SkyeDance’s new development manager appointed this month

One of Scotland’s leading professional dancers took up his post as SkyeDance’s new development manager this month.

Dancer, choreographer, actor and director Ross Cooper will aim to further develop the work of SkyeDance by giving more people a chance to dance. As well as developing more adult classes Mr Cooper aims to see more classes being held across the Skye and Lochalsh area.

Among the companies he has worked with are London Royal Ballet, Rep Branstrup Rudra Bejart Ballet in Switzerland, Tokyo Ballet, Curve Foundation Dance Company and Rumori Dance Theatre in Holland. In addition he has provided choreography for events including the Athens Fringe Festival, Curve Dance and Dancelive and was the first person in Scotland to be given permission to stage works by Naharin, Cunningham, Watkins and Shechter.

Mr Cooper, who took up the position on 13th January, told the Free Press: “Everything is going very well. I am working to develop the organisation and encompass more adults, as well as offering greater provision for the area.

“We are currently carrying out lots of research to see what people want. The aim is to get more people dancing and improve quality, it’s a great opportunity.”

Mr Cooper was part of a dance company visiting Portree’s Aros Centre – where SkyeDance is based – last September and was impressed by the community response. “I did workshops and things when I was up and felt there was a lot of talent here to grow and develop,” he said, adding: “I feel we have the capacity to work in an international spectrum and to take SkyeDance to others.”

Helen Wright, chair of SkyeDance, added: “This is fantastic news for SkyeDance which allows us to explore new areas of activity and to engage with the wider community. We are very excited at the prospect of working with Ross and see opportunities to grow the organisation over the next few years.”

Next month 10 dancers from SkyeDance will be among those attending YDance at the Macrobert arts venue in Stirling. The event is a national performance platform for Scotland’s best youth dance groups and will see up to eight troupes selected to represent Scotland at the 2014 Commonwealth Youth Dance Festival.