Woking College

31 January 2011

On Thursday I gave a workshop to students from Woking College. Similar to the younger children, we warmed-up and explored a movement phrase that I gave them. I tested their creativity through asking them to develop the phrases I gave them along specific ideas. Finally I asked for their ideas about the objects I had brought in and how they would use these in movement. Below are a selection of their ideas.

  • Teapot – tipping motions and tilts to emulate the motion of the object
  • Cleudo – search and find, a chase
  • Birthday cards – the different emotions associated with cards (sympathy, celebration, sadness)
  • Book – searching for the end of the story also looking at the strong edges of books
  • Wine bottle – Changing levels (the motion of being drunk) and sharp edges
  • Wine bottle – the relationships that develop over a wine bottle (e.g. love)
  • Apron – Family relationships and togetherness. Including lots of formations
  • Teacup – the characterisations of an elderly lady that shows her story through the teaup
  • Fur hat – protection, closing in and keeping to yourself
  • Fur hat – being lost in endless planes of snow

West Byfleet Junior School

30 January 2011

This week I have been busy building interest in the project and recruiting my younger dancers. On Tuesday 25th Jan, I ran two workshops in West Byfleet Primary school for year 5 students, from which I selected two dancers. In the workshops we played games to warm-up, talked about the objects I had brought with me and tested our creative skills by learning a duet phrase and then making up our own dances in small groups based around one of the objects. Below are some anecdotes the children told me about experiences they had had with similar objects:

  • One boy was going to a birthday party for two people and had a card for each of them but forgot to put the names on the envelopes before he sealed them. By the time he had got dressed for the party he had forgotten which card was for which friend! He ended up giving them to the wrong people!
  • One girl was on her way home from McDonalds with her granddad who had a hat on. It was a windy day and his hat was blown off her granddad’s head and onto a lady in an open-top car!
  • One boy once accidentally cut-up his mum’s apron to make a card for his grandmother! His mum was very angry.
  • One girl’s sister once put a toy snake in her bed. When she woke up she screamed because she thought it was a real one!


I also asked the children to make up stories inspired by the objects. They were asked to imagine who the object belonged to and what happened to the object. I’ve written out a selection below:

  • Mary Poppins owned a magic tea-cup that healed people. She used it to heal her father when he died.
  • The king of Scotland owned a very large snake. When he went to dinner with the Queen of England, the snake ate her!
  • Once there was a man who lived up near the north-pole and he owned a fur hat. When he was out fishing one day he fell into to the hole where he was fishing and lost his hat!
  • A boy called Daniel owns a snake that he keeps in his bed at night and takes out to picnics to scare the guests.
  • A rat owned a basket of apples, but one day a mouse snuck in and ate them all!
  • There was once an old cluedo game in a loft that belonged to Jack. He was told by his grandparents that he wasn’t old enough to play the game. So one night he snuck up to the loft to get the game and played it with his pet chicken.

After the story session, we learnt a duet and then had a quick five minutes to make up our own dances. I was really impressed by the creativity of the groups and how well they worked together.

What stories can you imagine? Have a look at the pictures of the objects for inspiration and reply below or email them to me

Pictures of Objects used in Care Home 2

15 January 2011

These were the objects used in the care home session on 13th January. Do you own anything similar? Can you imagine a story based around one of these objects? Leave your comments below.

Objects in order: CD, tea-tray, tea-pot, snake, rolling pin, plant pot, maracas, knitting, jug, cushion, cluedo

Research in Care Homes 2

14 January 2011

Today I had a second session in a care home, in which I explored and discussed different objects (pictures of these to come in the next post). It is really interesting to see what it is that sparks interest in different people about objects and in particular how to draw-out the wealth stories and experiences I’m sure the residents have. Today different residents were more out-spoken. Here are the highlights

Lorna really enjoyed playing with the snake and being a cuddly toy most of the participants immediately took to it and would touch and talk to the snake – it was a great game of make-believe that they immediately bought into.

Dervisha was inspired by the cushion as well as the snake, and shared with us how her older cousin would make dolls to keep the birds off the crops on the farm where she lived when she was growing up. It was lovely to listen in on her talking to Lorna about how she would stitch, and the tragedy of one day when a doll fell into a bucket of oil.

Chris, who was very quiet for most of the session, became very animated when Sarah asked if he played any muscal instruments – he played the trumpet.

Louise reminisced about playing Ludo with her family and how much she enjoyed these times when they were together. In relation to last week she mentioned that she could tell people’s fortune with cards – but that she didn’t always like dong it!

