Dance lovers the world over will know exactly what kind of dance they love, where to find it and how to gain access to what they love. Whether it's watching shows, performing or taking part in classes, there is something out there for everybody. Dance companies are working hard to inspire diverse audiences and foster new dancing careers, so this month we're asking: how do dance companies make their art form available to everyone?

Young dancers © Candoco
Young dancers
© Candoco

Dance isn't just for the seasoned ballet-lover, in fact more organisations are making dance accessible for kids and young people. This month we English National Ballet's My first Ballet: Coppelia will be showing to younger audiences, while London Children's Ballet will be showing Nanny McPhee, with young performers. 

At the other end of the spectrum, who says a dancer's career ends at forty? What happens when an older person still wants to be involved in dance performance? Three Score Dance company create high quality performance work for dancers aged over sixty. Emily Brown's article explores that extra factor that older dancers bring to a performance in her piece, Growing Old Gracefully: Three Score Dance Company

What about those people whose bodies make it harder for them to join in? Dance is increasingly used as a form of therapy, either for physical complaints and illnesses or for other conditions. Click here to read about Dance for Parkinsons.

Companies like Candoco Dance encourage inclusion for people with all types of bodies, regardless of physical disability. Candoco's outreach programmes take their inclusive notion of dance to young people too. Rosamaria Kostic-Cisneros caught up with Candoco co-artistic director Pedro Machado for an interview. 

Caroline Bowditch, an artist with a disability, regards herself as 'the Mosquito in the room', and a provocateur when it comes to the dance industry. Read our interview with Bowditch here.

Is there a social stigma around ballet and dance, a notion that performing arts are only for ‘posh’ people? Venues and companies situated in certain areas may have a tougher time reaching audiences and making their performances accessible than venues or companies situated elsewhere. 

In the digital age, does dance even need to be live? When dance performances are available via youtube and on websites, that's one way it might reach a wider and more diverse audience. Perhaps the viral youtube video is a particularly good way to reach young people. Katja Vaghi's article about Dance and the Moving Image, or Stephanie Sirabian's article about Dance on Film could shed some light on the subject.

Keep an eye out for more articles coming later this month.

Read on

Accessibility is not just an issue for dance – it's a concern that all kinds of organisations are dealing with across the arts. April is Opera Month on Bachtrack, and we're looking at how Opera is being made more readily available to new and diverse audiences in the Opera world too, with Access All Arias