Brussels and Leicester

Image Credit: Tabanka Dance Ensemble. Photographer Stuart Hollis.

In partnership with Serendipity Institute for Black Arts and Heritage, Tabanka Dance Ensemble and Zinnema, supported by Erasmus+.

Black Dance Uncovered: Origins and Authenticity is unique exchange programme that brings together leading professional practitioners from the African and African Caribbean Diaspora based in Norway, Belgium and the UK.  The programme is open to participants based in Belgium and the UK.

Over 5 days in Brussels and 9 days in Leicester participants will have the opportunity to participate in technical training and lectures led by Thomas Talawa Prestø, Artistic Director or Tabanka Dance Ensemble alongside guest masterclasses leading international dance practitioners.  The curriculum will focus on professionality within Africana (Black based dances) with a focus on Talawa TechniqueTM, a fully codified dance technique developed by Thomas Talawa Prestø that is capable of bridging various practices and approaches.

Programme in Brussels, Belgium
3 April – 8 April 2023

In Brussels, participants will be based at Zinnema, an arts centre whose mission is to develop artistic discipline through initiatives that encourage innovation and experimentation.  Participants will receive an introduction to Talawa TechniqueTM, develop an understanding of the attributes that define a professional Africana dancer, the work methodology behind Talawa Technique and the signposts of Africanist dance and performance technique.

Programme in Leicester, UK
29 April – 7 May 2023

In Leicester, participants will be based at Serendipity Institute for Black Arts and Heritage, whose mission is to is to centre perspectives from the African and African Caribbean Diaspora, embedded as part of cultural experiences for all.  The programme will take place during their annual dance festival, Let’s Dance International Frontiers (LDIF).  Participants will build on the learning of Talawa TechniqueTM, working towards a showcase taking place at the end of the festival.  Participants will have the opportunity to take part in a number of guest masterclasses led by Cameron McKinney, Antoine Hunter, Shamel Pitts and Freddy Houndekindo alongside attending seminars and performances throughout LDIF.


  • Candidates must have a strong foundation in a form of Black dance, commercial, artistic or traditional and not afraid to participate in physical activities and learn more.
  • Candidates will undergo an audition process (see “How to apply”) before being accepted onto the programme. Only a limited number of places are available.
  • The program can accommodate many, but a basic level of English will be required as teaching language will be in English throughout.
  • Candidates should have a passport valid for travel (with an expiry date no earlier than October 2023) and be under 30 years of age in order to qualify for the travel bursary.
  • Candidates should be available to participate in the full programme in both Brussels and Leicester.



The full package covering travel, accommodation and participation in the full programme, including attendance at all events for Let’s Dance International Frontiers 2023 is worth approximately €3,400 / £3,000 per participant. The Erasmus+ bursary will cover participants travel and accommodation from Leicester to Brussels / Brussels to Leicester, with the cost to participants being just €340/£300 per participant.  Successful applicants will be confirmed in February 2023 and the participation fee will be payable by the 20 March 2023.



For Candidates based in Belgium

Potential candidates should complete the short application form and be available to participate in an audition day taking at Zinnema in Brussels, Belgium.  The audition day will consist of the following:

  • A small group exercise.
  • A solo demonstration.
  • A short conversation about their motivation and background.

Please note that the auditions will be filmed to support with the selection.

Deadline for Expression of Interest: Wednesday 8 February 2023
Audition Date: Sunday 12 February 2023
Expression of Interest Form:


For Candidates based in the UK

Potential candidate should complete the short application form and filmed application.  The filmed application should consist of the following:

  • A completed application questionnaire, giving basic details including existing dance/movement experience.
  • A video clip demonstrating the candidate dancing. This should be a solo clip, ideally showing the full body and feet.  No longer than 5 minutes in duration.
  • A video of the candidate responding to the question “Why do you like to participate in Black Dance Uncovered: Origins and Authenticity? What value do you think the opportunity will bring to your development as an artist?” No longer than 5 minutes in duration.


Deadline for Application: Wednesday 8 February 2023
Application Form:



About the Partners


Serendipity Institute for Black Arts and Heritage

Serendipity’s mission is to centre perspectives from the African and African Caribbean Diaspora, embedded as part of cultural experiences for all.  Serendipity’s programmes include the flagship dance festival, Let’s Dance International Frontiers, Black History Month Leicester and the Annual Windrush Day Lecture. Serendipity have established a legacy; hosting a growing living archive documenting Black arts, heritage and culture, publishing the voices of Black arts practitioners and community activists, nurturing artists to create high quality new work and mentoring young people. 

Tabanka Dance Ensemble

Tabanka Dance Ensemble provides audiences with an exclusive experience of expertly produced high-quality, contemporary dance work, which makes full use of the rhythm, vitality, culture and audience engagement practices of Africa and the Diaspora.  Tabanka is firmly planted in the intersection between ground-breaking performance, artist development, education, community and youth engagement.  Tabanka is internationally known as the seat of the Talawa Technique™, one of few fully codified African and Caribbean dance techniques.


Zinnema supports, promotes and develops projects of non- and semi-professional artists living in Brussels or its periphery.  Zinnema has a bottom-up approach facilitating the ideas and concepts of artists in the best possible conditions, as well as through own initiatives and workshops.  Zinnema’s core business is to nurture artists while encouraging innovation and experiment in the dynamic social fabric of Brussels.

LDIF Programme

Full Programme

Let’s Dance International Frontiers 2023 Launch Dance Inside the Music – World Premiere: SOLD OUT

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Poet in Residence: Cubs the Poet

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Thomas Prestø Masterclasses and Theory Sessions

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Uncovering the Dance Within: Origins and Authenticity Conference

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Shamel Pitts Masterclass

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Freddy Houndekindo Masterclass

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Signatures and the Black British Dance Platform

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Monuments of Fem: Hottentot Venus to C**t – Alexandria Davis

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Black British Dance Platform in Conversation

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Cameron McKinney Masterclass

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Black Digital Dance Revolution: The Silent Beat: A Haptic Conversation

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Antoine Hunter Masterclass

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Practices of Rooting and Performative Becoming – Tia-Monique Uzor

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BLACK HOLE – Trilogy and Triathlon – Shamel Pitts | TRIBE

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Cocktails and Conversation with Gladys M Francis

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Serendipity’s Speakeasy: LDIF23 After Show Party

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Creative Space in a Digital Domain Exhibition

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