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Wed 7 July 2021
Conference from 11.30am BST
Performances from 7pm BST
Free (Booking required)

Book now

SHIFTing Perceptions is a free online conference offering an insight into the creation of the online SHIFT teaching toolkit and the impact of the SHIFT Dance project. The toolkit offers a new teaching practice for dancers with additional learning support needs, underpinned by safe practice and a particular focus on hypermobility. 

The conference features speakers, presentations and panel discussions in addition to free performances including world-leading Candoco Dance Company's Let's Talk About Dis.

Everyone is welcome to join but the day will be especially beneficial for dance practitioners, teachers, lecturers and those delivering professional training.  

Presented as part of Expressions 2021, the conference is the culmination of SHIFT Dance, an Erasmus+ funded project led by Northern Ballet, Misiconi Dance Company (Netherlands), Psico Ballet Maite Leon Foundation (Spain) and the Universities of Leeds and Edinburgh

Tickets for the SHIFTing Perceptions Conference are free, but booking is required. With several sessions throughout the day, you can select to join as many sessions as you would like. 

Conference programme

11.30am-12pm Welcome and Keynote Speech
Join us to kick off the day with a keynote speech by Kimberley Harvey, Director of Youth Dance Programme, Candoco Dance Company
12.15 – 1pm Introducing SHIFT Dance
Presented by Northern Ballet, Stichting Misiconi and Psico Ballet Maite Leon Foundation
2 – 2.30pm Joint Hypermobility in Dancers with ALSN
Presented by Dr Wendy M Timmons, Director of the MSc Dance Science & Education Programme, Senior Teaching Fellow, University of Edinburgh
2.35 – 3.05pm The Impact of the SHIFT Dance project
Presented by Dr Louise McDowall, Visiting Research Fellow in Exercise and Health Psychology, University of Leeds
3.15 – 3.45pm Arts Council England National Lottery Project Grants
Presented by Kristian Pellissier, Relationship Manager for Dance, Arts Council England
4 – 5.30pm Panel Discussion: How can we develop our dancer’s creativity alongside their technical skill?
Chaired by Dr. Fiona Bannon (UK), School of Performance and Cultural Industries, University of Leeds. Chair of World Dance Alliance -Europe

Speakers include

  • Ginny Brown (UK), Chief Executive, Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing
  • Ingrid Stoepker (NL), Head of the Bachelor of Dance in Education and Music in Education programmes, Codarts, Rotterdam
  • Ruby Wolk (UK), Ballet Senior Manager, Learning and Participation, Royal Opera House

Conference Performances

In addition to talks and panel discussions, Conference ticket holders will also enjoy free performances including:

  • Performances and sharing from Northern Ballet’s Ability, Misiconi Dance Company (audio described) and Psico Ballet Maite Leon Foundation (audio described)
  • A performance of Let's Talk About Dis by Candoco Dance Company (audio description available). Let’s Talk About Dis is a humorous and intimate work, a playful interrogation of identity that probes the audience to think beyond surface appearances.

Information for D/deaf and hard of hearing audience members 

Let’s Talk About Dis uses English, French and British Sign Language.

Each audience member will have a different experience as different parts become lost in translation underpinning themes of understanding and misunderstanding, representation and misrepresentation.  

As the piece is not fully translated into BSL, Candoco have prepared a script of all the text spoken to assist and guide D/deaf patrons and those with a hearing impairment if desired. This script is available by emailing info@candoco.co.uk


The SHIFT Conference will take place online. 

  • Talks will feature live speech to text captioning 

  • Some performances will feature audio description (this will be clear at the point of booking) 

  • The online platform works on Google Chrome and Firefox

For any enquiries about your access needs please contact Northern Ballet’s Learning team on expressions@northernballet.com 

Supported by

And The Rix-Thompson-Rothenberg Foundation.


Photos Gavin Joynt.

All information correct at the time of publication.