By Eloise O’Hare and Michelle Savage
Norwich Rising Co-organisers

14th February is V-Day – a global day of action to demand an end to violence against women. The United Nations estimate that one in three women will be raped or beaten in her lifetime. That’s one billion women. Dance with us on Saturday 14th February 2016 at 1pm at the Forum and help us to Break the Chain of violence.

Thanks to a grant from Comic Relief Community Cash and the County Council grants, we can now offer a series of free dance rehearsals and a t-shirt screen printing workshop at the Silver Rd Community Centre. The dates are:

Sunday 24th January, 3-4pm: Dance Rehearsal

Sunday 31st January, 10-1pm: Screen Printing Workshop

Sunday 7th February, 3-4pm: Dance Rehearsal

Norwich Rising is a grass roots group that started in January 2013 when we got together and rehearsed the ‘Break the Chain’ dance for the first time. Local dance teacher Anne Frances taught us the steps to the dance that Fame legend Debbie Allen had choreographed. We were outside the Forum in Norwich in the snow and the group started with a mere handful of people. It grew very quickly with weekly rehearsals until on the day 14th February 2013 when we had a 1000 plus people dancing with us. We asked people to also dance in their workplace, school and college.

Across the world people also danced as part of One Billion Rising.

Raising the awareness of the violence against women helped local anti-violence charities such as Leeway gain more publicity and support. One Billion Rising used some of the film footage taken by Shelly Telly as part of their bigger feature film and it was shown at Cannes film festival.

A musician called Julian Culpan from Melbourne in Australia created a drumbeat with a hidden morse code beat which said ‘Stop the Violence’.

A year later One Billion Rising suggested that all the Rising groups across the world come up with there own creative ways to mark the day. So we started a drumming group called ‘Drum for Justice’.  A musician called Julian Culpan from Melbourne in Australia created a drumbeat with a hidden morse code beat which said ‘Stop the Violence’. Maddi Cassell of Dog Chasing Tail Community Music, Ian Brownlie of Community Music East and Tracey Taylor of Dead Goats Appreciation Society taught the drum beat to Norwich Rising group as well as schools across Norwich. Angel Road Primary School steel pan band also learnt the beat with their music teacher. We then all got together on the 14th of February and drummed as one which was totally amazing. It was so loud, it was impossible to miss us. We caused a storm of creativity on Facebook with groups from across the World using our piece of drum music too, drumming the same beat in their country. A UEA drama student transformed herself into Boudicca for the event and gave a rousing speech to encourage us all to rise and fight for justice.



In 2015, we weren’t sure we’d be able to run an event – people were going through tough times and we needed more support. Julie from the Silver Road Community Centre contacted us and said they would help and Miriam Gita Spacek from Undulation Elation offered to teach the dance. We set up a crowd-funding website and the £70 we raised helped buy a banner and stickers and high viz vests for the stewards. It also paid for a babysitter for our dance tutor. So we did manage to dance again on 14th February and had another successful year. One highlight was Sue Lane singing Tracey Chapman’s “Behind the Wall” solo and a capella.

This year Norwich Rising managed to secure a Red Nose Day grant that enabled us to pay Miriam to  run regular dance rehearsals at the Silver Road Community Centre. Another small grant from the County Council meant Chrissy Sabberton and Eloise O’Hare could run a screen printing workshop so that everyone can wear a Norwich Rising 2016 T-shirt.


( © Norwich Rising )

We also will be able to run 3 events – our main day of action on 14th February where we want people to join us at 1pm at the Forum.  We’ve got another smaller event on the 30th January in Attleborough at the ABCD Festival and one more which will be a flash mob surprise location. We need as many people to come and learn the dance to make this year’s Norwich Rising as amazing as possible. Look at for more information

Pick up a poster to put up at your work or school from the Silver Road Community Centre this Sunday the 10th January at 3pm.

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