Little Big Dance

Launched in 2019, in partnership with DanceEast, Take Art and Yorkshire Dance, Little Big Dance supports dance artists to develop the specialist skills and experience needed to make captivating and diverse dance work for and with under five-year-olds and their families.



Club Origami by Takeshi Matsumoto. Photo Summer Dean

Little Big Dance is changing the face of dance work for younger audiences: bringing dance artists together with 0-5 year old children, early years specialists and dramaturgs to develop new skills and create new work. 

Over two cycles, Little Big Dance is supporting dance artists to receive robust specialist training and development in creating work for young audiences; and commissioning three new pieces of dance work, created by and with 0-5 year olds for national tour.

Cath James, Artistic Director of South East Dance, lead partner on Little Big Dance, says: “We know that dance can enhance physical and cognitive development; build confidence and creative expression; and offer neurodiverse young people entirely new ways to communicate with their peers. We also know that very young audiences are often overlooked, despite evidence suggesting that children who take part in the arts from a young age are more likely to continue to reap the health and wellbeing benefits into adulthood. 

“For all of these reasons and the opportunity to support artists to develop valuable new skills, we are hugely excited to be leading Little Big Dance, and leaving a lasting legacy on the way the dance sector views and approaches working with very young children.”

Evaluation on the Little Big Dance programme is being carried out by Professor Angela Pickard from Canterbury Christ Church University, the winner of the 2019 One Dance UK Dance Research Impact award. Professor Pickard will contribute to a best practice toolkit to ensure the wider dance sector can benefit from what’s learned from the programme. 

Click on the blocks below to explore Cycle One, and the commissioned work by George Fellows and Takeshi Matusmoto; and to find out about Cycle Two, currently in progress.

Little Big Dance is supported with more than £430,000 investment from Paul Hamlyn Foundation and Arts Council England; and by Leeds Dance Partnership, Dance Umbrella, Birmingham Hippodrome and Strike a Light Festival.



More about Little Big Dance

Little Big Dance Cycle One: 2019-2022

Read about the first cycle of Little Big Dance

Find out more
Little Big Dance Cycle One: 2019-2022

Little Big Dance Cycle Two: 2022-2023

Read about the second cycle of Little Big Dance

Little Big Dance Cycle Two: 2022-2023

Little Big Dance supported by