Freefall Dance Company has been creating and performing daring, ground-breaking and award winning dance since 2002. By combining the dancers’ exceptional talents and individual styles, Freefall has repeatedly challenged and amazed audiences locally, nationally and internationally proving their artistic potential.
In the rehearsal space there is a light-hearted but focussed atmosphere where the dancers are determined to improve their classical dance skills. They support each other and laugh together in this safe space where anything is possible. The dancers have the freedom to experiment with, and contribute to, exciting new ideas and possibilities in dance. The dancers’ expression of their unique styles is encouraged through this freedom in rehearsal. As a result individual characters shine and this enriches Freefall performances.
Freefall continuously achieves and exceeds beyond expectations and stereotypes. The dancers’ hard work and determination to succeed enables them to improve and create breath-taking dance routines admired by critics. Their impressive performance films have received international acclaim and the annual Freefall showcase performance is definitely deserving of a place in your diary! Performing in the Birmingham Hippodrome’s Patrick Studio, the company showcases their talent through a number of routines and always entertains.
'[Freefall] is indeed a Birmingham treasure, greatly to be cherished and supported. It was wonderful to see, in conclusion, the invasion of the stage space by parents and siblings eager to hug and kiss and congratulate the performers - evidence, surely, of how Freefall is enriching family lives.'
MARY CLARKE, DANCING TIMES, 2008
Before 2002, Freefall Artistic Director Lee Fisher saw immense beauty in the unique movements of the dancers at Fox Hollies Performing Arts College. This inspired the creation of Freefall to provide a platform for talented dancers in a bracket of society for whom provision is limited. He considered the resulting creation of the Freefall group as a positive, innovative step for Birmingham Royal Ballet, Fox Hollies Performing Arts College and the wider community to work together and learn from each other. Freefall has been a huge success and has developed a reputation for its work with institutions such as the University of Birmingham and Coventry University. This has led to Freefall company members performing and leading workshops with trainee PE teachers and Occupational Therapists respectively.
As well as building a sense of pride for the dancers, the company is important as the Freefallers inspire others. Many of these remarkable dancers are ex-pupils of Fox Hollies. Dance training provided by expert dancers at Freefall allows members of the company to express themselves and their individualities without the restraint of their learning disabilities. The dancers have become role models for many currently attending the school as a result of their successes and 'can-do' attitudes. They inspire ambition among the young students and motivate audiences to chase dreams. Watch this space as Freefall continues to take the world by storm.
Freefall comprises Birmingham Royal Ballet staff, freelance artists, senior teachers and teaching assistants and a group of ten highly gifted dancers with severe learning disabilities.
Freefall meets weekly for two hours at Birmingham Royal Ballet studios. The sessions are highly structured and are equally divided between formal ballet technique training and choreographic work. Freefall is a fine example of collaborative and distributive leadership. This ensures genuine ownership by the company of all its choreography, and allows the dancers to contribute their own ideas therefore reflecting their unique style and creativity.
For the last ten years Freefall has been extending its reach through its innovative and collaborative dance development initiatives. Alonside a rigorous disability awareness intervention (designed and led by Fox Hollies School), members of the Freefall company frequently lead workshops with primary and secondary groups in special and mainstream educational settings. To date they have developed relationships with 19 schools, led teacher and dance artist INSETS and worked directly with over 300 young people.
More recently the Freefall company has developed a reputation for its work with universities. Partnerships have been extended with the University of Birmingham, School of Education and Coventry University, Department for Occupational Therapy. These have resulted in Freefall company members performing and leading workshops with trainee PE teachers and Occupational Therapists respectively and in both cases form part of thei annual on-going programmes.
'I just wanted to say thank you for organising that trip today. It was so moving and powerful and very emotional. I gained such an insight and admiration for people with different needs from my own, and it really made my career as an Occupational Therapist more real'Third year Occupational Therapy student, Coventry University
'Absolutely awesome day' 'thank you so much for an amazing experience'PGDipEd Physical Education students, Birmingham University
Open College Network
Freefall has designed and implemented its very own accreditation scheme through the Open College Network (OCN). Excellence in Ballet is a nationally recognised programme with three modules at both Entry and Level One. The scheme measures and celebrates the dancers learning in Ballet Technique, Dance Appreciation and Choreography and Performance Skills. On the way to developing a suite of qualifications that Freefallers can gain throughout their careers, the company is currently developing units on Dance Leadership and being a Healthy Dancer.
National Arts Award
Freefallers are also invited to take part in Arts Council England’s Arts Award – the national qualification which supports young people’s development as artists and arts leaders.
Freefall is generously supported by The Clore Duffield Foundation and National Express West Midlands, Birmingham Royal Ballet’s Accessibility Partner 2021. We are also grateful for the support received from Eveson Charitable Trust, Michael Watson Charitable Trust, FEDORA, The Loppylugs and Barbara Morrison Charitable Trust, The Alison Hillman Charitable Trust, The Sterry Family Foundation, The Vandervell Foundation and Teresa Sanminiatelli.