Bake-Dancing at Inner-City School

1 Apr 2016

Young dancers at Hovingham Primary School, Harehills have been busy in the kitchen, baking cakes to raise money in support of Leeds-based Phoenix Dance Theatre.

Practitioners from Phoenix Dance Theatre have been working with the schools’ reception children (aged 4 to 5) since September to explore the curriculum through movement. Hovingham Primary School is a diverse school with many children speaking a range of languages and Phoenix Dance Theatre’s work supports children to interpret school topics without boundaries of the traditional classroom conventions.

Committed to changing lives through dance, Phoenix regularly works with schools, community groups and young people. Since February, the 35-year-old Company has been campaigning against its most ambitious fundraising target ever following a series of cuts to its core funding.

In a touching tribute to Phoenix Dance Theatre’s Give 35 for 35 Years fundraising campaign, which asks individuals to donate £35, £35 or £3,500, the keen bakers asked for donations of 35p per bun, raising £46.82 during an informal performance to family and friends last week.

As a registered charity, Phoenix Dance Theatre relies on financial support from a number of sources and it’s hoped that through donations from the public, Phoenix’s nationally recognised dance education programme can reach more young people from a range of backgrounds all over the country.

Sharon Watson, Phoenix Dance Theatre’s Artistic Director comments:

‘What a wonderful surprise! We are so moved by the generosity that the families and children of Hovingham Primary have shown. Every penny donated by this hard-working community is a hugely significant contribution in these financially challenging times – and for this we thank you. My old school, Harehills Middle School which was just up the road, sparked my love for dance. We are honoured that after 35 years, Phoenix Dance Theatre which began in this community, still resonates with the people of Harehills.’


Donna Munroe, teacher at Hovingham Primary said:

‘Working with Sam Broadbent from Phoenix Dance Theatre has been a unique learning opportunity for Hovingham Reception children.  Experiencing the curriculum through dance, has allowed our children to grow in confidence. Performing the dances for their families gave all our children a real sense of pride in their achievements. Our “35p bun sale” was a simple way for the Reception children to say thank you and help Phoenix dance continue their wonderful work in schools.’

Thanks to a flood of donations from dance lovers across the UK, Phoenix Dance Theatre has smashed their previous individual giving records but are still a long way off their target of £50,000.

The public can donate £35, £350 or £3,500 to the Give 35 for 35 Years campaign, online at or text a Donation. To give £5, text ‘PNX002 £5’ to 70970. To give £10, text ‘PNX002 £10’ to 70191.