SHE has brightened the morning commute for many across Glasgow with her cheering solo dance displays around the city over the past decade.

Now artist Kate Deeming is set to lead 500 of the city’s children through the streets in a two-day dance party on the streets of Pollokshields, in a bid to increase integration and improve access to the arts.

Video by Colin Mearns

Following a series of 60 workshops held around Pollokshields primary schools on the south side of Glasgow, the Philadelphian performer is hoping to transform the pavements of the multicultural  district into a festival of physical expression.

As part of Dance International Glasgow (DIG), the biennial month-long festival of dance staged by the city’s Tramway, this week’s event will be the culmination of six weeks of workshops held in St Albert’s Primary, Pollokshields Primary and Glendale Primary and Gaelic school.

Dance: DIG: Giant (four stars) & Endling/Criocharan (three stars), Tramway, Glasgow

Entitled Four Corners, the spectacle, in conjunction with Glasgow-based choreography collective The Work Room, will also be chronicled as a public photography exhibition, with images taken by photographer Basharat Khan to be displayed in Pollokshields shopfronts later this month.

Ms Deeming, a graduate of the former RSAMD, said: “Most of the kids in Pollokshields have never seen a live dance performance, and they don’t come from a dance background.

“Because of economic and cultural barriers they often wouldn’t attend a workshop for something like this even if you put it on down the road. They don’t see it as being for them.

“So this is about working where they are. The workshops have been in the schoolyards, but over the course of the two days there will be 500 children taking dancing out to the pavements of Pollokshields for the people.

“I’m interested in giving children that sense of expanse, enabling them to express themselves physically but doing it outdoors rather than within the limitations imposed by walls and ceilings in a studio.

“I’ve found that working in a space which seems limitless opens up other parts of the body’s potential. There’s a lot of talk in Pollokshields about there not being enough space for doing stuff, so we’re using the wide open spaces to create outdoor dances.”

Ms Deeming first achieved local prominence for her solo morning dances on the city’s Broomielaw almost a decade ago. Since then she has travelled to countries such as Argentina, Sri Lanka and India, studying other dance traditions and leading her own interactive community dance events.

The performer has lived in Glasgow for 20 years, and has now become a part of the everyday civic furniture for many on the south side of the city, performing her cheering early morning dances to bleary-eyed passers-by in Pollokshields, where she lives.

She said: “About 200 parents and children see me on their morning commute. I go into schools and I give workshops and talk to them about how people all over the world dance outside, in places like India, Argentina, Spain, and explain how people in Scotland would traditionally be dancing outside too.

Integration is a key feature. I worked on a massive project in Sri Lanka during the war there, facilitation a dance project for children from warring Tamil and Sinhala populations.

Read more: Scotland to host 12-hour dance 'marathon'

“These kids only had the shared language of war because their languages weren’t connected, so we used dance as a way of creating a new story.

“It’s about changing what you’d expect in the community. You wouldn’t expect to see someone dancing outside before, and now they’ve come to expect that, so all of a sudden the story of those streets changes.

“Too often communities only come together over rubbish things, so this is about coming together over something more creative and beautiful.”

Four Corners is part of DIG’s Moving Out strand, which aims to help artists adapt work for outdoor contexts. The roots of Ms Deeming’s practice can be traced back to her upbringing in America.

She said: “I grew up in an area of north west Philadelphia which was becoming a bit unsafe, so my childhood was mediated because my parents wanted me to be safe.

“I started writing and performing my own plays in the back garden when I was seven, and asked the neighbours to act in them. I think a lot of this stems from that experience - we had a creative urge and a back garden, so we just did it. Creating a loving and creative environment are the two cornerstones of this project.”

In addition to boosting integration and engagement with the arts, Ms Deeming also hopes the project might lead to other residual benefits.

She said: “There are biological and physiological processes which happen when we dance that make us healthier and happier. Watching dance also makes you feel better, too”