30th Birthday Appeal

by Greenwich Dance in London, Greater London, United Kingdom

Total raised £10,030

raised so far

+ est. £790.00 Gift Aid



For 30 years Greenwich Dance has used dance to change lives... despite a pandemic! Lets keep South London dancing!

by Greenwich Dance in London, Greater London, United Kingdom

We're still collecting donations

On the 25th July 2023 we'd raised £10,030 with 108 supporters in 56 days. But as every pound matters, we're continuing to collect donations from supporters.

 New stretch target

With additional donations we will ringfenced the funds to suuport Summer in the Park 2024. This is a series of 9 events designed to animate local places and spaces and bring joy and fun to local communities who are often forgotten. The funds will be used to programme even more dance workshops and performances for audiences to take part in!

Who are we?

Greenwich Dance believe in the power of dance to bring people together and improve lives. 

For the last 30 years Greenwich Dance has supported tens of thousands of people to engage with dance across South East London, through a unique programme of open and accessible opportunities, classes, workshops and co-created public events. 

Our Retrospective: 30 Years in pictures, tracks our story right back to its very beginning…to 1993 when founder Richard Blanco saw the disused Borough Hall on Royal Hill in Greenwich and suggested to Greenwich Council that he turn it into a home for dance. 


Greenwich Dance went on to become a place where professionals and non professionals alike could take a daily class, create and present work both inside and outside of traditional dance spaces. The organisation has even initiated new careers – for example Justine Simons, Deputy Mayor for Culture and the Creative Industries started out at Greenwich Dance and Akram Khan, fresh out of conservatoire, made some of his first works with support from Greenwich Dance. Even Graham Norton, years before he became a national treasure, performed as part of a cabaret at Greenwich Dance!

A group of people dancing in a room  Description automatically generated with medium confidence

The organisation has thrilled local communities and nurtured new audiences by playing host to barn dances, ceilidhs, tea dances, balls, cabarets, supper clubs, festivals and events. The education programme has taken dance to pupil referral units, care homes and nurseries. A youth programme has kept young people of all ages moving and schools have been supported with workshops, talks, performance projects and professional development programmes. We believe that everyone can dance, regardless of age, experience, training or background which is why we consistently challenge perceptions of who can dance. Our Adult Performance Company, for example, is a group of non professionals who come together weekly to create dances which they then share with others. In March they chose to visit Warm Banks to bring joy to those who were seeking comfort there. 

A group of women dancing in a room  Description automatically generated with medium confidence

The film you can see above, an excerpt from GLORIA! was created in Summer 2019 to illustrate this. It is a celebration of what we are – a place where a dancing community can be nurtured regardless of whether you are paid to dance or doing it recreationally. The film, created by Roswitha Chesher and with Sarah Blanc as (fictional) New York choreographer GLORIA!, stars participants from our youth and adult class programmes alongside appearances from founder Richard Blanco,  photographer Chris Nash MBE, choreographers Yael Flexor, Luca Silvestrini, Tom Roden and Anna Williams, Levantes Dance and Akeim Toussaint Buck. It has won awards at screen festivals internationally. 

And then a pandemic hit. 

Dancing Communities and Covid-19

Within days of lockdown we pivoted our class programme online and turned a community centre tour into an online project in which artists and communities danced together on zoom and made films in fully locked down conditions. 


That year our digital creations reached 84,000 people.  In 21-22, a year still plagued by restrictions, we increased participation in our class programmes by 45% and moved some of our classes outside to parks and open spaces where participants could be distanced and and feel the air around them. This required us to rethink what dance should and could be. However, despite all of our efforts we saw anxiety, loneliness and isolation escalate across both our participants and workforce. 


Even now, in 2023 with the pandemic 'behind' us our communities are still bruised by the experience. Some are still scared to venture out and so we are continuing with dance for wellbeing and outdoor classes as much as possible as well as providing an online series of lindy hop downloadable tutorials.  

