Photo Nadia Otshudi

Growing dance provision for children, young people and communities in Hounslow.

To develop our London Leap programme across 2020-21, we worked in depth in the borough of Hounslow to undertake an exciting residency that explored ways to reduce barriers for young people and wider communities to engage with dance.

The residency, which was funded by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, enabled us to develop new partnerships with local cultural and community organisations and test approaches to engagement that were specific to the borough.


Through Hounslow Leap we aim to:

  • Widen access to professional contemporary dance for children and young people within Hounslow
  • Identify any specific barriers related to engagement with contemporary dance performance and activity within Hounslow
  • Test approaches of encouraging children and young people to participate in, appreciate and interpret contemporary dance performance
  • Better understand what support local dance leaders, organisations and advocates need to support children and young people’s participation in, and viewing of, contemporary dance


Hounslow Leap 2021 Projects


A dynamic coming together of ideas by young, aspiring musicians & dancers from Hounslow, Assemble was a creative development project for students at West Thames College.

Students were given the opportunity to work collaboratively with other young artists from West Thames College music and dance departments, enhance their composition and/or choreographic skills and develop a new work together for public performances at Bell Square and Watermans Arts Centre as a part of Dance Umbrella Festival 2021.

The students were mentored by dance artist Becky Namgauds, dance/music artist Tyrone Isaac Stuart and West Thames College staff.


Feltham Moves

A collaboration between members of Age UK Hounslow, Grounded Movement and Dance Umbrella, Feltham Moves is a dance film that explores and celebrates its protagonist’s relationships to their local area.

Feltham Moves premiered as a part of DU: Watermans Takeover in October 2021.

Choreography and concept: Sunanda Biswas and Temujin Gill, Grounded Movement
Filming: Alex Daniels and the performers
Editing: Monika Davies
Performers: Kanta Gomez, Hansa Makawana, Lakshmi Nayee, Anjana Patel, Ramaben Patel, Subhadra Patel, Minerva Stanley, Urmila Trivedi, Sudha Unjia

DU: Watermans Takeover

Our Hounslow 2020-21 residency culminated with our weekend takeover series of Bell Square and Watermans Arts Centre, which featured as part of the Dance Umbrella festival 2022. 

Enlivening two cultural hotspots, our weekend Takeovers brought a mix of national dance, pop-up events, home-grown talent and workshops to Hounslow. Featured artists included Ahilan Ratnamohan, Takeshi Matsumoto, Jennifer Irons, Kesha Raithatha and Dani Harris-Walters alongside many of the participants who took part in our various projects. 

Visitors to the DU: Watermans Takeover we also given the opportunity to take part in free dance workshops in a range of styles including Kathak, Hip Hop and creative dance. 


Club Origami

Photo Summer Dean

Club Origami by Takeshi Matsumoto, created as part of Little Big Dance, an initiative addressing the lack of high-quality dance productions created for early years, was an immersive and interactive dance show inviting family audiences to create, imagine and explore new ways of thinking, playing, and moving. Dance, fashion, and live music met the magic of origami on a spirited and inspiring adventure in a land made purely of paper and play.

There were three performances of Club Origami as a part of the DU: Watermans Takeover weekend. In the week leading up to the performances, Dance Umbrella offered five music and dance engagement workshops with the show’s performers in a local Hounslow primary school which reached 119 Early Years Foundation Stage pupils.

What next

We are currently busy developing plans for our 2022 London Leap programme within Croydon, Hounslow and other Greater London boroughs. Keep an eye on our website for upcoming events, projects and opportunities.

For more information about Hounslow Leap, please email Bethan Peters at [email protected]

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