The Dance Library Project is about bringing communities closer together. By renovating Roath Library we want to give people more opportunities to connect to each other and the world around them through dance.

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In September 2017 Rubicon began the bid to renovate Roath Library through a community asset transfer. This is a process where the council hands over a community building to another organisation to repurpose it and make it useful for the community once more.

We could see that the library would be a perfect spot to set up an additional Rubicon building: being only a 5 minute walk from our studios at Nora Street, we could continue to develop and meet demand for greater arts provision in our very own community. Renovating the library also meant we could transform it back into a vibrant facility for the community. To our excitement, our bid was accepted!

What can we achieve with the dance library project?

A positive focus for people’s lives

1 in 4 people in Wales suffer with poor mental health. Whether this is because of poverty, isolation or loneliness, poor mental health is commonplace in the communities we serve. We know that physical activity can improve mental wellbeing and we have seen how dance can be a bridge that reconnects individuals with other people, their community and their own potential. With three additional studios in our new building, we will be able to reach even more people than ever before and make a real difference to their health, wellness, and confidence. 


Rubicons BTEC students performing a jazz routine, Chorus LineA vibrant and ambitious Creative Wales

The appetite for participatory arts is growing in Wales. The latest Arts Council of Wales’ annual survey found that 94% of young people engage in arts activities. It also showed an increase in the numbers of older people taking part. It’s great to see more people enjoying the arts in Wales, but we know a lack of resources and opportunity remain barriers in many areas. 

We want to change this. The Dance Library will give us the space we need to provide a wider range of activities and more access to ordinary people who want to take part in exceptional and memorable dance. Whether you want to take part just for fun or pursue your dreams by developing your talent further, we want to show people that they can connect and set their sights high.  Staying accessible and affordable to all, dance at Rubicon will also contribute to developing the economy in our local area. We want to attract new visitors to the community and contribute to the growing artistic hub on Newport Road. 

Old photo displaying a group of dancers in stripy costumesA chance to preserve and develop heritage

Closed since 2014, Roath Library is a beautiful grade II listed building which has unfortunately seen the effects of deterioration over the past years. With Storm Dennis hitting South Wales heavily at the beginning of 2020, the need to act is now more important than ever. Our project will re-establish the library as a valuable asset to the community, improving the area and attracting new participants and visitors.

There is also a long and vibrant history of community dance in Wales, however no record of it currently exists. With the help of Glamorgan Archives and the Cardiff Story Museum we will create an archive of Rubicon’s history that will celebrate the stories of people and communities involved in community dance.

Let’s Create!

Take a look at our plans for the build...

Table showing our plans for the dance library project: restoration, sustainability, creativity.

How you can help 

As we continue raising money to begin work on the Dance Library Project, there are lots of ways you can get involved. The easiest way is to donate directly to our Dance Library appeal.

You could also support a project organized by one of our amazing fundraisers, or if you’re feeling creative, set up your own fundraiser; it only takes five minutes!

How about using Amazon Smile or Easy Fundraising? These platforms allow you to raise money whilst you shop online. All you have to do is shop like you normally would, and a percentage of the price will come directly to us as a donation.

Another way to help is by sharing our plans with your friends, family, and neighbours. Share our posts on Facebook or retweet us; we are always grateful to anyone who shares the Rubicon story.

You can also support us in words. Writing a letter of support which shows how we have helped you or your organisation is a great way to illustrate how more people, just like you, can benefit from coming to Rubicon.

We would also love to hear from you if you are interested in volunteering to help construct and curate Rubicon’s community dance archive. This is an exciting opportunity to gain archival and heritage experience in a real arts organisation! If this sounds like something you’d like, please fill in our Community Dance Archive volunteer form.

For more information about the Dance Library project or how to get involved, please email Rubicon’s director, Kathryn Williams: [email protected].

Dare to dance, dance to change lives!

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