Celebrating Somerset Dancers

02 April 2024

We have just finished another year’s Spring Forward; we have had over 600 dancers ranging from 7 years old up to 80 years old from 33 different groups perform over 3 nights to an audience of over 550 people.  

We had a fantastic time working with all these dancers and the teams at The McMillan Theatre and Tacchi Morris Arts Centre, the standard of performance from all the groups was so high.  

Here are a few images taken by Len Copland:  

This year we had several group leaders who had performed in Spring Forward over the years and are now bringing their own dance groups to perform. We'd love to introduce you to them!

Phoebe Glauert from Topaz Dance Company

"I performed at Spring forward with The Castle School in 2015, 2016 and Bridgwater and Taunton College in 2018 and 2019. 

 After leaving college, I started teaching career with Topaz Dance Company. In 2022 I then took over Topaz Dance Company becoming the principal of the company. In my second year as Principal, I decided to take my students to Spring Forward.  

I always remember Spring Forward being such a supportive and friendly environment and all these years later, it is still the same! It is such a full circle moment for me, and I am grateful to have had the opportunity to perform and to now be able to bring my own performers to see how supportive the dance community can be!"

Darcy Ahern from LADA Dance Academy  

"I’ve performed with Spring Forward, LA Festival group; LA Juniors and S.S Dance, the first Spring Forward I performed in was over 10 years ago, although my mum used to bring me along with her dance school from the age of 7 and I just wanted to be on stage with all the older ones. 

My decision to become a group leader from dancer was purely due to injury, I wanted to carry on my love for dance and when the opportunity arose to take over a dance school and teach, it was a no brainer!  

Spring forward will always hold a special place in my heart. The platform played a big part in my dancing career, and I now get to give my kids the opportunity to watch other local dance school, create friendships and be inspired all whilst being in a kind and supportive environment. It’s pretty special!"

Natalie Hyde from Somerset Youth Dance Company  

"I’ve performed at Spring Forward with SYDC in 2012 & 2014 Gravit8 Dance Company at Strode College in 2014 Recently I have come back to performing at Spring Forward with   

Somerset Graduate Dancers 2022 – 2024, G's Dance 2022- 2024, 2 The Same 2023 – 2024 and With Ardour in 2024.  

Dance has always been a massive part of my life, but my love for Contemporary dance started in 2011 when I was offered a place in SYDC. I always knew that I wanted my life to be surrounded by the arts, dance especially, so after completing my dance degree at Bath Spa University I headed back home to Somerset to look for opportunities.  

SYDC welcomed me on board, and I have been part of the teaching & co-ordinating team for SYDC for 4 years now. Inspiring young dancers of the next generation is one my favourite parts of this role.  

I am now lucky enough to lead & choreograph a number of groups; SYDC, Somerset Graduate Dancers, SYD Juniors & Razzamataz Yeovil. 

Spring Forward is a highlight of my dancing calendar! It's a big celebration of the talent we have here in Somerset and a fantastic chance to support local and champion the dance world."  

James Northover from Megan's Academy of Dance 

"I performed with SYDC and Richard Huish College in 2015 and 2016. I left both of these in 2016 to train in Dance Theatre at Plymouth University and I started teaching during my holidays that year. In 2018, I choreographed The Castle School's Spring Forward entry as an external practitioner. 

I trained as a primary school teacher after graduating and run contemporary classes at Megan's Academy of Dance. I have since brought performances from afterschool dance clubs and MAD in 2022, 2023 and 2024 so far. I am now working at The SPACE and look forward to bringing a piece with them next year! 

Spring Forward is one of my favourite dates in the calendar as it is a great opportunity to engage with the wider dance community in a supportive and non-competitive environment. I especially enjoy talking to other group leaders and catching up with old dance friends! The children absolutely love watching other groups dance and having the opportunity to show off what they've made." 

Dance opportunities  

  • An Introduction To Contemporary Dance With Merge Dance Company 

With Tabby Somerfield, Rambert School graduate and artist director of Merge Dance Company and RJT Dance Company. 

13th April 10am – 12 at the Taunton Brewhouse ages 12+ all abilities welcome £12.50 per person  

Email mergedancecompany.org@gmail.com to book your place.  

  • Pavilion Dance South West – Open Call: Associate Artist 2024 - 26

Are you in search of an organisation that supports and champions your practice in a holistic way? Do you need some space and time to focus on your work? Would you benefit from some fresh sea air and a supportive, friendly team?  We’re looking for dance makers to work with us as our next Associate Artist over the next 2 years.

We offer up to four weeks per year in our studio and theatre space free of charge. In addition, there is up to £2,500 cash over 2 years for you to use either to support your residency period or to develop your artistic practice. In return, we would love for you to influence the way we grow as an organisation and celebrate your connection with us!

Applications forms and more information can be found on our website. Apply by 6pm on 28th April 2024 here