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We're always first on the dance floor.

North Staffs News
North Staffs News
PODCAST: FRONTLINEdance Ltd, with artistic director Rachael Lines.
Artistic Director of FRONTLINEdance Ltd, Rachael Lines. Photo: Jerome Whittingham @photomoments.
Artistic Director of FRONTLINEdance Ltd, Rachael Lines. Photo: Jerome Whittingham @photomoments.
In this in-depth podcast interview for North Staffs News, artistic director of FRONTLINEdance Ltd, Rachael Lines, tells us all about the work of this local contemporary dance company.
Rachael shares a great deal of insight into how the arts have a real positive impact on individuals and communities.
“FRONTLINEdance seeks to break down the barriers for people to engage in dance participation and performance, playing a positive role in integration and community cohesion.”
Now 20 years old, the contemporary dance company specialises in co-creating dance performances with people in the community, especially those with specific needs such as learning disability, or diagnosis of illness such as cancer, Parkinson’s, and stroke.
FRONTLINEdance works across North Staffordshire, often calling in the expertise of choreographers and professional dancers from across the Midlands too.
Rachael talks about how her own experiences of ill health fuel her empathy and drive her to create opportunities for others.
Her enthusiasm, energy, and expertise is motivating!
And, find out even more about FRONTLINEdance Ltd by visiting their website: https://frontlinedance.co.uk
‘Are you human, or are you dancer?’ The editor says he’s both.
Time to get reading - the Arnold Bennett Book Prize longlist is announced!
Books longlisted for this year's Arnold Bennett Book Prize.
Books longlisted for this year's Arnold Bennett Book Prize.
Jenny Amphlett has been in touch with news of the longlisting for this year’s Arnold Bennett book prize. Jenny writes:
A former police psychologist, a national newspaper columnist, an art historian and a retired midwife are amongst the longlisted authors for this year’s Arnold Bennett Book Prize.
The book prize, which was established in 2017 to mark the 150th anniversary of the birth of Arnold Bennett, attracted many entries including from a number of nationally-known authors.
This year’s prize is for books published during 2020 or 2021, after the usually annual prize took a one-year break due to the pandemic.
The longlist of 10 books includes two anthologies of poetry, two detective novels, a memoir and a novella-in-flash.
A cheque for £500 will be presented to the writer of the winning entry at an Arnold Bennett Society ceremony on Saturday, May 28.
The chairman of the judging panel, freelance lecturer Morag Jones, said: “We are pleased with the number and quality of submissions once again this year. We have received such a wide variety of poetry, fiction and non-fiction.
“Those who are longlisted are very worthy. Longlisting was a difficult process because of the quality of the submissions.”
Fellow judge and retired headteacher Elizabeth Leslie added: “We were impressed by the enthusiasm and energy of writers from North Staffordshire. We are fortunate that the spirit of Arnold Bennett lives on.”
The judges also include author and historian Fred Hughes, retired senior librarian Philip Lees, Arnold Bennett Society trustee Erika Alcock, journalist and Made in Stoke-on-Trent coordinator Jenny Amphlett plus Arnold Bennett Society members Penny Michell and Pat Marshall.
It is the fifth year the international book prize has been organised by the Arnold Bennett Society.
Entry is open to writers based in Stoke-on-Trent, the wider North Staffordshire area or living anywhere in the world if their work features North Staffordshire.
Past winners include Guardian columnist Charlotte Higgins, who was born and raised in Newcastle-under-Lyme, novelist Jan Edwards, short story writer Lisa Blower and poet John Lancaster.
The longlisted books are:
Only About Love by Debbi Voisey
Where the Silent Screams are Loudest by John Pye
Greek Myths – A New Retelling by Charlotte Higgins
Freecycling for Beginners by Misha Herwin
Push! By Sylvia Baddeley
The Leading Question by Roger Elkin
Locations by Peter Cash
Arthur Berry – a Ragged Richness by Peter Davies
Hunt by Leona Deakin
Casanova’s Guide to Medicine by Lisetta Lovett
Easter Fun Day, with Affordable Food Stoke
We’ve seen that the fab people at Affordable Food Stoke have some fun planned this weekend! The weather forecast on the editor’s phone app says ‘Sunny intervals and a moderate breeze’ for Saturday. Go on, get your face painted!
Easter Fun Day, Saturday 9th April, 11am to 2pm, 77-81 Meaford Drive, Blurton, ST3 2BB.
Animate Projects and the British Ceramics Biennial invite expressions of interest from artists with ideas for a residency/film commission.
Here’s an arts opportunity to apply for, if animation and ceramics are your thing…
The British Ceramics Biennial and Animate Projects are working together to commission an artist working in animation to undertake a residency-commission, engaging pottery workers and/or former workers in the process, and producing a film for exhibition as part of the British Ceramics Biennial 2023, for festivals, and online.
The deadline is 25th April. More details by following the link below.
Opportunity details | Place Setting: R&D residency/commission | CuratorSpace
In Other Reads
A little round-up of news that hit the editor’s inbox this week:
For richer for paw-er... Would you have a 'dogsmaid'? | This Morning
Regions to share £7bn of transport funding | National Business News | Insider Media
Residential development enters final stages | Midlands Property News | Insider Media
About North Staffs News
We’re a friendly email news bulletin for North Staffordshire. Constructive and solutions-focused, we share news-in-brief of positive things happening locally.
We now have a dedicated podcast channel - the editor’s interview with Rachael at FRONTLINEdance is the first episode on the platform. We’re keen to visit more people to record in-depth interviews. Get in touch if you’d like to feature.
Got news that you think our subscribers need to read? Drop a paragraph over to the editor anytime.
We love it when you get in touch!
Email: editor@northstaffs.news.
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Editor: Jerome Whittingham
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