Abertillery children inspired by dance

Children and young people in Abertillery have been exploring their creative side with drop-in dance workshops funded by the Police and Crime Commissioner for Gwent.

The sessions are run by Ffin Dance, a professional dance company based in The Beaufort Theatre in Ebbw Vale, and aim to give participants positive, creative experiences to help steer them away from anti-social behaviour.

They have been taking place fortnightly outside the Llanhilleth Miners Institute as part of youth engagement sessions organised by the charity Off the Streets in Blaenau Gwent.

Police and Crime Commissioner Jeff Cuthbert said: “By funding Ffin Dance we are aiming to offer children in Blaenau Gwent something a little different and it is fantastic to see that they are engaging so well with these sessions.

“As well as having fun with their friends and taking part in physical activity they are learning something new, developing their confidence, and working with positive adult role models.

“Children and young people are often the most vulnerable people in our communities, and this can put them at risk of becoming involved in crime and antisocial behaviour. The purpose of these sessions is to offer them an alternative to this, and hopefully to steer them onto a more positive course for the future.”

The workshops encourage the participants to express themselves through movement and can include free-running style sessions as well as contemporary dance.

Catrin Lewis, Outreach Coordinator with Ffin Dance, said: “We are really making progress with these sessions. The children and young people are starting to get to know us and as they become more comfortable you can really start to see them enjoy themselves.

“We are now planning for them to visit the Beaufort Theatre, which is the first time that some of them will have set foot in a theatre, and in the long term we would love to be able to work with them to take part in their own performances on the stage, sharing their work with parents, friends and the local community.

“We hope that over the coming weeks and months we can build their skills and confidence, and help them to unlock their full potential."