The Challenge – why are we fundraising

In 2022 we moved to a purpose built community building in Thamesmead with a beautiful space for dance called the Nest. Whilst still operating peripatetically across South East London we are also focussing attention on this exciting area which straddles the borders of Bexley and Greenwich and looks set to become an exciting new cultural quarter. 


 We believe this work has never been more important as communities learn to live with the Covid virus and the lasting trauma to both physical and mental health it has caused to people young and old. Our activities play a crucial role helping individuals deal with the emotional and mental health issues that have been accelerated and heightened by the pandemic and are designed to bring people together in safe and welcoming spaces to rebuild friendships and  social connections. 

Recently, inspired by the very real need to create more opportunities for young people to feel safe and engage in positive activity here in Thamesmead, we commenced delivery of skate jams which will be a feature of our exciting festival of dance and community within our Summer in the Park festival. 


However, late last year, having navigated a pandemic and immersed within a cost of living crisis, our existence was thrown into jeopardy again when our application to Arts Council’s National Portfolio was unsuccessful, followed by a 100% cut of our Voluntary and Community Sector funding from Royal Borough of Greenwich. 

Now we need your support.

How we’ll spend the money raised

Our target is to raise £10,000 which we will use to cover this years space hire costs within which we run our variety of class programmes.

We want everybody, regardless of their experience or economic situation, to have the chance to participate in dance, which is why our classes, workshops, programmes and events are either provided completely free or on a "pick your price" basis which includes an option to pay nothing. 

We don't want to start charging high fees in order to stay operational. We want to remain accessible to everyone and give people the choice to contribute what they can afford. Covering our space hire bill will ensure that classes can continue to operate in this way this year.


Community impact

The work we do benefits communities and artists across Greenwich and Bexley and without it people would be left unsupported. One participant who lost her husband during Covid told us that our classes have been life changing. 

“I knew that I had to start getting out, and this has helped me to do that. I come out of myself, using my imagination.  The movements I am exploring are creative and playful.  I don’t feel like I am doing exercise, but I am improving my fitness.”

If we were to disappear the commissions we make would disappear (over £45,000 spent in 2023 on producing and presenting artists work within our Summer in the Park programme). The artists we pay to run our classes would be out of work (we spend over £40,000 per year in class teachers fees), businesses we collaborate with would no longer have our support (19 in 2022 Summer in the Park and upwards of 60 in 2023) and we would no longer be hiring space (a spend of over £10,000 per year) which in turn helps other community centres and facilities here in Greenwich and Bexley to survive. 

We now need your help to nurture young local dance talent, to tackle loneliness and isolation in our older population and to enhance health and wellbeing throughout South East London communities.


How you can play your part

There are four simple ways to help us reach our target, and make this project a reality.

1. Make a pledge. Don’t delay if you’re going to support us because momentum is key to our success!

2. Spread the word. Share our project on your social media pages and tell the world to get behind us! The more people we reach, the more support we will get.

3. Offer rewards. Get involved if you are a local business by donating things we can offer to our supporters. We will give you a shout out!

4. Fundraise for us. If you want to run your own fundraiser – maybe a sponsored activity or similar – use the 'contact project' button at the top of our page to let us know. Setting up your own page only takes a few minutes and you won’t need any bank details. Just a fun idea!


This project offered rewards

£35 or more

£35 Reward - wedo vegan haircare giftset

Chris and Tena from The Hairy Chair have kindly offered five gift sets by wedo (a vegan and cruelty free haircare company), worth £49.99 each... offered to you for a £35 donation to Greenwich Dance! The Hairy Chair are leading the way in eco friendly hairdressing and are an awesome, friendly salon offering a full range of services. Check them out at http://thehairychair.com/

£3 or more

£3 Reward - Lindy Downloadable Tutorial

We have four Lindy Hop tutorials available to download on our website, one is a free taster and the others ordinarily cost £5 each. For a donation of £3 we will send you a special password giving you exclusive access to one of the remaining three tutorials so you can get lindy hopping and hone your skills in the safety and comfort of your own home!

£5 or more

£5 Reward - All Three Lindy Hop Tutorials!

