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CoDI Somali Dance logo

Artists’ call to women of colour based in Wales

Paid opportunity for 2 singers, 2 dancers, 2 drummers and 2 poets


Tŷ Cerdd, Hayaat Women Trust, National Dance Company Wales and Literature Wales

announce an artist-development pathway for Somali Dance

Somali Dance logo strip revised.png

Somali Dance is one of Wales’s valuable traditional practices. Remarkably it has not received funding or developmental backing, and the women who practise the discipline do so without support. This pathway will offer fees to participants, space, mentoring support and sector connections.


Over a series of workshops, eight participating artists will be led through a development pathway by four lead artists:

  • Dancer – Muna Isman is a creative artist who enjoys Somali dance in all its intricacies – the creativity in learning the different types dances but also the cultural meaning behind them all. She looks forward to developing her skills through this pathway and sharing them with others.

  • Singer – Ifraah Abdilahi is a Somali creative living in Wales and is well known across Wales and beyond for specialising in singing Buraanbur (poetry within Somali tradition). Ifraah shows initiative and creativity in her work and is looking forward to develop her Buraanbur skills even further as one of the leading artists in this project.

  • Drummer – Faduma Jama, of Somali origin living in Wales, is passionate about Somali dance and in particular drumming with the Duff (Drum). Faduma is currently working on developing her drumming skills that accompany the many Somali dances, including Jhaan Dheer.

  • Poet – Umulkhayr Mohamed is a Welsh Somali writer and artist, who also produces work under the alias Aisha Ajnabi, their art other. Her artistic practice involves primarily poetry, artist moving image, installation and performance work that explores the tension present between enjoying the act of wandering between emancipatory temporalities and a functional need to position oneself in the now.


The eight participating artists will be selected by a panel following open call, and will each receive £500 for their participation. Workshops will take place in Cardiff, but applications are welcomed from women from across Wales and expenses will be covered for any artists needing to travel. The pathway will culminate a sharing-performance of the work the participants have developed together.


All participants must be free for the following workshops at the Dance House, Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff, plus the performance (Cardiff venue, tbc).

workshop #1

1000-1700, Saturday 14 January

workshop #2

1000-1700, Saturday 25 February

workshop #3

1000-1700, Saturday 4 March

workshop #4

1000-1700, Sunday 5 March