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Inner Ground Dance

“Some of the most attention-grabbing and meaningful dance I have seen.”

Jackie Richards
Chair, Age Action Alliance
Older People and Creative Arts Working Group

About us

Inner Ground Dance Company is Cornwall’s contemporary dance company for mature dancers.

The Company is led by Co-Artistic Directors Jayne Devlin and Caroline Schanche.

Inner Ground Dance Company aims to stretch the boundaries of community dance for mature dancers by providing high calibre performance opportunities, regular company class and access to high-quality workshops with visiting professional dance companies.

We welcome people over 50 interested in dance and performance, including people who are new to dance and experienced dancers.

Inner Ground Dance Company was formed by Caroline and Jayne in 2012 during a year long Arts for Health Cornwall project called Moving Forward Looking Back. The project offered creative opportunities for older people throughout Cornwall and culminated in an exhibition and the company’s first performances at the Exchange Penzance. This project won the Arts & Health South West 2013 Health Award.

Follow this this link for a short film about this project.

Get involved

Monthly Saturday classes with Inner Ground Dance Company are open to people over 50 – please contact us if you would like to come along.

30 Jan 20169.30-12.30 Townshend Village Hall Workshop/Discussion
27 Feb 20169.30-12.30 Ponsanooth Village Hall Class/Workshop
19 Mar 201611.00-7.00 Sadler’s Wells Theatre Elixir Elder Dancer Workshop
28 May 20169.30-12.30 Ponsanooth Village Hall Class/Workshop
18 Jun 20169.30-12.30 St Just Town Hall Class/Workshop

Our Work

Since the launch of Inner Ground Dance Company in 2013 our dancers have participated in workshops with: Rambert Dance Company, Yael Flexer, Panta Rei Danseteatre, Helen Parlor Dance, NDT2, Emily Dobson (Freefall Dance) and Joli Yyann, along with expertly delivered company classes with Jayne and Caroline. These workshops were hosted through regional partnership building with HfC, Carn to Cove, AMATA (Falmouth University) and Tremenheere Sculpture Garden.

Workshops have also worked in conjunction with our extended regional mature dancers network which is for anyone who has expressed an interest in Inner Ground’s vision of a fresh and inclusive approach to dance for the mature dancer, at any stage in their development.

In the summer of 2015 Inner Ground were in residency at AMATA (Falmouth University).

Performance Pieces

The Table

“I have been laid, rubbed clean, soiled and unsoiled…
Scratched…Scrubbed…Gouged, Gorged and Ignored
Break bread…drink wine
Come gather around to press and impress”

The Table is Inner Ground’s most recent dance-theatre project, choreographed by Jayne Devlin. The piece delves into the minds, lives, relationships and emotions of a group of people that are summoned to gather around a very old, worn out and inherited family table. Work in progress was shared at the SpinDrift Dance Mergecology event at AMATA (Falmouth University).


Line Trace Time

Line Trace Time is an interdisciplinary performance project, choreographed by Caroline Schanche.

Underlying the choreography are the questions, what do we bring to different spaces and locations? What are the traces we leave behind? How quickly do they disappear?

The structure of the performance is based around seven different constructivist sculptures by Naum Gabo, reinterpreted as movement scores. Just as sculpture is placed in, and framed by, different contexts, we place and frame these scores in different landscapes, exploring the interplay between the human figure, movement and context. How do figures in a landscape change the environment? How do different environments change the performers’ engagement with the movement scores? How does performance in the landscape engage audiences and change their experience of that place? What do we bring inside when performing in a theatre?

Line Trace Time has been performed at Tremenheere Sculpture Garden, Sterts Theatre Midsummer Dance Festival and SpinDrift Dance Mergecology at AMATA (Falmouth University).


I Am Myself Again

“Balancing on stone – skimming soft flat round such stone –
fitting for purpose – fitting small hands –
legs apart, to flatten the stone’s surface to parallel the sea surface
before letting fly.