For a donation of just £5 we will give you a special password giving you access to all three of our downloadable tutorials, which ordinarily would cost £15! Work your way through them to hone your skills in the comfort of your own home!

£5 or more

£5 Reward - The Spicery spice blends

Pledge £5 and receive a thank you card with a little blend from The Spicery tucked in it - picked randomly from our selection which includes things like Caribbean Seasoning, Rendang Blend, Mushroom Keema Matar Blend and Tomato Curry Blend. Our CEO has been using the Spicery for many years to make restaurant quality 'fakeaways' and can't recommend it highly enough! https://www.thespicery.com/

£5 or more

£5 Reward: 25% off a personal training session

25% off voucher for a personal training session! (RRP £40, now £30) Personal trainer Andrew Garland specialises in tailored fitness and nutrition plans. He operates both online or from his home gym in Beckenham, nicknamed the 3G (Garland’s Garage Gym). His sessions help with muscle strengthening, endurance building, weight loss, cardiovascular fitness and specialist sports workouts. https://www.facebook.com/garlandPTandSC/

£5 or more

£5 Reward - 5 Souvenir postcards

Pledge £5 and receive five of our souvenir postcards which celebrate the beautiful parks we are working in this summer. Choose from Maryon Park, Gallions Park, Queenscroft Park or Greenwich Park and Cygnet Square!

£10 or more

£10 Reward - Social Media Shout Out + Tutorials

Your name will be included in our monthly Thank You post on social media! You will also receive a password to be able to access our three online Lindy Hop Tutorials (tutorial 1 is already free and available on You Tube).

£10 or more

£10 Reward - A Personal Message from the CEO

Receive a personal message direct to your inbox from our CEO thanking you for your kind support.

£15 or more

£15 Reward - Drawstring kitbag

Receive a Dance Your Socks Off drawstring kitbag, a bag we produced as part of the delivery of one of our exciting ArtsUnboxed projects last year. Perfect for your dance or gym kit!

£25 or more

£25 Reward - Talking Moves podcast recording

Receive an invitation to attend the recording of one of three Talking Moves podcasts planned for a special Birthday edition 'mini series' in the Autumn. Guests drawn from the past 30 years will be invited to join CEO Melanie Precious to discuss all things dance: then and now. The podcast will take place using virtual software and you will be able to ask questions of the guests afterwards. Dates tbc.

£25 or more

£25 Reward: Free Printed Treasure Trail

Pledge £25 to Greenwich Dance and receive a printed Treasure Trail worth £9.99 as a thank you for your generosity. These are our CEO's go-to holiday activity and trails are available across the UK. You will receive a voucher code enabling you to download a printed trail of your choice! Get inspired by visiting https://www.treasuretrails.co.uk/

£30 or more

£30 Reward - Summer in the Park Souvenir Poster

Receive one of our souvenir posters, created by Thamesmead based illustrator Keith Hau to celebrate the beautiful parks and open spaces which we have filled with dance this summer! There are five versions available corresponding to the five locations of our festival.

£35 or more

£35 Reward - PT Session with Alex Riley

Receive a personal training session (worth £45) with local personal trainer Alex Riley (based in Charlton). Alex is a REPs Registered Level 3 PT,TRX Suspension Instructor (TRX Force Level 2 Qualified), a Certified PadBox Instructor and a Functional Performance Specialist. The session will be taken in her mini home gym in Charlton and includes a 15 minute consultation. You will be put in touch with Alex to arrange a suitable time.

£40 or more

£40 Reward - The Picnic Cookbook

Pledge £40 and receive a copy of The National Trust The Picnic Cookbook: Outdoor Feasts for Every Occasion by Laura Mason. RRP £18.99 https://harpercollins.co.uk/products/the-picnic-cookbook-outdoor-feasts-for-every-occasion-national-trust-food-laura-mason?variant=39880334934094

£50 or more

£50 Reward - Greenwich Dance t-shirt

Receive a Greenwich Dance t-shirt as a thank you for your donation! let us know what size you would like. (NB tshirts are adult sizes)

£60 or more

£60 Reward - Attend all 3 Podcast Recordings

You will be sent the link to attend all three (virtual) recordings of the Talking Moves podcast this Autumn. Guests will be drawn from the past 30 years. after the recording you will be invited to ask questions of the artists yourselves or make your own contribution to what will be likely be a fascinating conversation.

