Fest22 Dancexchange Critical Mass (2)

Critical Mass

An Epic Act of Collaboration and Participation

Hundreds of young people from Birmingham and beyond have been given the chance to dance on a world stage thanks to a £1 million project generously funded by the Spirit of 2012 charity, to encourage the legacy of London 2012.

Critical Mass 2022 builds on the strong foundation which dance already has in the West Midlands, working with lead delivery partner DanceXchange and in collaboration with Arts Connect and Dance Development Leaders Group (DDLG). A collective of up to 300 dancers aged from 16 to 30 are part of some of the biggest events of Birmingham 2022. They’ll perform at the Opening Ceremony of Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games and at other events during the Birmingham 2022 Festival.

The project aims to be truly diverse and inclusive, representing our region’s ethnicity and with around a third of its members self identifying as D/deaf or disabled. The effect on participants has already been transformational, creating lasting friendships and newfound creative skills.

Website: CriticalMass22.org.uk

Fest22 Image of Angel Critical Mass 2021 by Lensi Photography

Case Study: Angel's Story

Music and dance are for everyone!

When I first attended Critical Mass I was a little anxious as I tend to be shy with new people. However, the welcome I received, from the receptionist to the Team Leaders, was amazing and as the weeks progressed, I made some new friends. What really struck me from the get-go was the diversity of the group, which demonstrates that dance is not just for slim able-bodied people. Music and dance are for everyone!

I have learnt new dance styles and have enjoyed creating new choreographed pieces with friends. We have laughed a lot as we gradually got to know each other, and especially at the Winter Celebration Party. The Commonwealth Games enables the 72 nations and territories of the Commonwealth to come together, and celebrate difference through sport. I believe Critical Mass really embraces this ethos through dance and creativity…we’re inclusive irrespective of race, gender, disability and sexual orientation.

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