Both Cath and Valerie were drawn towards the tea-tray/  tea-pot. There was definately another tea theme!

It was also lovely to learn from John (a volunteer at the centre) that the residents of the home had used rolling pins (one of my objects this week) to make clay pots (another one of my objects) – and you can see a picture of him showing example (right)!

Thank you to Sarah and everyone at Dormer’s Care home for helping me with this part of the research!

Pictures of Objects Used in Care Homes 1

13 January 2011

These were the objects used in the care home session on 6th January. Which do you relate to? Do you have any anecdotes or stories that reference these objects?

Objects in order: tea cup, birthday cards, board game, hat, apron, book, fur hat, lampshade, sewing kit, suitcase, wine bottle

Research in Care Homes Part 1

13 January 2011

Last Thursday (6th January), I spent a lovely morning in Dormers Care Home in Caterham with residents, care workers and Sarah Smith who was facilitating the session and will be dancing in the final piece. It was a great morning and has definately set my brain to work on exactly how I am going to make Share the word... .

The aim of this visit was for me to experience a dance session in a care home, and talk to the participants about my ideas. I took along a selection of objects that I wanted to discuss including a lampshade, small suitcase, wine bottle, 2 hats, apron, tea-cup and saucer, pic-nic basket, birthday cards and book. There were some beautiful stories/reminiscences that unfolded from the session including:

  • Heddi reminisced about her sister’s fur coats that was inspired by the fur hat that I took in. Her sister bought the furrs “up north” and allowd her to choose whichever coat she wanted to wear – they came in all sorts of colours so she never got bored. She confessed that she was “spoiled” with fur coats.
  • Mary told a story about going up to london, to just off trafalgar square and see a woman with a pet fox! At the time she thought it wasn’t very kind keeping a wild animal like that, but it was obviously a very rememberable occasion (also inspired by the fur hat)
  • Mary also told us about the bottles that she used to have (some contained whiskey) that were an inspiring set of colorus including blue, yellow, green and clear.
  • Cath was inspired by the two Birthday cards that I took in. She remebered going up to London to shop on her Birthdays and sometimes seeing a show. They used to be taken up by coaches. (Heddi joined in that she enjoyed going to the theatre by coach)
  • The most popular item by far was the tea-cup and saucer (and in fact during the session there were a few remarks about when they would get a cup of tea). Devsha owned a blue china tea-set. However, Louise interestingly shared that during the war a woman had come to her village to predict the future with tea leaves (at the bottom of the cup). She jokingly said that this was how she found her husband – but more seriously said that the tea-leaf woman had told her what her husband looked like.

The stories were inspiring, and I felt priviledged being able to access the residens personal memories. The challenge for me will be where to go next and how to develop and incorporate the memories I have been told into the shared narrative of the dance-work I will create. I will be going back next week to share different objects with them, and try to inspire different memories.

More to follow, including pictures of the objects I used! If any of these stories have inspired you – please comment on this page or contact me on

Share the Word

12 January 2011

Let me tell you a bit about what Surrey Arts has commissioned me to create:

My brief is to choreograph a dance-work for an intergenerational cast of dancers: there will be 4 students from Primary Schools, 4 students from Secondary Schools, 4 professional Dance Artists and 4 Older Adults. The resulting piece will be toured to care-homes and schools in Surrey as well as being performed as part of a dance platform.

My proposal is a piece called Share the word…

Share the word… brings together the themes and ethos of the recently revived “make-do-and-mend” movement into a dance-work incorporating live movement and film that gets people talking and thinking about their values and stories/ experiences.

The starting point for this piece will be sharing stories and experiences stimulated by commonly found objects. I will bring together the experiences of the group of dancers to create 5 short shared histories (scenarios) that will explore ‘second-hand’, ‘recycling’ and ‘reusing’ our skills and resources and directly relate to 5 chosen objects.  These communally created narratives will provide the structure and content of the dance-work and the films will focus on exploring the functionality, texture and personality of the chosen objects. By creating a ‘made-up’ shared history equal value is placed on the dancer’s and audience’s understanding and ideas.


  • To widen access and develop new dance audiences by giving an insight into the creative process behind dance
  • To develop discussion about recycling and its relevance to different areas of our lives
  • To work in a collaborative environment, sharing skills and recycling ourselves.

Why is it relevant for the target audience?

School groups – Developing stories and movement will expand and aid literacy and story-telling skills as well as the confidence to move and express ideas. It will also promote discussion of re-using and re-cycling.

Older people – The workshops will be an opportunity to share stories and memories which will develop communication and support within the care centres.

