of a crowd”. 

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    Photo credit for ballet images: Jon Topper

    somewhereto_ re:store (the #highstreetheist) is a high impact campaign seeing young people take over a series of shops across the UK (from #London to Manchester, Glasgow, Bangor, Cardiff, Newcastle and beyond) for a six-week period, having launched in London on 18 July.

    We’re putting disused shops into the capable hands of local young people to deliver events and activities that will benefit their future ambitions as well as revamp the high street and engage local communities.

    Want to know more and get involved? Take your talent to the streets at somewhereto.com/restore

    On August 8 the young people of Newcastle took part in launching somewhereto_ re:store (the high street heist). Young somewhereto_ volunteer Vickie Dempster tells us more…

    With a day filled of performances and workshops, summer food and entrepreneurial stalls all held in Space2 on Newgate street, somewhereto_ re:store landed with a bang in Newcastle.

    The event kicked off with DJ Bryce Fury giving us a quick taster of his skills, followed with some short speeches by somewhereto_ North East regional delivery partner, Neil Burke.

    There was a passionate performance from local artist Phenzo, sharing with us some of his most recent hits, and also a quick taster of what UK B-boy champions the Battalions would be offering later in the day with a short freestyle performance (see above photos for some leg splitting action).

    We then had the first of three workshops with Phenzo giving an inspirational session on how to turn your lyrics into personal statements; using feelings and beliefs to showcase your musical talent, a performance was given at the end with participants showing off what they had been working on in that hour.

    Up next to perform was the electrifying band Kredo who rocked out on stage bringing a new flavour of music to the venue.

    The workshop that followed was from graffiti artist Adam, who taught participants how to express themselves through using Pens to draw on the mirrors in the workshop area.

    We were then treated to another explosive performance from the Battalions, who also delivered a break dancing workshop full of young people willing to learn from the champions.

    If that wasn’t enough, the jam-packed day of creative and entrepreneurial activity finished with another room shaking set by DJ Bryce Fury.

    After the success of the launch day the young people who took part have shown they are eager for more activities on their local high street, and are excited to get involved with what is to come over the next few weeks. Here’s a personal big thank you to all partners and sponsors who made the launch day possible and to all staff and volunteers for their hard work over the past few weeks.

    somewhereto_ re:store (the #highstreetheist) is a high impact campaign seeing young people take over a series of shops across the UK (from #London to Manchester, Glasgow, Bangor, Cardiff, Newcastle and beyond) for a six-week period, having launched in London on 18 July.

    We’re putting disused shops into the capable hands of local young people to deliver events and activities that will benefit their future ambitions as well as revamp the high street and engage local communities.

    Want to know more and get involved? Take your talent to the streets at somewhereto.com/restore

    somewhereto_ dance fusion

    On Sunday 2nd June in Yorkshire and Humber - Proper Job Theatre will be running a somewhereto_ dance fusion event.

    They have teamed a group of young dancers and musicians to work with a professional choreographer to create a new dance piece to be performed on the Armley Mill floor itself. 

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    They have taken the Hibernian WeaveDance as their inspiration, as well as the stories from people working in the mill, and collaborated to create a new performance as part of Breeze International Youth Festival.  They will also be supported by the Leeds somewhereto_ hub who will be stewarding on the day and promoting the event in the run-up.

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    Photo features (Left to Right): Jennifer Bonsu, Shania Sterling, Sammi Stewart, Charlie Buchanan, Kimberley Taylor, Emily Barber

    somewhereto_ are always on the look out for young people doing creative, inspiring, and entrepreneurial things. If you need the space then contact us here!

    O.D.D, Spookey Lukey and TXS from the East Midlands found free spaces to dance with somewhereto_

    Please share, comment, reblog, Like etc and tell us what you think!

    Need a space for your dance rehearsals/performances or dance video? Find your free space here

    Youth Zone in Lancashire!

