Déda Through The Decades

Déda has evolved and changed over the decades to one of the key cultural organisations in the city. With the celebrations of our 20th anniversary well underway, we’ve been having a good old rummage through the archives…

One thing we’ve discovered is that our next board meeting will be our 100th meeting!  We’re passionate about our history and how far we’ve come. Therefore we thought we’d share with you a few snippets of how Déda has transformed and provide you with an insight into the memories of some of the members who made that happen.

We started by asking our board members what initially appealed to them about Déda and if they could remember their first meeting here.  Mimi Errington (who has been on the board since 2011 and has a background in publishing, copywriting and fundraising) said that “I remember being surprised at the snazzy building and the buzz/atmosphere of the place that you get the moment you walk in.  I was really interested in all the different strands of activity and admired how it draws in all sorts of arts activities in to the premises.” 

As a company we love creating new, innovating experiences for every one of all ages and abilities to participate in and enjoy. This includes an extensive class curriculum, sensational shows, community projects, visual arts exhibitions and much more…

Laura Evans specialises in employment law and joined the board in 2016. She recalls her very first impression of the company, ‘Déda first appealed to me because it did so many great things. It’s an asset to Derby.   I just thought if there was any way I could help such a wonderful company that helps the community, it could only be a good thing.’   As an organisation, we’re always looking to do our bit for the local community. We’re involved in a variety of community and education projects throughout Derby City and the East Midlands.

Featured: (Laura Evans)

Featured: (Graham Lister)

Déda can be traced back to 1991 when it was classed as Derby Dance Development based at Derby Playhouse.  It moved premises in 1997 to the renovated Methodist chapel that we’ve come to know and love today. Funded by various arts projects such as the National Lottery and East Midlands Arts, this renovation promised an assortment of modern dance and arts facilities that would be used by the people of Derby. It was hoped that this project would enable arts to become more significant in the local area.  Our board member Graham Lister (Director of ARTBUILDING PROJECTS) remembers going to the initial opening, “I was always curious about Déda as I actually went to the opening of the Chapel Street building in the 1990s when it was classed as Derby Dance.  I really love the way it’s developed from being purely a dance company. I admire how much it’s broadened and the fusion of Outdoor Work & Circus really appeals to me. It’s what attracted me to become a board member here.”

The new Derby Dance Centre building was officially opened in January 1998 and in 2008 the name of the company changed to Déda. Throughout the building’s 20-year history as the only dedicated dance house in the East Midlands, it has grown from a local dance company into an established organisation.  Our board member Patrick Welsh (A qualified marketing and communications professional) says, “I like how Déda has expanded of the years. It’s now got a national footing.  I love the fact it’s not content sitting still.”

Our Chapel street building was extended in 2014 with part of the Queen Street Leisure Centre being redesigned into meeting rooms, conference facilities, a state of the art dance studio and a production space. This development helps people that come to Déda to take part in classes or watch a performance, to make the most out of the valuable centre.  Gary Brockway (Our Vice Chair Member of the board and qualified Chartered Accountant) remembers that this topic was discussed during his first board meeting, “I joined the board when the developments were taking place. I remember thinking that it was an interesting time to join and I liked being involved in something which was growing in the right direction.”

With the introduction of the BA degree in Dance in partnership with the University of Derby and the expansion of the building, Déda has also developed its brand and public image.  Featured below is a visual document of how much our brochure has changed and developed over the years from 1998 to 2018!

Déda are always keen for new people from the local and national community to get involved with their ever-expanding organisation. Nominee Trustee Pam Sidhu (Who is trained in Neuro Linguistic Programming, Nutrition and Mindfulness) will be observing the 100th board meeting. She says that, “I am looking forward to my first board meeting. I love Déda’s outlook and I’m really happy to be involved in such a positive organisation. I love the fact that it enriches people’s lives through the arts.” (Pam Sidu)

With special thanks to Simona Koudelova (Imagery) & Emma Hall (Blog Research)