Blood Memory Dance is a new community-based organisation established in 2017.  In a short period of time, Emma's innovative programme has attracted funding from Arts Council England and HAVA to support its intergenerational and professional dance practice.  Working closely with partner organisations including HOPs, YMCA, HAVA and Hawsworth Primary School to deliver 'The Big Shebang'.  The project will bring together 200 people from the Hawksworth estate of all ages inspiring a new dance commission and new community model. 


Blood Memory Dance advocates working through creative practice to bring communities together; young and old, to share quality time and exchange of ideas in a fun and nurturing environment. 


Escaping the fast pace of the technological world, we immerse ourselves in dance movement, staying present in the body and mind. 


The practice has proven to build connections and strengthen bonds, improve fitness, creating happy, positive emotions and general wellbeing.




Artistic Director |

In 1998, Emma graduated from NSCD with a Bachelor Arts Hons Dance Degree.

Emma has 20-years professional experience as a dancer, teacher, choreographer, and previous Artistic Director of Ascendance based in Leeds. Emma has performed in: number 1 hit ‘sweet like chocolate’; Seven Sisters (site-specific); Ascendance Rep Company working with Gary Clarke (site specific): Gerry Turvey at Tate Gallery and Leeds City Gallery, to name few. Commissions include: Phoenix Dance Theatre residency, Doncaster University in 2013, and FlashMob ‘Who R you talking to?’, a 6-week project for Online Safeguarding and West Yorkshire Police, received newspaper and online coverage.


Further opportunities include: performing alongside Joss Arnott as part of his 2014 national tour; working with Gary Clarke to devise a project work shown to degree students about creative industries trajectory. In 2016, Emma was selected to collaborate with Gary Clarke on Coal at with National Coal Mining Museum, also helping to share the devising and production of Coal to audiences at LBT.

In 2016-2017, Emma connected with international partners: Pina Bausch Foundation, Wuppertal, and PACT arts organisation in Essen, Germany, also delivering a degree student placement. Emma has received an open invitation back.

Emma was chosen for mentorship with One Dance UK 2015-2016, with mentoring from Beth Cassani and Yorkshire Dance. This allowed Emma to trial initial stages of Blood Memory, performing work at Yorkshire Dance and Kirstall Abbey, performing to families and reaching 5000+ people.






The Creative Team

Emma has been developing her artistic practice through training in music, circus, aerial, and through working with family groups, with support of artists: Georgian Jakubiak and Sara Frith. This year a strong team of artists have been selected by Emma to support her vision in Big Shebang including film artist Wayne Sables, rehearsal director Ascendance's Rachel Wesson, Performers Bobak Walker & James Fogerty & musicians Georgina Jakubiak &  Jonnie Khan. Rosie Watts from Spin Arts is producing Blood Memory & Skippko are providing dance studio space.




Participants comments

Emma, your session has developed into a lovely play/explore/dance community. It seems well structured and has a good pace. Having a musician present adds to the atmosphere and energy. Great session! (Maria & Elliott)


It was such a lovely opportunity to dance with my children and enjoying playing in a dance studio. You led it really well Emma, with flexibility and clarity. Thank you (Shelly, Rowan & baby Daisy)


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