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Seacroft's Firebird Dancers

A group of pupils from Parklands Girls’ School, Seacroft have taken part in an exciting final celebration of the Find Your Talent programme at London’s Southbank Centre, performing Firebird alongside Phoenix Dance Theatre Academy dancers.

Six girls involved in Leeds’ Find Your Talent programme took part in the ‘Share Your Talent’ event on Thursday 22nd July which featured inspiring music and dance performances highlighting what can be achieved when young people are able to access arts and cultural activity to help them to develop their creative skills and talents.

Young people from across England proudly showcased what they have learnt as a result of the 18 month programme. Groups from all the pathfinder areas performed including a fashion show by design students from Leicestershire; a Bhangra drumming bonanza performance by the Partnership for Urban South Hampshire (PUSH), and a gospel choir from Merseyside who re-arranged two classic songs that summed up their positive experiences on the Find Your Talent programme.

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A group of eight pupils from Parklands Girls’ High School in Seacroft are developing a Find Your Talent supported dance performance which will represent Leeds at the prestigious Share Your Talent  arts showcase at the Southbank Centre in London on 22nd of July.

The performance is the result of a collaboration by Phoenix Dance Theatre and Space2 – an organisation which uses the arts to work with disadvantaged communities in Leeds.

All the girls are taking part in a five-day dance workshop during half term  working alongside ten members of the Phoenix Youth Academy, and supported by Phoenix Artistic Director Sharon Watson, a former Parklands pupil, and choreographer Gary Clarke. 

The performance will be part of Firebird, a massive dance and arts community event that is being developed to celebrate Phoenix Dance Theatre’s 30th Anniversary in 2011 and the cultural Olympiad in 2012.  

Emma Tregidden, Creative Director of Space2, believes that this is a fantastic opportunity for the girls:

“They not only get the chance to work alongside professional dancers and choreographers, but they will also represent their city at a really prestigious event in London” she said.  “The girls will be ambassadors for the larger Firebird project which we are currently developing in time for Phoenix’s 30th Anniversary in 2011.”

As part of the workshop at the school, the pupils will be supported by Leeds Metropolitan University graphic design students who have created a film to act as a backdrop to the performance.  Music is being specially composed by Leeds-based singer and song writer Christella Litras.

The performance will also be showcased at the Seacroft Expressions Festival in Leeds in September as part of Parklands Girls High School’s 50th Anniversary celebrations.

What was FYT?

Find Your Talent was a national programme to explore new ways of opening up cultural and creative opportunities to young people. Leeds was one of the ten FYT Pathfinders in England.

The programme was led by Leeds City Council and Education Leeds, working closely together and with the city's cultural and community sectors to find ways for more young people to participate in the cultural life of the city.

FYT was funded to operate between 2008-2011 but its legacy in Leeds continues through activities under the Breeze banner, as well as other initiatives.