COVID-19 COULD TAKE OUR HOME
PLEASE HELP SAVE OUR STUDIO
What do we need money for?
The Big Dance Company, a family run dance school who after twenty years in the heart of the Cornish community, is facing a life-changing challenge. The building we have called home for twenty years is to be sold on the public market as a result of COVID-19 and the stress on the country's landlords. As a result, our future is uncertain. We are raising money to save the building.
WHO WE ARE
My name is Fiona Richardson and I am the Artistic Director of what is proudly known worldwide as ‘The Big Dance Company’. I started this journey in Goldsithney, a small village on the outskirts of Penzance, Cornwall over twenty years ago as a new beginning for me and my son after escaping a life of domestic abuse. Surviving a traumatic life experience at such a young age has left me with a grateful and empathetic heart, a strong will to help young people reach their full potential. I strive to instill them with core values, life skills, self-belief, personal development and the ability to see the beauty in themselves and in others.
With a handful of beautiful souls from St Hilary School, whose children now also train at The Big Dance Company, I started the Fiona Richardson School Of Dance. Together with my dancers and an army of enthusiastic dance families whose Grandchildren now dance with me, we started attending small competitions and creating our own fundraising shows and events. It was when we made the live semi-finals of Britain’s Got Talent in 2008 with my group ‘Flava’ that the studio spiraled into a full time mission. Led by my own son Kyle Richardson, it gave us a platform to do the work that we are most passionate about. Using our gift of dance to transform lives, make a difference in the community and embark on educational international outreach projects and performances.
The Big Dance Company, a family run local business forged by myself, husband Ben and son Kyle, strives to offer BIG Dreams and BIG opportunities to people of all ages, abilities and backgrounds. Our studio has performed in twelve different countries and holds titles for Cornwall in National, European and World Championships.
We have been awarded with Pride of Penwith, Teacher of the Year Penwith, Unlocking Human Potential and the Honorary Philip Lawrence Award presented to us by Sir Trevor McDonald for our anti-bullying initiative. We have been invited to an intimate lunch with HM Queen Elizabeth II amongst many other incredible recognitions and world class awards, putting Cornwall on the map for international arts and culture.
There is so much more to celebrate! I wish I had more room to share with you our journey so far, which has been fulfilling, exciting and so emotionally rewarding for all who have taken this ride alongside us. The incredible life changing success stories of our students continue to make us proud and are the catalyst for our perseverance through the many challenges we have faced together.
This catalyst is only getting stronger with our unique, recently launched ambassador projects where our incredible young people, through interactive performing arts and dance will tackle important issues such as climate change, equality and diversity, domestic abuse and mental health in young people. Through this initiative, we hope to rebuild our community morale and begin to heal the psychological damage caused in the wake of COVID-19.
Established for twenty years, with the support of our incredibly strong and loyal dance community, our studios are sustainable and will continue to flourish, providing we have a secure and permanent roof over our heads.
We are running a worldwide campaign to ask if you might team together with us and help save the home of this very special dance family. If we can find a solution to secure this premises, we will be able to provide a safe haven, not just for our young people, but for many other inclusive creatives and community based groups to thrive. We would like to provide a much needed creative space in Cornwall to develop the arts that are under constant threat in the current climate.
GIVING TO OUR COMMUNITY
Despite our own challenges, for twenty years The Big Dance Company has been leading projects to help our local community and worldwide communities including:
PICTURE: WORKING WITH DEVON AND CORNWALL POLICE - DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AWARENESS FLASHMOB
- Domestic violence awareness with Devon and Cornwall Police
- Hate crime awareness with Devon and Cornwall Police
- Anti-Bullying campaigns, nationally funded by the Home Office
- Anti-Knife crime campaigns, nationally
- ASB national workshops
- Local scholarships for underprivileged children
- Mental Health awareness in association with UDOIT foundation
- International outreach in South Africa
- International outreach in the inhabited landfill sites of Asia
- Local Action For Children
- Bereaved families support
- Chelsea children's hospital visits and performances
PICTURE: OUR VISIT TO CHELSEA CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL, PERFORMANCES AND GIFTS COLLECTED BY OUR COMMUNITY.
PICTURE: OUR DANCE COMPANY ASPIRE WITH OUR TOWN MAYOR
We survived the initial National lockdown period by immediately delivering our full and extensive timetable online to our students at home. For many this was a lifeline of structure and normality in such an uncertain world.
Gratefully, back in our premises and beginning to get back on track again, we now face the uncertainty of whether our organisation will be able to continue without its current space and location
The building in Chapel Street, Penzance has been our resident dance space for 18 years and will imminently be going up for sale. Our licence comes to an end soon and if we do not act fast, we are likely to lose our studios and be forced to relocate out of the heart of our community where our work is needed most of all.
During this pandemic, our young people and their families could really do without further disruption and uncertainty in their lives. For many, dance and their progressing education within the arts, is one of the only positive influences, keeping them moving forward with purpose and fulfilment.
We are running a worldwide campaign to ask if you might team together with us and help save the home of this very special dance family. If we can find a solution to secure this premises, we will be able to provide a safe haven, not just for our young people, but for many other inclusive creatives and community based groups to thrive including Shallal Dance Company and Barbara Salter's Exercise group. We would like to provide a much needed creative space in Cornwall to develop the arts that are under constant threat in the current climate.
We understand that in the current climate not everyone can donate financially, but by sharing this and raising awareness for our cause is just as valuable to us. Please reach out to as many friends, family and business colleague's with this page and you never know there maybe someone that can help us.
Thank you so much for reading and caring about the future of our studio and its beautiful people inside it.
Thank you from the bottom of our hearts
Fiona and Ben and the BDC team.
You can watch our post lockdown social distance dance show we managed to put together for Penzance ~Mazey day