About Us

DARE DANCE was formed in April 2002 to continue the work already undertaken by Founder Director Amanda J. Mortlock in partnership with Barrow Borough Council. Through local, regional and national partnerships we have initiated and developed innovative, inspiring programmes and projects across the Borough and been a driving force for strategic development across the County.

U Dance Awards Entry Performance

U Dance Awards Entry Performance: The Line 2016 choreographed by Josh Hawkins Performed by Dare2 Youth Dance Company

From 2002 – 2009 our work was primarily dance based. The company employed full-time and part-time dancers as well as commissioning visiting artists. In response to changing priorities, in 2009 we changed our Memorandum and Articles and renamed the company DARE PROJECTS to allow us to trade as DARE DANCE and broaden our work to include a range of Arts.  

School Network INSET
School Network INSET
Furness College BTEC First Diploma students
Furness College BTEC First Diploma students
IRIE! Dance Theatre
IRIE! Dance Theatre
Parent and Toddler Dance
Parent and Toddler Dance
Greengage Infant School Family dance group
Greengage Infant School Family dance group
Company Directors at work
Company Directors at work
The Love Project exhibition
The Love Project exhibition
LJMU student project for key stage 1
LJMU student project for key stage 1

Image Gallery

Event images where DARE DANCE has worked with collaborators.

DARE has built a reputation for innovative, engaging work through initiatives with partners, which address the real life needs of communities and demonstrate the transformative power of the Arts.

Collaborate with us Events Archive

In September 2011 we moved into our new purpose built Dance Studio and office, a conversion of ‘The Cooke’s Building’ a Grade 2 listed building into a £1.5m Creative Media Centre. These new premises, based in Hindpool, were renovated and refurbished as part of a partnership between Barrow Borough Council and Creative Studios Cumbria with funding from Community Assets, Heritage Lottery and Barrow Regeneration.

Our work in dance continues to evolve in response to changes in current thinking. Our training as a Dancers and Teachers has equipped us to work both creatively and developmentally. Our approach is to nurture and protect the learner’s confidence in trying new ideas, sharing ideas and achieving their full potential. Through ongoing research my understanding of Cognitive and Sensori-Motor development, provides a sound basis for setting realistic learning outcomes. Striking a balance of support and challenge we have successfully led programmes and projects for 15 years for 25,000 participants, 4000 workshops 250 community performances. We have also trained 500 teachers in best practice and worked with Arts Council England as Cumbria Cultural Education Champion for Dance 2014-2016.

DARE DANCE Directors

Amanda J. Mortlock, Creative Director

BA (Hons)Performing Arts (Dance), De Montfort University, Leicester and Diploma in Dance Teaching And Learning (Children & Young People), Trinity College London.

Amanda J. Mortlock, Creative Director

Amanda graduated De Montfort University, Leicester and has a Diploma in Dance Teaching And Learning (Children & Young People), Trinity College London. Amanda has choreographed and performed in UK, Netherlands, Austria, Italy and Germany with Teatro Potlach, European Arts Group and Happenstance.

She has taught Dance at F.E and H.E level at Liverpool John Moore’s University, UCLAN, Liverpool Community College and Furness College. For ten years she has been based in Cumbria initiating, leading and project managing dance participatory and performance events for DARE DANCE.

Andrew Deakin, Company Director

BA (Hons) Music and Philosophy, Middlesex Polytechnic

Andrew Deakin, Company Director

Born 1958 in Lancashire. Started playing with recording, electronics and musical instruments at 14 and continues to do so to this day. Played the French Horn from 1973 – 1995 and started using computers for both composition and performance in 1988.

From 1993-2003 he developed and led the BA and MA Sonic Arts courses at Middlesex University (the first of their kind in Europe) and undertook research in various aspects of sound, performance and technology at the Lansdown Centre for Electronic Arts.

For over 30 years he has been collaborating with choreographers and dancers including: Emilyn Claid, Rebecca Skelton, Andrew Fifield, Gaby Agis, Ch4apter, CanDoCo and DARE. He also produces music/sound for installations, films and animations.

Collaboration is central to his practice and he has been instrumental in bringing together artists and others from diverse backgrounds to work together on short- and long-term projects.

Fran Leaver, Company Director

B.A. Hons, M.A, MSc, PGCert TLHE, Cert Ed Post 16

Fran Leaver, Company Director

Fran is a long-standing member of the LJMU Dance Team, with a specialism that researches around the issues of the healthy and aware dancer both theoretically and practically. In contrast to this dance science paradigm, Fran also has a holistic approach to the body and its presence and is a qualified Bowen Therapist, Sports Massage Therapist and Reflexologist and finds these two different dimensions inform her role both as a Therapist and as a Tutor. Fran teaches on both the under graduate and post-graduate degree programmes and is the Link tutor for LJMU with the Institution of the Arts Barcelona.

After graduating with a combined honours degree, Fran has spent many years performing both in the commercial industry travelling around the world as well as within the contemporary dance world where she co-ran her own performance and education company – Stark Dancers. She has performed and worked for a variety of artists, including Libby Rose at Resolutions, Senza Tempo, CoisCeim Dance Theatre, Dublin, Mark Edward and Company and Happy Mondays.