Humble Beginnings and Royal Visits

Set up in 1975, Rubicon was first known as the Welsh Dance Theatre Trust. Its goal was to support Welsh Dance Theatre, a new contemporary dance company based in the Sherman Theatre. After a year the company dissolved but the Trust remained. It became the governing body for Cardiff Community Dance Project - one of the first community dance organisations in the UK set up by Molly Kenny.

By the 1980's the project had grown from strength to strength, and the Trust were offered a new building in Adamsdown to develop their community dance activities. The project was renamed Rubicon Dance, as we are known today, and existed to give people of all ages and abilities access to dance in different community settings. Before us, our building on Nora Street had been used as a religious mission and was later turned into the Casson Theatre. After lots of fundraising, the building was renovated and reopened as 'Rubicon Dance' in November 1983 by Princess Diana.

More Dancing, More People

Now at its home in Adamsdown, the programme continued to expand in participants, classes and ideas. Rubicon taught all sorts of styles to every kind of person: everything from Rock 'n' Roll to disco and historical dancing had its place on the timetable. A range of children's classes were set up on Saturday mornings, and these alongside tap, ballet, contemporary and jazz are all still part of the Rubicon week.

The different strands of Rubicon's work also started to take shape. A full-time preliminary dance training course was established in 1986, and Rubicon also began work centered around dance for people with disabilities, as well as dance in health in Ely Hospital. In 1994 Rubicon set up the UK's first community dance apprenticeship scheme, which trained young dancers to become talented community dance practitioners. As the new millennium approached Rubicon broadened its scope once more by setting up the Newport Dance Development Programme. 

   

21st Century Changes

Over 45 years on, Rubicon sessions continue to give people opportunities to connect with others whilst nurturing their skills and confidence. The scope of the Rubicon community, however, now reaches further than ever.

In 2013 we set up the Wales Wide Training Programme, which connects 17 different organisations across Wales. This network has created a supportive space where the Welsh community dance sector can share knowledge, support each other, and access high-quality training. We have also expanded our work to offer more progression routes for artists and people in Wales. Our apprenticeship programme, GSCE and BTEC dance courses, as well as performance groups for the young and old give people opportunities to strive and reach their goals.

Whether this goal is to dance professionally, join a community group, or improve health and wellbeing, Rubicon values and supports the aspirations of everyone. Our aim still remains the same: to provide a place where the community can dance, create and realise their potential.