Workshops and Training

Latest Workshop and Training Information

(upcoming events in bold type)

20/21 November 2019: Masterclass with Il Posto in Venice – SOLD OUT

16 November 2019: Young Fliers 1, 2, 3 and Adult Fliers at Venue Cymru

10 March 2017: Young Fliers at Venue Cymru

17 February 2017: Young Fliers at Venue Cymru

13/14 January 2017: Take pART! Free workshop for public at Venue Cymru.

6 January 2017: Young Fliers at Venue Cymru

3 December 2017: Young Fliers at Venue Cymru

17-19 November 2017: vertical dance training intensive in Lisbon with Kate Lawrence and Magalie Lanriot

11 November 2017: Young Fliers at Venue Cymru

23 September 2017: Young Fliers at Venue Cymru

9 September 2017: Young Fliers at Venue Cymru

1 July 2017: Young Fliers at Venue Cymru

24 June 2017: Young Fliers at Venue Cymru

13 May 2017: Young Fliers at Venue Cymru

27 – 31 March 2017: Intensive advanced vertical dance training with Il Posto in Venice

18 March 2017: Young Fliers at Venue Cymru

18 February 2017: Young Fliers at Venue Cymru

14/15 January 2017: Take Part.  Free workshops for the public

12 – 16 July 2016: Kate Lawrence teaches intensive 5 day vertical dance masterclass in Brittany, France.  Details here: Les Rencontres de Danse Aerienne

18 – 29 July 2016: Kate Lawrence teaches vertical dance workshops at Les Rencontres de Danse Aerienne

8 – 14 August 2016: Kate Lawrence teaches vertical dance at European Aerial Dance Festival

April 2016 – Jan 2017: VDKL run Youth Vertical Dance Series at Venue Cymru.  Full now but get in touch if you are interested for the future.

19 – 22 May 2016: Kate Lawrence and Despina Goula teach vertical dance in Athens

27 April – 1 May 2016: Kate Lawrence and Despina Goula (VDKL) teach first vertical dance in Paklenica National Park, Croatia with Histeria Nova for Vertical Dance Forum.

What is Vertical Dance?

Vertical dance is a term we use to describe a performance practice in which the performer is suspended above the ground, usually against a wall (which is used as a floor), using rock climbing equipment. You might hear it referred to as ‘harness work’ or ‘aerial dance’. We use the term ‘vertical’ to indicate the orientation of the surface that is used as a ‘floor’, be that a wall, handrail of a balcony or a rope.


In workshops, we teach harness techniques particular to vertical dance as well as setting creative tasks for participants to develop their own material. Technical exercises focus on understanding the effect of the ‘vertical floor’ on the body so that performers become more comfortable with a new spatial orientation. Having developed control of their orientation in still positions, participants are encouraged to work with the pendulum of the rope and to explore the possibilities of flight. More advanced workshops can work on partnering and developing extended sequences of material. Workshops are flexible and the specific needs and desires of participants shape their structure and direction. If there is time, and interest, video material and discussion can also be incorporated. A series of workshops can lead to a performance.

Technical Requirements

Ideally, vertical dance requires clear wall space with rigging points (1 ton capacity). This can be indoors or, weather permitting, outdoors. We often work with a rigger and we have rigged in a variety of situations using available structures. The best thing is to contact us and we can discuss options. We are able to provide all the equipment that is required and undertake risk assessments.

Health and Safety and Qualifications

We employ qualified riggers for all our work. The company has public liability and employer insurance for all activities. Our equipment is of industry standards and is regularly inspected.  The company rigger, Simon Edwards is able to answer any more specific questions.

What to wear?

Harnesses can be uncomfortable, especially for those not used to wearing them. Therefore it is important to have no exposed flesh around your waist and tops of legs and to wear a few layers to protect yourself. A leotard, or better still, a unitard (all-in–one) is perfect, with layers of jogging pants and t-shirts on top. Please also bring a pair of trainers with clean soles.


Professional Development:  We believe in the importance of maintaining and improving our abilities and run regular training sessions (typically twice a week) in vertical dance for local dance artists at affordable rates. These take place at the Beacon Climbing Centre in Caernarfon and at Venue Cymru, Llandudno, where we are currently company in residence. We also run intensive training workshops, often with invited artists such as Lindsey Butcher (Gravity and Levity) and Wanda Moretti (Il Posto), which have been attended by participants from Australia, USA, Canada, Austria and Greece. Kate has been an invited artist at aerial dance festivals in France (LRDA ) and Brighton (EADF ).

Youth: We also teach workshops and courses for young people.  For example, a commission from Theatr Genedlaethol in 2012 to work with young people in Caernarfon established a strong relationship with Cofis Bach and resulted in two further projects with the young people, funded by Gwynedd Youth Services and Sport Wales. The culmination of this work was a performance by the young people on the exterior of Galeri for the Baton Relay Celebrations in 2014, featured on BBC One Show.  We are starting a project for young people at Venue Cymru shortly – watch this space!