About Us

Ullapool Dance Ltd was set up by two local volunteers to deliver a dance festival for the people of the North West Highlands of Scotland.

For many of those first attendees - 95% local people - this was their first ever experience of dance classes or live dance performance.

After six annual festivals the event is much anticipated by people of all ages, abilities and sectors of the community and has built respect within the professional dance world.

During the rest of the year there was almost no provision for dance, either participation or performance, across the whole North West Highlands.

We are building on the significant level of demand now coming from the community and thanks to support from Creative Scotland and The Robertson Trust we will now be delivering dance opportunities throughout the year whilst simultaneously growing the annual flagship Ullapool Dance Festival.


How Do We Define Dance?

The Ullapool Dance company definition of dance is inclusive and all-embracing.

We are driven by a welcoming, open-minded, approach informed by market research, customer feedback and government policies.

We include classes, performances and events; from ceilidhs to nightclubbing, ballet to hip hop, traditional to experimental, amateur to professional and everything in between.

Our Vision

“Everybody in the North West Highlands enjoys dancing”

Our Mission

What we plan to achieve: 

To create access to high quality dance tuition and performance opportunities for people of all ages and abilities in the North West Highlands with the attendant benefits for creativity, learning, health and communities. 

To ensure that dance achieves parity in the cultural life of the North West Highlands alongside music, visual art and literature.

To establish the company as the recognised leading provider, co-ordinator, support and knowledge base for dance activities in the North West Highlands.

“It is exciting to meet with an arts organisation that is both rooted in its local community and also spoken of highly by colleagues in the professional arts sector.”
Anne Gallacher
Director, Luminate: Scotland's creative ageing festival

The People & The Place

The inaccessible geography, historical events and poor economy of the North West have dictated a pattern of small, isolated, scattered settlements in a wild and vast landscape.

Ullapool has 1500 permanent residents at most - far fewer than the wider surrounding area - with a total population within the map area shown of around 9200. There is no population centre with the majority of people distributed across the area in small settlements.

HIE (Highlands and Islands Enterprise) define all of the area covered by Ullapool Dance activities as ‘fragile’. They characterise this by:

·         Declining population.

·         Under-representation of young people within the population.

·         Lack of economic opportunities.

·         Below average income levels.

·         Problems with transport, and other issues reflecting their geographic location.

Our communities are naturally inter generational and have a notably supportive community spirit; small numbers provide quality learning experiences with low pupil/teacher ratios so learning is more effective and can be faster.

Despite a low population, attendances are proportionally much higher than in more densely populated areas.

The benefits and quality of life that may be derived from living in the area have attracted people with an exceptionally wide range of specialist skills and professions as they retire or seek to ‘get away from it all’.  In an area where low population density and low levels of basic skills can hamper progress and initiative, expert input and guidance is on tap and can be a very valuable contribution in building and delivering a quality professional service 

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Thank you to all our supporters since 2012

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