£300 or more

£300 Reward - Changemaker listed on our Website

You will be listed on our website as one of our very special Changemakers as well as receiving a personal thank you card from our CEO. Your support at this level is transformative to us. Thank you!

£600 or more

Business Benefits - 3 x Staff Wellbeing Sessions

Support our campaign with a donation of £600 and we will arrange for one of our dance artists to visit your workplace and offer three, (one for each decade) complimentary staff wellbeing sessions using mindful movement - designed to create a restful, peaceful moment in the day where stresses and strains can evaporate!

£750 or more

Corporate Package

Your business logo placed on the cover of one of our Summer in the Park 2024 location leaflets (we have 5 locations) and posters plus a shout out by the compere at the event! We disseminate approx 11,000 leaflets per location via the Greenwich Info so your business will get great visibility!

£8 or more

£8 Reward - Knifty Knitter Long Loom Set

Many of our classes take place with the Knit and Natter group in Woolwich so when Celia's Creations offered us this long loom - ideal for blankets and scarfs - we snapped it up! But there's only one...so you need to snap it up too if knitting is your thing!

£15 or more

£15 Reward Fruit Box from The Village Greengrocer

Pledge £15 and receive a fruit box from the Village Green Grocers in Charlton worth £25! This gorgeous shop has an array of treats within it - they sell local beer and wine, bread, cakes, dried zero waste pulses and tinned goods alongside they lovely fresh fruit and veg! You can browse when you pick up your fruity goodies! @villagegreengrocers

£20 or more

£20 Reward - How to be a Meze Legend Kit

The Spicery - a fabulous mail order company offering spice kits for authentic but easy home cooking - is offering us a How to Be a Meze Legend cook book and tin worth £34. Snap it up! https://www.thespicery.com/how-to-be-a-mezze-legend-cookbook-kit

£50 or more

Cut and Blow Dry at The Hairy Chair

Our CEO has been using this friendly and welcoming salon for years. Chris and Tena believe passionately in being green and are leading the way in eco-friendly hairdressing. Check out their website for their full range of services but to start you off pledge £50 to Greenwich Dance and receive a cut and blow dry worth £60. Now that's a bargain huh?! http://thehairychair.com/

£50 or more

£50 Reward- Roast for 2 & wine at The Queens Pub

The Queens, Crouch End have offered a Sunday roast for 2 and bottle of wine (worth £76.50) for a pledge to Greenwich Dance. This is our Marketing Consultant's local, and an absolute GEM of a pub. Service is friendly and warm, the pub is beautiful (stained glass, polished wood) and the G&T's (our CEO can testify) are delish. Pledge now....https://www.brunningandprice.co.uk/queens/

£60 or more

£60 Reward - Pair of tix to Kaiser Chiefs

Did you know that a brand-new music festival is coming to our neighbourhood? The inaugural Greenwich Summer Sounds festival will be taking place on 4-8 July at the Old Royal Naval College. We have a pair of tix to the Kaiser Chiefs on Saturday 8th July to give away, RRP £56.50 (£113 total). Pledge now! https://www.greenwichsummersounds.com/tickets

£70 or more

£70 Reward: General Service for your Bicycle

Pledge £70 and get a voucher for a free General Service for your bicycle at local (Blackheath Standard) bike shop OneSixSix Velo worth £90!

£80 or more

£80 Reward - Pair of Tix to Black Eyed Peas

Did you know that a brand-new music festival is coming to our neighbourhood? The inaugural Greenwich Summer Sounds festival will be taking place on 4-8 July at the Old Royal Naval College. We have a pair of tickets for Black Eyed Peas on Friday 7th July to give away, worth £62.50 each (£125 total). Pledge now and snap up your tix! https://www.greenwichsummersounds.com/tickets/

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