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This spring, each of Derby's five Reimagine Hubs is taking the chance to share their work, learning and experiences from the ambitious city-wide project, with the spotlight on a different Hub every month.

From April to May, the team at Déda will share our journey with Reimagine2020 and the Derwent/Chaddesden Hub; from Zoom choreography through the first lockdown, to socially distanced workshops in our theatre last autumn and returning to work with schools this spring.

Déda's four part blog series will be told through the voices of some of the young people and artists that we have worked with, along with the members of our team who have pulled the project together behind the scenes.

In the second of Déda's four blogs, we reflect on the experience of working with the Derwent and Chaddesden Hubs in autumn 2020, focusing on a residency with artists Gareth Woodward and Jasmine M Eccles from dance project
Xzibit Young Creatives.

Reimagine Project

Reimagine is an ambitious, strategically connected, performance programme generated by young people in areas of lowest cultural engagement, supported through 5 hubs across Derby, each facilitated by the city's lead performing arts organisations. The hubs include: Abbey, Chaddesden/Derwent, Normanton/Arboretum, Sinfin and the Virtual Hub working with all the Special Educational Needs and Disabilities.

Clare Limb, Head of Dance Development and Learning at Déda shares how the project developed:

"The Reimagine project grew out of the work that the Derby Cultural Education Partnership did in 2018-19 with the city-wide This is Derby project, which aimed to provide essential life skills through the medium of cultural and sporting activities for children and young people in the most disadvantaged wards of Derby.

The model of Reimagine was to take the work started through This is Derby forward at ward and city level. It was through this that Déda was given the opportunity to carry on with our work in Derwent and Chaddesden Wards with children, young people and their families.

Reimagine is all about giving children and young people the skills and opportunity to see their neighbourhood and their city in a new way and to become the next generation of cultural producers and programmers of Derby."

Find out more about the wider Reimagine project at the end of this blog.

Derwent and Chaddesden Hub

As part of the the Reimagine project, young people from the Derwent and Chaddesden Hub including communities from the following organisations have been working with Déda:

  • Derwent Primary School
  • Meadow Farm Primary
  • Cavendish Close Academy
  • Cherry Tree Hill Primary
  • Da Vinci Academy
  • West Park Academy
  • Lees Brook Community School
  • Derwent Youth Centre

The project has been strongly supported by Ruth Hardy Abdullah, the Senior Youth Worker for Derwent and Chaddesden, who kindly provided the access to the project for the young people from her area.

Clare Limb:

"Reimagine has given Déda the opportunity to really listen and learn from the children and young people of Derwent and Chaddesden, allowing us to develop a deeper engagement with their community and create opportunities that resonate with the young people of the local area."

Xzibit Young Creatives Residency at Déda

In 2020, plans for young people from the Derwent and Chaddesden Hub to take part in an exciting hip hop residency at Déda were adjusted to work around the pandemic.

Clare Limb discusses how plans evolved and the activity the young people took part in.

"We had a fantastic programme of activity planned with a full week’s residency with dance artists Gareth Woodward and Jasmine M Eccles for May half term 2020. The residency was called Xzibit Young Creatives (Derby) and its aim was to develop the choreographic talents of young people in the East Midlands region, and in the case of the Derby residency, provide opportunities for young people from Derwent and Chaddesden.

Due to the pandemic and national lockdown, we decided to postpone the residency until a time when it would be possible to do it in person. That time came in a window of opportunity in the October Half Term holiday in 2020.

On the 29th and 30th October we were able to bring nine young people from Derby and Derbyshire to Déda work creatively in a socially distanced way with Jasmine and Gareth. The two days were packed with new material, creative tasks, working with two choreographers to create and rehearse a piece and the opportunity to ask questions to the two dance artists."

On the first day they learned the principles of Hip Hop dance - bouncing, rocking, rolling and sliding, through to doing the Bart Simpson and Waacking like LA Street Dance pros. Each young person showed dedication and the commitment to try something new, even when it was tiring or it felt strange being back in a dance studio together. By the end of day one there was a real feeling achievement and satisfaction amongst them.

The young people took to everything that was given them and worked hard during the two-day intensive, only stopping to have the Q & A and lunch in The Déda Café! The result was a sharing of work which took place at the end of the second day to a small audience. The young people’s work was also filmed and it is this that we are sharing with you through this blog post."

"Jasmine gave some great advice to the young people attending 'if you have an idea and you run with it, you persevere and give it your all'. When asked 'when you dance are you nervous, and how quickly do you get over it?' Jasmine and Gareth shared that they always get nervous before performances, and said 'that is how you know you care about it'. Both artists spoke about the importance of being versatile in their creative practice, for example Jasmine spoke about her skills in costume making and Gareth in music production and DJing.

We were so pleased that this residency was able to take place in and amongst all the restrictions that were placed up on us at that time. The young people involved truly rose to the occasion and hopefully had an unforgettable experience."

Watch the video created with the young people from the Derwent and Chaddesden Hub as part of the Xzibit Residency here:

About Reimagine2020 and Reimagine


Reimagine is an ambitious, strategically connected, performance programme delivered with young people in the city's areas of lowest cultural engagement.

Through the project, Derby’s performing arts organisations collaboratively support the young people across 5 ‘hubs’ through progressive encounters with inspirational artists and settings.

The young people will produce their own work, reimagine everyday spaces and author the story of their lives in innovative and extraordinary performances.

As new skills are nurtured, families will be engaged, teachers will gain new knowledge and the young will uncover routes to creative careers.

The five Reimagine Hubs are...

  • Abbey, working with Derby Theatre
  • Chaddesden/Derwent, working with Déda
  • Normanton/Arboretum, working with Artcore
  • Sinfin, working with Baby People
  • Virtual Hub, working with Sinfonia Viva and SEND schools (Special Educational Needs and Disabilities)

Reimagine has been made possible through £1.1 million of investment from Arts Council England through the Young People’s Performance Fund, with additional support from Derby’s Opportunity Area, Derby County in the Community Trust and Derby City Council.


In spring 2020, Derby Theatre, Baby People, Déda, Artcore, and Wrongsemble called out to young people and families to reimagine a future after Covid-19 and get involved in a new digital creative project during lockdown.

There were 3 ways to get involved to make a creative response to this question: how would you reimagine the world differently when lockdown ends?

The project has now ended, but there will be more opportunities to get involved soon!

Find out more at

Join us for next week's blog where we look at Reimagine in 2021, from Emotional Toolkit videos to working in schools in the Derwent and Chaddesden Hubs.


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