    A serious amount of moolah is being spent on a seriously big project. It’s a zone for youth! It’s called a Youth Zone! Yeah, ok, before you start rolling your eyes these oldies are really trying to make things better in your area!

    A multi million pound project has secured a space for music, music recording, dance and loads more exciting things. Hey, it’s better than the bus stop in the rain…

    Do you need space in your areas and your oldies aren’t giving you a Youth Zone. Why don’t you get in touch with us? somewhereto_ find space for young people like you all the time! 

    Rio will look very different since TriN3rgy shot tRio!

    tRio are representing the beauty of the next Olympic venue. 

    The next Olympic grounds are going to look pretty impressive in 2016 by the looks of this master plan!

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    Do you dance but need the space to rehearse? Play sport but need the space to train? Are you a budding photographer and need a location to build your portfolio? Maybe you’re the next Richard Branson and need some office space….

    You know somewhereto_ can help you!

    #tRiofilm

    Check out TriN3rgy on the Escadaria Selarón (world famous steps in Rio) telling us exactly what it felt like to win the somewhereto_ Show Off competition.

    'Definitely keep your arms open but go grab opportunities too - that's the main lesson and something we've learnt…' 

    Wise words and if you have an opportunity to grab but you need the space to do it find out more here

    Find out more about Rio 

    Young person spotlight: Faz




    Faz is a passionate young street dancer who found somewhereto_ through his youth worker, Jaffer, our regional coordinator in the North West.
    Since then, Faz has performed at many events with somewhereto_ showcasing his skills to many audiences and has volunteered numerous times, even winning our coveted ‘Volunteer of the Month’ award!



    He’s recently moved from Lancashire to London for university and continues to be a part of somewhereto_ activities. Read on to find out 10 interesting things about him!



    1. Describe yourself in 5 words
    Smart - Fashionable - Confident - Level Headed - Modest



    2. What’s your passion?
    My passion is to dance. The whole idea of dancing for me is to bring something new to the art and perform like no other.



    3. How did you discover your passion?
    I got into dance when I watched a dance competition in Blackburn a few years ago. At the time I began to think if all these dancers can do it, then so can I, hence I just stood in front of a mirror and tried moving. At first I was a weak dancer but through the aid of events and critics I became stronger.



    4. How did you first get involved with somewhereto_?
    I got involved with somewhereto_ through one of my close friends and youthworker (Jaffer Hussain). 



    5. Tell us about what you’ve done with somewhereto_ - events, volunteering etc.
    I have done many events with somewhereto_ such as the Guardian Weekend last year where I danced thrice and thrilled the crowd! I have also volunteered on many occasions through cold, wet situations and sometimes in hot situations! For my help and volunteering I received the Volunteer of the Month Award.





    6. What’s the coolest place you’ve performed in?
    The coolest place I’ve performed in has to be the Guardian Open Weekend at Kings Place in London last year. It was just a brilliant experience.



    7. If somewhereto_ could find you any space in the world, what would it be and what would you use it for?
    A dream space would be a 5 a side football pitch with a dance studio next to it. The dance studio made from strictly mirrors and glass and the floor laminated. Then the space could be used to improve my ultimate passion in football but then at the same time become one of the best dancers around which is the motive.



    8. Tell us about a space that somewhereto_ has found for you and what you did with it
    One space somewhereto_ has found for me is a shop in Blackburn Town Centre. We had to basically find as many new 16-25 year olds as we could and sign them up. I helped to sign many people up by rehearsing and teaching a mini dance workshop. I also performed to attract a wider audience, some of whom are now an integral part of somewhereto_. 



    9. Has somewhereto_ helped you develop your passion?
    Yes massively! Without somewhereto_ I probably wouldn’t be where I am today in the world of dancing.
    It has been a key figurehead for the futures of many young people and talents over the North West, (My opinion - should be a fact though). As well as helping me to develop, it has helped me broadcast my talents and also allowed me to focus on other areas to build extra skills surrounding my weaker areas. I became confident and can now talk to everyone and anyone. In the same manner I can dance everywhere and anywhere, thanks to somewhereto_.



