Forget your troubles and dance!

Leading male dance theatre company in Southampton challenging perceptions to get more local guys dancing, thanks to donation 

A leading Southampton-based dance company is aiming to get more local guys dancing thanks to a £14,975 donation from the Barker-Mill Foundation (BMF), which will provide essential funding for the company to run several events in Southampton this autumn.

Run by ZoieLogic Dance Theatre (ZLDT) the first event, HeadFunk, took place on Thursday 18th October at Southampton’s Nuffield Theatre. The thought provoking and entertaining show shone an important light on men’s mental health.

On Thursday 22nd November, ZLDT will be showcasing local youth talent (ages 8-18) in conjunction with local schools in a thrilling performance, which will also be held at Southampton’s Nuffield Theatre. ManMade has been successfully running in Newbury for the past eight years and thanks to the donation from BMF, this is the first year it will run in Southampton.

ZLDT specialises in working with people who may be at risk of exclusion, as well as special educational or mental health needs including those in care, secure units or prisons. Through the classes, events and performances, ZLDT can offer individuals life enhancing experiences which can improve self-esteem along with physical and mental wellbeing – and attendees often feel a sense of belonging from a providing a form of expression and communication they may not have experienced before.

Founding ZLDT artistic director, Zoie Golding, said: “We are hugely passionate about engaging new audiences for dance, focusing particularly on men, younger males and those less likely to engage with the arts. We not only aim to challenge perceptions but cultivate a sustainable and positive ecology for male dance.

“The donation from the Barker-Mill Foundation has been greatly received by those that work for ZLDT and those that join us in dance and performance. We want to sustain, increase and develop our high-quality tailored offer for boys and men to access dance as participants, collaborators and audiences in the Southampton area. The funds received from BMF are key to making this happen, I am most grateful for their support.

“Our two main events both focus on increasing self-esteem and physical and mental wellbeing among participants. They also build on a sense of belonging and ownership which will contribute greatly to community social cohesion.”

Tim Jobling, BMF Trustee, said: “What Zoie and her team are doing is excellent; challenging perceptions of men and dance and creating brilliant experiences for men and younger males in the Southampton area is really commendable. As with all the donations we make, we’re delighted to have been able to support something that’s going to enhance the lives of people living in and around Southampton.”

For more information about Zoielogic Dance Theatre, please visit:

If you’re a charity looking for funding from the Barker-Mill Foundation, please visit: for further information.