Get Involved With Dance Ahead

You know you want to!


Zoë will be working with schools across Cumbria in the run up to the 2019 U Dance Festival. She will work closely with teachers and pupils to facilitate the creation of performances which will be presented to public audiences at Theatre by the Lake, Keswick and The Sands Centre, Carlisle.

U Dance is a particularly enjoyable contract for Zoë as it helps to showcase the rich youth talent that lies hidden within our beautifully rural county. Can’t wait to see what they come up with next Spring!

Stay posted for future updates.

Zoë recently worked across four schools in Cumbria in preparation for U-Dance 2018.

Carnegie Theatre, Workington – U-Dance Performance – 26th March 2018

  • Bookwell Primary School (Egremont)
  • Orgill Primary School (Egremont)
  • Frizington Community Primary School (Frizington)

The Sands Centre, Carlisle – U-Dance Performance – 27th April 2018

  • Shankhill C of E Primary School (Heathersgill)

It was a privilege to work with such vibrant and creative children and Zoë looks forward to building on the relationships in each school as well as with the U-Dance family!

Shout out to Active Cumbria, Alison Horn, Helena Morris-Lockwood and Lynn Barnes for being so welcoming!

Activities for All



MAY 2017

Working in close collaboration with a wealth of community providers in Carlisle Zoë Leigh and Sophie delivered a fun-filled cultural week alongside Carlisle Youth Zone’s HITZ Holiday Club.

Funded by the Big Lottery Fund (secured by community group M-Unit) Zoë and Sophie are working to assist the sustainable return of  community group ‘MultiCultural Carlisle’ with original founder of the group Saj Ghafoor.

This project marked the first in two 2017 events in the run up for the return of Carlisle’s famed ‘Culture Bazaar’ in 2018.

If you are keen to get involved email in the first instance.

The week resulted in children and adults from a broad variety of cultures sharing creative insight into traditions, arts, crafts, dance, skills etc. The week included Nepalese cooking, World Doodling, Shadow Puppetry, Greek Mosaic Making, Chinese Calligraphy and tea, Indian dance, Salsa, World Food Buffet with samples donated from around the city, Football, Rhythm and instrument making, storytelling, wondering what if…, faceprinting and much more.

Our next culturally focussed event will take place in October focusing on language, folklore, storytelling and communication.

‘Worldwide Words’ is an opportunity for all cultures in Carlisle to come together and mingle, chat and learn together. Most of all – we want people of all ages to have fun!

Stay posted for future updates.

CREATIVE COLLABORATION…lies at the heart of our projects – the joy of allowing creative input from a variety of practitioners, participants and session leaders is immense! Seeing people’s confidence develop through interaction, unleashing the imagination and simply engaging with others in a non-threatening creative environment is extremely rewarding for all involved.

Zoë Leigh Gadd /

Get involved


Residents in Carlisle, from all around the world enjoyed a 10 week pilot scheme of FREE basic dance classes that explored world styles, rhythms and movement. There was a chance to share traditional dances, to learn others, to explore the way the body moves and to meet new friends! Members came from Nepal, China, Romania, Poland, Japan, UK, Egypt, Italy etc. and used to come along to the session following an early morning English class.

Contact us for info on future opportunities.

Supported by Active Cumbria

Get involved



Schools, Colleges, Universities, Community/Youth Groups, Intensive Projects, Workshops, Classes

See images below for schools offers.

For enquiries please contact Zoë at

Community enhancement and integration lie at the centre of our work. Our team hold a wealth of experience in delivering high quality interdisciplinary workshops, classes and projects to a broad range of people in a variety of contexts.

We have worked with non-dancers to professional dancers; 6 year olds to 80 year olds, undergraduates and graduates and have gained something new from each and every session.

Dance Ahead offer workshops to suit
all budgets and work with educational institutions to design bespoke sessions/projects that work to enhance curriculum-based learning through creative and interdisciplinary approaches.

Educational provision



Dance Ahead Youth

View the Dance Ahead Youth Promo 2017 below!!



Zoe has been an invaluable help to me becoming a more rounded performer…I would spend classes in the corner and try to make myself as unnoticeable as possible. Zoe refused to take that for an answer and by the end of the term had cast me as a pivotal role in our dance assessment…which would not have been achievable without Zoe’s refusal to let me give up. Can’t thank her enough.

Rahman Telliam / BA (Hons) Performing Arts student


Zoe has guided many in creative ways and has been the foundation in helping students reach greater success. The process was challenging mentally and physically which is what makes her even more thrilling to work with. It is a perfect example of her passion and devotion to every project she works on. 

Beth Law / Recent graduate


Zoe is an extremely kind hearted and patient mentor. Although the subject she taught me was not my strongest she always made time to draw and see the best within me. Her commitment and passion for each student to succeed only adds to her gentle and caring personality. Her mentoring and guidance has helped me to be where I am today.

Joe Roper / Former student & photographer