DAZL @ The Hub – Yorkshire Evening Post

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Susan Press reports on how an impressive new facility is transforming opportunities for youngsters in south Leeds.

The South Leeds Youth Hub, built this year on the site of the old Merlyn Rees High School in Belle Isle, was one of the last schemes to be delivered by the previous Labour government as part of a £270million programme targeting teenagers, vulnerable groups and NEETS – young people not in education, employment or training.

In recent weeks the Hub has been a hive of summer activity, with everything from sport and IT classes to song and dance and lessons in recording music.

This evening, around 30 youngsters will perform a 45-minute musical inspired by the Glee TV series, created with help from community dance project Dazl.

In September activities will be significantly expanded as youth leaders and teachers work in partnership with a range of organisations, including Health for All Leeds, NHS Leeds, and Hunslet Boys and Girls Club.

Made up of seven “zones” offering facilities to schools and community groups, including a mechanics workshop, hair and beauty salon, recording studio, and performance space, the Hub also has a “chill out” zone,

Groups already using the premises include the Signpost project, which works with vulnerable young people aged from 9 to 14.

Community outreach workers from Leeds United and members of the business community are also getting involved in the bid to improve life chances for children in one of the most disdvantaged parts of Leeds. Careers counselling and health education also form part of the mix.

Coun Judith Blake, Executive Member for Children’s Services and Chair of the Hub’s Partnership Board,said: “During the day there are all sorts of opportunities for schools to do off-site activities to enhance their curriculums. Other projects work with vulnerable groups, including children who are at risk of exclusion.

“We are also there to hold families together and offer advice to help young people ready for the world of work.”

“We have been building the Hub for the past few months and are now looking to increase the work we do to full strength capacity and focus on a wider age range.

“It is up to all of us in the community to demonstrate what we can do with these facilities and keep our young people engaged and active.”

The centre manager, Leon Reed, said a key task is to ensure that by the autumn the South Leeds Hub will be open to the community seven days a week with over 80 hours’ of activity on offer.

“As the cogs get turning, more and more organisations are coming on board,” he said.

DAZL Boys Inspire More Boys To Dance

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By Jonathan Brown
Published on Friday 17 June 2011 10:17

Europe’s only all-male cheerleading squad is getting bigger and bigger.

The south Leeds-based DAZL Boys saw 28 newcomers audition for places in different age groups as cheerleading for boys in the city continues to grow in popularity.

It comes as the boys brace themselves for yet another television appearance, this time on CBBC’s The Slammer.

Ian Rodley, director of Dance Action Zone Leeds (DAZL), said: “We had a really high standard at what was more of a hip hop audition but they were like, ‘we want to do the pom pom stuff’.

“There’s even going to be some boys that don’t make the teams because they aren’t ready or need more time.

“It’s great that our boys are changing behaviours and people’s attitudes to dance.”

All together DAZL had 42 boys at the auditions, which included some senior dancers.

Kane Keith, 12, from Belle Isle, auditioned for the group for the first time this week.

He said: “I decided to audition because I like to dance and it is a good experience, and it looked good on TV!

“I started going to football and looked at some other activities and I got interested in street dance and cheerleading.”

In 2009, DAZL expanded to include a new boys’ team and ever since they have gone from strength to strength with high profile appearances all over the UK.

Josh Holt, 14, who has danced with DAZL for three years, said: “At first there was only a few of us doing it and now every time a new person joins, more and more people want to do it.

“At the end of the day, some people like football or rugby but we like dancing, a lot of boys feel like they can’t say that though. You should be a leader not a follower.”

The boys have already been in a BBC Two documentary, featured in a DJ Tiesto music video and are now set to appear on The Slammer in autumn

DAZL Mums In Yorkshire Evening Post

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SANYO DIGITAL CAMERADAZL Mums In Yorkshire Evening Post

By Jonathan Brown
Published on Friday 3 June 2011, Please check out the link – Full story below http://www.yorkshireeveningpost.co.uk/news/latest-news/video_leeds_mums  A DANCE troupe made up of mums has overcome cheerleaders half their age to win a championship trophy.

Dance Action Zone Leeds (DAZL) Diamond Mums beat dancers as young as 16 to a third place at the British Cheerleading Association North East Classics in Newcastle. The group, of 25 to 40-year-old mothers of children who also attend the dance classes, performed an impressive street dance routine in front of 5,000 spectators.

Director of DAZL Diamonds, Ian Rodley, 28, said: “Their kids competed at the same event and they thought the mums were absolutely amazing, the audience weren’t expecting it at all.“Everyone was really supportive and it was actually really inspiring. I’m totally proud of them.” The group has set its sights on the BCA Northern Classics in Blackpool this December. Dance coach, Vicky Mawson, 22, said: “It was a massive competition, with stage schools and professional groups from across the region. It’s really impressive for the mums to do that well considering their age.”

The group started as an exercise class but were soon doing street dance and hip hop. Chrisie Emmonds, 32, from Middleton, said: “It was absolutely brilliant, we were all buzzing when we came off that stage.”Angela Rae, 39, from Belle Isle, added: “I was adamant that I wasn’t going to do the competition at first but in the end it was a great experience.”

DAZL is a community dance project that started a decade ago to bring people in areas of South and East LeeDAZL Mumsds together through dance.