Shetland Arts has announced a series of week-long Summer Dance Intensive workshops with Shetland-born dancer and choreographer Kathryn Spence, to take place between the 4th and 16th of July.

The workshops will cover a range of dance skills, providing dancers will an opportunity to explore their own creativity and build confidence while becoming more familiar with contemporary dance. Workshops are divided into two age groups; 15-26 year olds are invited to attend classes starting on the 4th, with 11-14 year olds the week following.

Kathryn says ‘I am extremely excited to be taking dance classes and a new work up to Shetland. I love intensive development time; each group will have a week to train and develop in their dance technique, which we can put together alongside their ideas into choreography that will be showcased in July. I am developing a new work with another professional dancer to bring up to Shetland for the occasion; it's a great opportunity for the professional and community dance worlds to collaborate, combine and share the stage, and I can't wait to see what we will create with all the young people up there.’

The workshops will culminate in a showcase day celebrating Shetland’s Dance community featuring all Dance Intensive graduates, as well as local dance groups, and a performance by Kathryn and dance partner Gordon Raeburn.  Additional workshops for adults with Kathryn and local practitioners are also planned for the 16th.

Cara McDiarmid, Creative Project’s Manager for Shetland Arts said, ‘We’re just so excited to welcome Kathryn back to Shetland.  She has been doing incredible work internationally, and so to have her teaching and performing here will be fantastic.  We’re also delighted to be able to invite local dance groups to perform alongside her; the dance community in Shetland is growing and we’re pleased that we can give groups an opportunity to showcase their work.’

Participants may be eligible for funding to cover some costs – for more information contact Cara at Shetland Arts.

Spaces are limited and advanced booking is encouraged – available now through Shetland Box Office in person at Mareel & Isleburgh, online at or over the phone on 01595 745555. Tickets for the Showcase event and Saturday Adult workshops will be on sale at a later date.


About Kathryn Spence

Kathryn Spence originates from Shetland and has worked in Glasgow, London, India, China and America.

She has a BA Honours degree in Community Arts specialising in dance and art from the University of Strathclyde (2011), and a Postgraduate Diploma Community Dance, obtained from Laban Conservatoire of Dance (2012).

Her work specialises in making dance accessible to all (Kathryn has worked for the disabled dance company Indepen-dance as well as teaching integrated dance for the Royal Academy of Dance) whilst ensuring safe provision and always a high quality of work.

Kathryn has choreographed work for Sadlers Wells main stage for StepLIVE! 2013 as well as work for herself, performed at Belladrum Festival, Scotland, 2014 and Tumen River International Arts Festival, China, 2014. She has also choreographed pieces for Borough Events through Step into Dance, London 2012-2014.

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