To a cave of bones, calm bones tin stones
Full of memory, family, blood ties
To the place of the ancestors
To the place where I must finally return”

Inner Ground created their first performance piece I Am Myself Again, choreographed by Jayne Devlin, during a year of regular workshops and classes. The piece was performed at: Exchange Gallery, Penzance; Bristol City Hall (Arts & Health South West Award Ceremony) and Dartington Hall (“Dance in Time” UN Day of the Older Person).


Inner Ground Dance Company artistic directors ...

Jayne Devlin

“I am looking to engage each individual, and give each person a special moment that leaves them feeling validated, empowered and rejuvenated.”

Jayne graduated from De Montfort University in 1994 and has over 20 years’ experience working as a Community Dance Artist/Performer as well as facilitating and participating in choreographic and performance projects. In addition to her work with Inner Ground Dance Company Jayne has received choreographic commissions from The Works Dance and Theatre Cornwall, Cscape Dance Company and Dance South West.

Her most recent commission was for the Arts for Health Cornwall & the Isles of Scilly ‘The Home Service Project’ about which Phil Gibby, Area Director, South West, Arts Council England, said: “This project is a great example of the impact of arts and culture on the wellbeing of individuals and its capacity for nurturing a sense of community.” For more information about The Home Service Project please follow the links below:

Jayne provides vibrant, fully inclusive and accessible dance sessions for the regional Memory Cafes (a social gathering for people living with Dementia and their families and carers), and also residential and day care providers for older people. She is Director of “Moments of breath and hand jive”, a specialist Dance and Performance Company that produces innovative, interactive and participatory dance and theatre experiences for older people in Residential Care Settings, Day Care and community venues.

Along with leading on Cornwall’s Dance for Parkinson’s initiative in partnership with Cornwall’s branch of Parkinson’s UK, and in collaboration with Cornwall’s Parkinson’s Community Support Hubs, Jayne works alongside many groups within Cornwall facilitating dance and movement sessions to promote a sense of wellbeing, to increase health and fitness and to maintain social and community connections.

Caroline Schanche

“I aim to bring pleasure and enjoyment, supporting wellbeing through dance, visual art and a sharing of creativity.”

Caroline trained in Theatre at Dartington College of Arts (81-85). This course was grounded in the philosophy that the arts should be embedded in community life and available to all. Inspired by Mary Faulkerson’s internationally renowned dance department, Caroline specialised in dance and trained in Contact Improvisation and Anatomical Release Technique.

After graduating she began working in London with marginalised groups such as adults with learning disabilities and elderly visually impaired people. Having experienced the positive impact of dance and movement with these groups she trained as a Dance Movement Therapist at Hertfordshire College of Art and Design (89-91).

Caroline specialises in working with older people at Memory Cafes, in day care and residential settings, running singing and dance sessions with her colleagues at Singing for Wellbeing. www.singingforwellbeing.co.uk

She is the Creative Director of ‘Sundance’ a constituted community group which provides weekly dance classes for people over 50 in west Cornwall. www.sundancepenzance.co.uk

In 2012 Caroline was commissioned as lead artist for Arts for Health Cornwall’s Celebrating Age and Ambition project ‘Moving Forward Looking Back’ which won the Arts and Health South west 2013 Health Award for,” its thoughtful and innovative approach to working creatively with older people”.

She was commissioned by The Works Dance and Theatre Cornwall for ‘Golowie Donsya’ to create a performance with local school children and their families for the Olympic Torch Ceremony on Marazion beach.


Caroline is an associate lecturer at the University of Exeter Medical School & Peninsula College of Medicine & Dentistry providing 2 Special Studies Units for fourth year medical students. These are ‘The Body in Residence’ an exploration of embodiment through movement improvisation and ‘The Art of Ageing’ which considers cultural attitudes to ageing as depicted through visual arts and literature.

Contact us


Photos: Francesca Sevier, Belinda Whiting, Caroline Schanche.