Chance to join new aerial skills classes

aerial%202Déda in Chapel Street is expanding its class programme for young people and adults with the introduction of new aerial skills classes – made possible by the new facilities now available as part of the venue’s £412,000 redevelopment programme.

The aerial classes will start in January with sessions for eight to 15-year-olds on Saturday mornings. There will also be courses for adults in hoop and trapeze on Wednesdays through January and rope and silks on Saturdays starting in February.

The classes will be based in the new dance studio at Déda which has been specially designed with additional height to cater for the use of high ropes and trapeze equipment.

These include Aerial Silks which is a long piece of suspended cloth and Corde Lisse which resembles a vertically hanging rope with a loop – both of which enable performances in held postures, wraps and drops. The Static Trapeze is six feet from the ground and the Aerial Hoop looks like a suspended hula-hoop.

Déda has recruited a team of specialist teachers to run the courses:

Jackie Leon-Sysum has performed throughout the world specialising in hand to hand acrobatics, adagio and aerial work. She retired to concentrate on teaching and projects have included training the performers for the central show at the Millennium Dome, the cast of ‘Billy Elliott’ in the West End and working on the Sky TV show ‘Cirque de Celebrité’.

Derby-born Gareth Bailey has also performed and taught with circuses across the UK and Europe for the past 14 years including the Royal Variety Show.

And Fran Widdowson, who originally trained as a dancer, went onto study circus and has combined performing as an artist with teaching for many years.

The new equipment has already been used by students on the new BA Hons Dance Degree that has been launched by Déda in partnership with the University of Derby.

The aerial classes will join a diverse programme for young people and adults at the regional dance house.

Health and wellbeing are at the core of Déda’s Body, Mind and Soul programme with Pilates, Yoga and Tai Chi classes providing the perfect fresh start to the New Year. Working to improve balance, strength and flexibility – these classes are ideal for waving goodbye to weekday stress and festive excess.

For those seeking something more upbeat, Déda’s popular Commercial Dance classes are held on a Monday evening. Blending the best bits of street, jazz and freestyle choreography; participants can dance their way to fitness with music video moves and the most current chart tunes.

Meanwhile Déda’s Social Dancing programme covers Ballroom, Swing Jive, Argentine Tango and Salsa classes. With no partner required for new starters, the fun classes are suitable for everyone from beginners to more accomplished dancers.

The programme for children and young people starts with creative movement for little ones as young as 6 months and offers something for all ages and abilities through to a wide range of styles for budding dancers; from hip-hop and break dance with Fuse – Déda’s Urban Dance Company – to Javvani’s infectious focus on vibrant South Asian styles like Bollywood and Bhangra.

Déda’s head of dance development and learning Clare Limb explained: “The new studio facilities have enabled us to extend the popular class programme which is at the heart of Déda.

“Aerial skills are coming to the forefront of dance, not least in high-profile outdoor performances but also on television programmes such as Strictly Come Dancing, Tumble and Dancing on Ice.

“The aerial skills programme joins nearly 50 classes a week for people of all ages and abilities and is the perfect fit within the artistic direction of the organisation as a whole.

“The New Year is the perfect time for people young and old to try something new and we have already had a great deal of interest in the programme ahead of the launch of new classes in January.”

For more information about the Déda class programme and performances at the dance house, please visit or telephone 01332 370911.