En-pointe with vision of Leeds dance

Swan Lake by Northern Ballet.
Swan Lake by Northern Ballet.
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Dance groups in Leeds have leapt into action to help put the city on the map as a centre of excellence for dance.

Some of the biggest names in dance from across the city have teamed up to help more aspiring dancers take centre stage.

The Leeds Dance Partnership saw names including Northern Ballet and Phoenix Dance Theatre team up to help raise the profile of dance.

The move comes as the city pulls together a bid to be named Capital of Culture 2023. Councillor Judith Blake, leader of Leeds City Council, said: “We are very fortunate to have several truly outstanding dance organisations in Leeds.

“This partnership will raise their profile and help the city become an international centre of excellence for dance, cementing Leeds’ place on the cultural map.

“It will encourage people to take part in dance or watch a performance, and it is a significant step on the road to the city’s ambition to become the European Capital of Culture in 2023.”

Sharon Watson, artistic director of Phoenix Dance Theatre and chair of the Leeds 2023 steering group, added: “The development of the Leeds Dance Partnership is an integral part in Leeds’ journey to becoming European Capital of Culture in 2023.

“With its rich dance offer Leeds is absolutely the perfect city to move forward with this exciting new ambition for the art form.”

In 2014 Leeds was officially recognised as a City of Dance and this new collaboration aims to further enhance the city’s reputation.

Chief executive of the Arts Council, Darren Henley OBE, said: “I’m looking forward to seeing how the Leeds Dance Partnership will develop dance here, offering more chances for dancers and audiences to become involved.”