YMD, a voluntary organization facilitating dance practice in Yorkshire, is based at Northern School of Contemporary Dance. The history of the group, founded in 1947, encapsulates 70 years of developments in Dance in Education, new directions in dance performance and recreational dance in the community.
Sir Alec Clegg, The Chief Education Officer for the West Riding of Yorkshire from 1945 to 1974, brought together an advisory team of men and women to promote art, drama, music and dance in schools and colleges. Key dance educationalists involved were Diane Jordan OBE, Margaret Dunn OBE, Arthur Stone, Joan Taylor and Enid Webber. As a result of inspiring dance workshops, local teachers requested regular dance meetings and “The West Riding of Yorkshire Movement Study Group” was formed. Early tutors were pioneers of Modern Educational Dance: Rudolph Laban, Lisa Ullman, Geraldine Stephenson, Arthur Stone and many more. The demise of the ‘West Riding’ in 1974, prompted a name change to YMD but the high caliber of tutors was retained. YMD has a long history of promoting performance enabled by “CHOREOS” (1963 to 1997) who took live performances into schools, colleges, and community centres.
The aim of YMD, then and now, was to provide a recreational dance environment in which dancers, artists, facilitators and dance lovers could;
- further their experience of dance in all its forms
- extend movement vocabulary
- retain and develop good technique
- share ideas and explore choreography
Members still participate in choreography projects with guest teachers, training days for teachers and promotion of dance celebrations. Members of all abilities contribute to the unique experience of learning and dancing together.
You can learn more about the history of the group in the publication: “50 YEARS OF DANCE” 1947 – 1997.