    10. Where/what is your favourite place and why do you love it?
    My favourite place would probably have to be America! I just love that place so much, some of the best dancers in the world are from there and I would love to go see them someday! New York would be the place to go to be honest, it has everything a person needs!





    You can experience some of Faz’s dancing skills on his YouTube channel. If you want to find your perfect space, search now!

    London dance trio TriN3rgy land in Rio with somewhereto_!

    From this…

    To this…

    It’s amazing to see how far the ‘show off’ journey has come, from 130 video submissions, to the Top 10 performing at the Olympic Park, and now the winners, TriN3rgy, filming in Rio!

    The boys have been working hard in the Rio heat to showcase their talent to the max in this film and have been visiting some wonderful locations in Brazil’s capital.

    Take a look at the videos below for a behind the scenes look at how filming’s going, and visit out Facebook page and our Rio page for day to day photos of the experience!

    Filming in Rochina Favela

    Filming on Copacabana beach

    The Dance Exchange… The real dance battle!

    Our homegrown dance trio and winners of the Show Off competition, TriN3rgy are flying out to the land of Latin next week, popping and locking across amazing sites in sunny Rio!

    As we’re bringing the London flavour to Rio we thought we’d celebrate the Rio style back in the UK. If it floats your boat then see the links on where you can get involved.

    We’ve started with Capoeira…

    Brazil used to be a Portuguese colony. With a shortage of workers the colonist brought in slaves from West and Central Africa.

    Slaves, living in inhumane and humiliating conditions, were forced to work hard and often suffered physical punishment. Even though slaves outnumbered the Portuguese colonists nobody wanted to rebel.

    They found a secret way to make sure they were prepared to defend themselves. This style of fighting was disguised as dancing and practiced as a game. It was called Capoeira.

    How to play the Capoeira game.

    1. Groups of Capoeiristas stand in a circle called a Roda (pronounced: HOH-dah).

    2. A musical instrument called the Berimbau (pronounced: Bear-IM-bow) would set the tempo and other musical instruments would all join in.

     

    3. Two Capoeiristas would then enter the circle and begin to ‘play’. It doesn’t usually focus on knocking the other down but check out the impressive acrobatic moves

    Once escaped, the African-Brazilian former slaves developed hidden communities called Quilombos (Kil-Om-Boss) in the forests of Brazil.

    Nowadays, Capoeira is famed around the world as an impressive form of art, dance and fighting; and is unique in that combination! Mestres (Masters) teach classes everywhere and encourage their students (Aluno) to learn the language, songs and how to play the traditional musical instruments as well as the movements and techniques.

    Capoeira has evolved directly as part of Brazilian culture and history. From the Quilombos to the streets of Salvador, Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, Capoeira thrived as an expression of life and resistance.


    Fancy giving Capoeira a try? Here’s a list of places around the UK where you can get started with this fantastic art form…

    In London

    http://www.londonschoolofcapoeira.com/

    http://www.capoeira.co.uk/

    http://capoeiralondon.com/

    Berkshire and Maidenhead

    http://www.capoeirauk.co.uk/Home_page.swf

    Cambridge and Essex

    http://www.capoeiracambridge.co.uk/

    London and Essex

    http://www.capoeirabrasil.co.uk/

    Manchester, Liverpool (incl. Warrington)

    http://www.cdonw.co.uk/classes/

    Norfolk

    http://capocoms.org.uk/classes.html

    Manchester

    http://capoeiramanchester.org.uk/

    North East

    http://www.groupsenzala.co.uk/contact/

    York

    http://www.capoeirayork.co.uk/

    Devon and Cornwall

    http://www.capoeiracornwall.co.uk/home.html

    London, Colchester, and Liverpool

    http://www.dancadaliberdade.com/