In 2014 Julia was Helmsdale’s dancer-in-residence at Timespan Museum and Arts Centre for a six week project. As well as providing opportunities for people in Helmsdale and the surrounding area to take part in creative dance sessions, Julia led a community dance performance at Helmsdale Primary School. Collaborating with dancer Lucy Boyes and inspired by local storyteller Lorna Jappy, the project took inspiration from Highland folklore, in particular Selkie stories.
To mark the launch of the residency, Julia held a Day of Dance at Timespan on Saturday 23rd August. She ran fun, creative dance classes for all ages from under 5s to over 50s, which was a great opportunity to meet local people interested in dance.
Visiting Helmsdale every Friday Julia delivered dance sessions to nursery, P1-3 and P4-7 classes in the primary school, ensuring that every child gets the chance to be involved in the project. She has also been ran community dance classes for over 60s and for adults in Timespan’s workshop space, attracting a small but loyal following of people who loved moving to music.
On Monday 29th September Helmsdale Primary hosted a performance called “The Selkie’s Tale”, bringing together dancing by children from P1 to P7 and a new solo work performed by dancer Lucy Boyes with soundtrack by sound artist Bill Thompson. Taking inspiration from the sea, the fishing tradition and from the myths surrounding the selkies or seal-people, “The Selkie’s Tale” combines storytelling, live music and dance, creating an energetic and thought provoking piece.