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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

sharing of work (invited audience)

afternoon, Saturday 11 March

Are you interested, or do you know someone who could be?


  • We’ll be holding an in-person drop-in session at Butetown Community Centre on Tuesday 22 November,
    – where you can drop in at any time during the 2-hour slot to find out more, including how to apply. We’ll talk about the opportunity, how participation will work, and how to make an application. If you want to go ahead with an application, we can go ahead and write it up with you there and then.


  • We’ll also hold an Zoom session (Thursday 24 November at 1700) for women who can’t get to the physical drop-in session – to answer questions and help with applications. The session will be recorded, for circulation to those who are not available to join. Register HERE for that session


  • We can also chat with you directly by phone or Zoom. Email to arrange a call.


If you think you’re ready to apply anyway…
Upload the following information to our portal

  1. Personal details: your name, email address, mobile number, address, and confirmation that you are over 18

  2. Tell us about your practice:  are you a singer, dance, poet/writer, drummer? Tell us what you love to do as an artist and what you’ve been most proud of. (Max 200 words)

  3. Why would you like to be part of this pathway? What would you like to achieve? What do you hope this opportunity can do for you?

  4. Examples of your work: if you have examples of your artistic practice, please attach up to 2 links or attachments (eg poetry; links to audio or video – nb, please send links rather than sound or video files; if you need help creating links, let us know.)


Video applications are also welcomed. Record your video answering questions 2 & 3 above (up to 3 minutes’ duration), and upload a link to your video, adding the information requested in questions 1 & 4 to the upload form. If you need help creating a link to your video, email us for help.


Timeline & process

  • Deadline for applications: 1200 on Monday 12 December

  • The panel (made up of the four lead artists plus Deborah Keyser, Director of Tŷ Cerdd) will meet on Wednesday 15 December.

  • We’ll let you know the outcome by: Monday 19 December



We want to remove as many barriers as we can – if there’s anything you’d like to talk to us about, please contact Deborah Keyser, who will try to help to find a solution.

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