Hello World

10 January 2011

With a new commission in the making for Surrey Arts, I have decided to set up a blog to share my creative practice and to act as a common ground reflective journal and research area for the project. This can become a resource for those involved in the project with me (including dancers, filmmaker and the Dance Development team at Surrey Arts), as well as an insight area for anyone interested in the piece. I hope to post photos and videos as well as a journal of my thoughts in this space, but will also ask those involved to contribute to make this blog an active research area. I hope this process will help us to reflect on what’s happening in research and rehearsal, so please send me any feedback by commenting here or emailing

Isle of View in the News

04 November 2008

Check out Isle of View in the Caterham news!

URGENT: Stage Manager required for national tour of Getting Dressed

Application deadline midday 30 December

Due to unexpected circumstances Second Hand Dance is urgently looking for a Stage Manager for its National tour of a new dance show, Getting Dressed, for children 4+ and their families 


23 January until 2 May 2017 

Interviews: 4 January, London 

Expressions of Interest: No later than midday 30th December 

Please submit your CV and a short statement, no more than 500 words, detailing why you are interested in working on the project to: 

Claire Summerfield, Producer 


Getting Dressed 
A new dance show for children and their families
Getting Dressed delves into the movement and humour of clothes; how you put them on, take them off, share them and express yourself, your identity, your gender…And, get stuck in them. Getting dressed by yourself is a huge milestone as a child; it shows independence, technical capability, maturity and the identity we choose to present to the wider world. Made for 4–7 year olds and their families Getting Dressed subtly challenges the conventions, peer pressures and popular culture influences children encounter when starting school. A highly visual, dance based full length work. 

Second Hand Dance 

Second Hand Dance makes highly visual dance performances, collaborating with dancers, visual artists and the public to produce joyful, inspirational shows for children and adults that hold the audience experience at its centre. The work is often socially engaged, subtly participatory and presented in theatres, galleries, libraries and outdoor spaces. 

Rosie Heafford is a performance maker and director/choreographer based in England. After graduating Trinity Laban with a degree in Dance Theatre, she went on to study at Goldsmiths College specialising in Participatory Theatre. Rosie was shortlisted for the Arts Foundation Award for Children’s Theatre (2016). 



The Stage Manager is responsible for: 

  •  Advising and supporting the creative team as required. 
  •  Working closely with all members of the creative and technical team to realise the production and tour. 
  •  Producing a financial record & receipts for allocated budgets in an agreed format as requested. 
  •  Supporting the production manager in the fit-up/rig and strike of set, LX, & sound for rehearsal purposes 
  •  Creating an annotation of rehearsals or ‘prompt book’. This can be in written or video form as agreed with the choreographer 
  •  Be responsible for the creation of the cue sheet 
  •  Working with the Production Manager to facilitate the smooth technical running of performances 
  •  Working with the Production Manager on the fit-up/rig and strike of set, LX, & sound of all performances, 
  •  To undertake driving of set, LX and sound equipment for all dates of the tour (a full, clean licence is required) 
  •  To be available during the run of the production to deal with matters arising 



1. REHEARSAL PERIOD: £450 per week x 3 wks - TOTAL: £1,350 

2. TOUR: 

A: £450.00 per week x 6 weeks – TOTAL: £2,700 

Weeks beginning 13 – 19 Feb, 2 – 9 March, 11- 12 and 18 - 20 March (split week) 4 – 9 April, 18 – 23 April, 26 April – 2 May. 

B: £250 for the 24-25 February 



1. Relocation costs and per diems: 

a) Where accommodation is provided – £117 per week 

b) Where accommodation is not provided - £212 per week 


We anticipate Second Hand Dance will provide accommodation for the creation period. 


1. Touring Allowance - £283.00 per week x 6 weeks 

Weeks beginning 13 – 19 February, 2 – 9 March , 11- 12 and 18 - 20 March (split week) 4 – 9 April, 18 – 23 April, 26 April – 2 May . 

2. 24- 25 February: An appropriate pro rata allowance, either £90 for one overnight stay or £147 for 2 overnight stays including per diems 


Other expenses 

1. Creation Period 

a) Reimbursement / cover of the cost of one standard class return trip from home to creation base i.e. Nottingham, Eastleigh and Bournemouth or petrol at 30p per mile 

2. Touring Period: Travel during the touring period will either be 

a) Via Splitter Van with the full company 



b) Via van with production team 


This is a freelance role, providing services to the Company and will not be entitled to paid holiday, sick pay or any other employment benefits and will be responsible for their own tax and national insurance contributions. All payments above are inclusive of VAT if applicable.