Our History

DANCE SIX-0 started in response to a visit to the Elixir Festival at Sadler’s Wells where The Company of Elders, a dance company of people over 60 were performing.

Founder members of DANCE SIX-0, Judith Bossano, Meg Edgar and Philippa Heseltine were inspired to establish an opportunity for contemporary dance in Salisbury, and were introduced to Vicky Thornton, who became our Executive Producer. She set up a meeting with Gemma Alldred, Community Director at Salisbury Playhouse, to discuss the idea. Gemma could also see the potential of a dance performance group catering for elders and offered support to test the idea. Judith, who was 80 at the time, was keen to emphasise that it cater for all ages over 60 and at varying levels of mobility. Salisbury Playhouse gave us seed funding so that we could run three taster sessions in June. This enabled us to lead three dance sessions to test the waters.

The tasters were a huge success. Each one included a ‘talk out’ at the end which revealed that some participants wanted to be part of a performance company and others wanted to join an open class to simply dance.

In September 2015, in response to the feedback, we held a workshop to audition our inaugural Company. Nine women and three men were selected. And two weeks later, we started two fully-booked Open Classes, led by Debbie Lee-Anthony, and a Company class dedicated to dance performance with our now Artistic Director, Rosalind Conlon. Salisbury Playhouse and Vicky Thornton continued to support us and we were also granted start up funding from Wiltshire Community Foundation.

Three weeks after being established, the Company performed as supporting cast with Lila Dance, in their touring production of ‘The Deluge’ at Salisbury Arts Centre. This was an exciting first performance opportunity alongside a professional dance Company and Jigsaw Youth Dance Company at Salisbury Arts Centre.

Having been supported by Salisbury Playhouse and performed at Salisbury Arts Centre and Salisbury International Arts Festival, we continue to be supported by their merged entity, Wiltshire Creative, for which we are hugely grateful.

In addition, we are grateful for the support of Arts Council England, Wiltshire Community Foundation, Wiltshire County Council through the Area Board Funding.