Community dance project boosts Hawksworth Wood estate

Emma Clayton Bobak Walker hawksworth wood

A community dance project has been working with 200 people of all ages from the Hawskworth Wood Estate.

‘The Big Shebang’ brings together people of all ages and is helping to build connections, improve fitness, raise aspirations and positivity for the area. The dance project explores intergenerational relationships, bonding and storytelling through dance and music.

Workshops and rehearsals are well underway towards two spectacular dance performances; with HOPs (Hawksworth Older People Society) who are dancing with children from Hawksworth Wood Primary School and local teenagers who have been engaged through weekly Hip Hop classes, led by dance professionals Bobak Walker and James Therobot.

Behind the scenes the community are coming together making props, costumes and banners for the show.


  • Cragside Park, Hawksworth  on 7th July, 2pm (HAVA Fun Day)
  • Kirkstall Abbey on 14thJuly, 4pm (Kirkstall Festival)

A new, professional dance commission entitled ‘Violet’ will open the day, choreographed by Artistic Director Emma Clayton.

The work captures memories of 91-year-old Violet, a member of the Hawksworth Wood community who served in the Land Army, and tells her story through contemporary dance, hip hop, music and song. It is a joyful, heartfelt, WWII story.

Artistic director Emma Clayton said:

“As a mother and dance artist living in the community, it has been a real joy to bring high quality arts into Hawksworth Wood.

“By bridging the gap between the young and old, celebrating local history and sharing stories about real members of Hawksworth, we are making a positive impact which is starting to spread through the entire community.”

The project has been funded by HAVA Big Local and Arts Council England.


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