Opening date set for new Brighton dance centre

A ten-year fund-raising campaign, one global pandemic and almost five years since construction began, Brighton & Hove charity South East Dance has announced that the city’s first building designed especially for dance The Dance Space will open its doors to the public on July 15.


Cath James, artistic director, said: “Designed by award-winning architects shedkm, and realised with the support of Brighton & Hove City Council, National Lottery funding awarded through Arts Council England and a host of private donors, The Dance Space is a stunning state of the art, contemporary, steel-clad home for dance, located in the new Circus Street development in the heart of Brighton & Hove.

“The Dance Space will provide much-needed creation, rehearsal and performance space for professional dance artists and present a year-round programme of dance classes, workshops and events for the whole community.”

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Featuring two accessible ground floor dance studios, a second-floor creation and performance space, two meeting rooms and a floor of office space, The Dance Space is available to hire too. Bookings are being taken now for people who would like to hire the space to host their own dance classes, events, meetings and conferences.

When the doors open to the public in July, celebrations will kick off with a special edition of Our City Dances, a free festival of dance taking place in and around The Dance Space. A week of free taster classes will follow, offering people of all ages and abilities across the city a chance to have a go at a variety of dance styles, reflecting what will be on offer there year-round from September.

Cath added: “We’ve waited a very long time to be able to finally announce this opening date and it feels incredible. The Dance Space will be a place where professional artists will create and present world-class work, and people of all ages and abilities will be able to have a go at dance.

“The launch in July will mark a significant moment for Brighton & Hove, adding to the city’s vibrant and valuable arts scene and providing an important new cultural asset for the whole community to experience the joy and well-being that dance can offer everybody.”

Councillor Phélim MacCafferty, leader of Brighton & Hove City Council, said: “A key part of the rebirth of Circus Street has been a new home for South East Dance. With council officials I worked closely with the late chief executive of South East Dance Jamie Watton to turn the dream of a home for dancing excellence in the city into a reality. We look forward to the bright future the new Dance Space will bring for dance and movement in the city and are energised by the long-standing commitment shown by the organisation’s leadership team. This new building will ensure that dance is for all of our communities.”

From April, South East Dance will start testing the building with a small number of classes, workshops and performances to make sure the building works for its users, before opening to the public in July.

More information on that and details of the full launch programme will be available soon.

South East Dance is an arts charity working with dance professionals and people across the region to make the south-east a thriving home for dance.

Cath explained: “We support dance artists that specialise in all forms, from breakdancing to ballroom, with funding, tailored advice and networking opportunities throughout their careers. As passionate believers in the health and wellbeing benefits of dance, we also work hard to bring movement to as many people as possible too – particularly those who might not have had the opportunity or the confidence to give it a go before.

“In 2022 we will be opening the South East’s new home for dance, Brighton & Hove’s first purpose-built dance house The Dance Space. Located in the heart of Brighton & Hove, our state-of-the-art dance studio and community hub has been over a decade in the planning and making and we can’t wait to welcome everyone inside.”