Sheena Kelly, Project Director of Sutemos and Suteminis Youth Engagement Project based in Dungannon, grew up just outside the town. She decided to start the intercultural dance project ten years ago after returning from England and being excited by the buzz around the town and how diverse it had become.
What do you enjoy most about working with Sutemos and Suteminis?
I love how no term or year is the same. We could be working on a film project with another art organisation, a performance at a dance festival or creating local events to connect with the community.
What do you think the group means to the young people?
Mostly it is a sense of belonging. The group is non-competitive so young people easily forge new friendships. Plus the group is driven by young people who have a say in our plans and give feedback.
What are the plans for 2023?
To connect back into our local community and create events for International Women’s Day on 8th March and a Summer Dance Picnic. Sutemos’s highlight of the year is Unanimous Youth Dance Platform in April at the MAC Theatre, Belfast. We can’t wait for the masterclass with the Gary Clarke Dance Company from England.>When did you get involved in dance and why?
When you aren’t dancing, what do you do?
It was later than most people might expect! I enjoyed gymnastics and netball growing up but it wasn’t until I took part in the RockChallenge at the Waterfront Belfast that I fell in love with dancing. I was petrified going onstage but afterwards felt such a buzz and knew I wanted to perform again. At 16 I had my first taste of contemporary dance at Belfast Met and began to focus on it as a possible career.