The London Community Foundation – IRIE! Dance Theatre


[Music playing] The company’s been going for
over thirty years. We’re really pleased to still be here in Deptford,
developing our work in terms of dance and how that impacts on our local community. The main focus for starting the organisation
was really to highlight the lack of Black dance and Black dancers within the dance
sector in the UK. [Music playing] The activity that’s taking
place today is a community African dance session. The feedback we get from a number of participants
to the class is the fact that they are able to engage with other people while they’re
there, the fact that it makes them feel better at the end of the session itself and they’re
learning areas around another culture, another dance form. Angela: I’ve been coming to IRIE! for five years. I initially decided to attend IRIE!’s dance
class because it was the only African dance class available in the local area. I think my life is more fulfilling now since
I have been coming to IRIE! and doing the classes. It’s something you look forward to every week
and it’s always different and it’s always fresh and different musicians that come and
attend the classes and different dance routines as well. So, it’s definitely something that is on my
calendar every week. I think coming to IRIE! makes me feel happy,
basically it’s the main emotion is that when you come the dance teacher always
has a saying that when you come to his African dance class you have to bring your smile and
your joy. And that’s what you bring every week. I believe that physical activity strengthens
the community because it actually provides an opportunity for people to be able to engage
in activities that they wouldn’t ordinarily do. The funding enabled us to target young people,
women, people with disabilities. I think that it is important for one’s wellbeing
to be able to communicate and link with other people. I think it’s important to know that you are
around like-minded people, that you can learn and engage. I think it has to be a holistic approach when
you talk about wellbeing. [Music playing]

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