Published: Friday, 28th July 2023
International dance star Carlos Acosta has chosen Woolwich Works, the Royal Borough of Greenwich’s cultural hub, as the new home for the Acosta Dance Foundation (ADF).
The Acosta Dance Centre (ADC) will open in Woolwich on 4 September and will act as the global headquarters for the dancer’s arts education charity.
With five studios, the Royal Arsenal site will provide a community space for local people, where dance styles from across the globe will be taught by world class professionals. Classes will include ballet, latin and Afro-Cuban dance.
Councillor Adel Khaireh, Cabinet Member for Equality, Culture and Communities, said, “I am delighted to welcome the Acosta Dance Foundation to Woolwich. Our borough is renowned for its diversity and vibrant culture, and I am proud that Carlos Acosta and his team have recognised this as one of our greatest assets.
“The establishment of the Acosta Dance Centre will serve as a cultural community hub right in the heart of our borough, offering accessible world-class dance classes to our local residents.
“Dance is a truly unique form of expression that allows people to connect and share their cultures and identities with one another. Not only does it provide an avenue for artistic expression, but it also promotes an active lifestyle, benefiting both mental and physical well-being.
“Furthermore, the presence of this exceptional dance centre will not only benefit our local community, but it will also put Woolwich on the global map as a destination for dance enthusiasts. This increased recognition will attract more visitors, ultimately boosting our local economy.”
Carlos Acosta said, “I wanted to bring the centre here, to Woolwich, because there is a high population of African descendancy.
“Some of what we’re going to be teaching is Afro-Cuban dance, Afro-Cuban beats, more popular dances that speak about Africa.
"We want to involve the community of Woolwich, so local people can come and get involved, and we want to make sure they can really take ownership of what we're doing.
"Our vision is that this becomes a landmark, so that people from all over the world know that there is a centre in Woolwich where they can take classes and participate. Dance is a way of bringing people together and establish a community. The whole world would be the saddest place if dance was not in it.”
The Acosta Dance Foundation joins Woolwich Work’s existing local, national and internationally-acclaimed resident artistic companies. These are: Chineke! Orchestra, Europe's first majority Black, Asian and ethnically diverse orchestra. Jazz educators and talent-nurturers National Youth Jazz Orchestra. Luca Silvestrini's Protein, one of the most distinctive voices in British dance theatre. Transformational theatre-makers Punchdrunk; and Woolwich Contemporary Print Fair.