South East Dance Studios opens its doors for two-day festival

PUBLISHED: 09:11 22 November 2012

Dancer Alex Hamlsey performing Paper Solo. South East Dance Studios Dance Classes. Image courtesy of South East Dance / © Jeremy Martin.

Dancer Alex Hamlsey performing Paper Solo. South East Dance Studios Dance Classes. Image courtesy of South East Dance / © Jeremy Martin.


A dance studio is opening its doors to display the talent within its walls...

Hextable is home to state-of-the-art dance studios but one year on from South East Dance taking up residence there, it remains fairly unknown.

Housed under its vast roof are three dance studios, a drama studio, a recording suite and conference facilities.

They are used by some of the South East’s most exceptional choreographers and performers who are able to use the space to put together shows that will tour the UK and the rest of the world.

Highlighting the South East’s talent is what it is all about, as communications officer Freya Finnerty explains.

“South East Dance has its headquarters in Brighton where there are many dance venues and events but when we took on this building in Hextable we were trying to reach out to other places. We are trying to raise awareness about dance and get people involved.”

The organisation is a registered charity with its remit to make more dance happen within and beyond the South East region.

South East Dance took over the facilities – formerly Hextable Dance Centre – in July last year and receives funding primarily from Arts Council England as well as Kent County Council, the British Council and various foundation trusts.

But not only do they promote the established dancers from the region, they hope to get people in the South East dancing.

“We offer a lot of classes for adults, from tap and ballet to yoga, as well as a class for the over 50s, and we have street dance and music video dance classes for children”, says Freya.

And with all this in easy reach of those in Kent, the charity hopes to finally make its stamp here with a two-day festival of dance featuring workshops and performances from talented young performers and a cabaret event performed by celebrated choreographers.

“We just wanted to have a range of performances that people could watch and take part in. It is about getting people to come and take a look, “Freya says.

So on November 24 to 25, the studios will be heaving with dancers big and small, young and old, amateur and pro.

Starting on the Saturday evening will be Kent Dance Mix, a showcase of street dance, ballet and contemporary dance put on by youth dance companies from the county.

The next day a full afternoon of workshops and performances in ballroom, street dance, hip hop and more will be on offer to wannabe dancers of any age.

There’s Ragroof Theatre taking its class back to the days of dance hall with a workshop on the Jive and Second Hand Dance Company are performing Paper Solo which involves a routine choreographed around a vast paper sculpture.

Free-style street dancer Genesco De La Cruz will put on a demonstration a bit of body popping and also on the schedule are contemporary dancers from Joss Arnott Dance and Rachael Mosson Dance, both associate artists working with South East Dance.

South East Dance Studios’ Family Weekend is at the studios in Hextable on November 24 to 25. For tickets call 01322 618618 or email

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