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Since our first ever Global Grooves workshop, we’ve met young people all over the UK who have positively shone; dancers with some sort of fire in their eyes, artists with a surprisingly mature sense of design style, or musicians a deep desire to make and share music with others.

Global Grooves have had the pleasure of working with 120 of these incredible emerging young artists during our Future Leaders programme since our first cohort in 2014. We are excited to welcome a further 80 young artists to our network in our upcoming 2021 and 2022 cohorts.

Our leadership team (Holly, Leon, and Eraldo) all began their own journeys as enthusiastic teenagers in community arts settings, and so the Future Leaders programme is very close to our hearts. When the team began offering workshops and courses under the name ‘Global Grooves’, there had been a great deal of discussion about how we could promote youth training to a higher level and ensure a constant rejuvenation of fresh young faces in the Carnival arts scene and beyond. And so, the programme was developed as a residential training experience which soon became its own community and movement.

Having delivered three fantastic programme cohorts and an additional series of advanced follow-up courses, we look forward to further developing the programme over the coming years.


Future Leader 2014

I was on the first cohort of the Future Leaders course in 2014. I started the course as a 16-year old high school student in Edinburgh who had a passion for drumming and teaching, which I had developed over 4 years in a youth-led samba drumming band I was in. Over just 4 residential weekends I was pushed to new limits, artistically and personally. With incredibly skilled tutors teaching amazing music, mind bending business development classes as well as meeting 39 new like-minded people from across the UK who were around my age.
What I didn’t realise at the time is that those 8 days were just the beginning of something much bigger.

I shortly after that course finished I was keen to take on as many opportunities I could to work and study with the Global Grooves team and my fellow graduates. That in itself has led me to so many unexpected places including co-teaching a percussion workshop for 70 people in Oldham, meeting Gary Linekar at a gig, performing at Nottinghall Carnival & giving a talk with my peers at a carnival arts conference.

2 years later I was privileged enough to be involved with the newer cohort as a youth mentor and assisted at the final week of their course where a performance was put together with all the participants. Most of which I was reunited with in 2018 for the short advanced Future leaders course.

Since being on this course so much has changed and it really was a catalyst for a lot of my more long term goals such as becoming a Musical Director of a percussion and dance group and travelling to Brazil to study carnival. None of that would ever of happened as quickly as they have without the continued support of my Future Leaders family.

I can honestly say that the Future Leaders course has changed my life.


Future Leader 2016

I attended the Future Leaders course in 2015/16 as a dancer where I aimed to explore new styles of movement and dance, and learn more about how I can develop my skills in teaching and leading. I wanted to have sound idea of how I could use the knowledge of my art form to create and lead dance projects so that I could use this to shape my future.

I entered the programme as a hip-hop/street dancer who had very little confidence in myself and not much experience in connecting with other artists to create a piece of work. By the end of the course I had met and befriended a group of 40 peers who I worked alongside, learning various elements of carnival arts, growing our understanding of business development within the sector, sharing energy, creating memories and finally putting that together at the end of the residentials to create a performance that really displayed who we were as a group – it was so awesome! I feel that I grew my confidence so much and my eyes were opened up to a whole new world of exciting movement, music and arts.

Since the end of the course, I have totally immersed myself in carnival arts. This began by taking part in performances around the NorthWest, wearing huge, colourful costumes and having loads of fun. I have been given leadership opportunities in dance development projects, the creation of a community festival, youth music and dance groups and I plan to continue to grow as a youth leader in the carnival sector. Future Leaders really gave me the opportunity to empower myself as a young artist and create a network of inspiring people and friends for life.

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