Zoie Golding awarded MBE in Queen’s Birthday Honours 2022

Zoie Golding, Founder and Artistic Director of ZoieLogic Dance Theatre, has been awarded an MBE for Services to Dance in Her Majesty the Queen’s 2022 Birthday Honours List.

A dance facilitator works with a young girl in a dance studio

Zoie has worked in the arts for 22 years. Her artistic practice is about taking risks, breaking down barriers and communicating ideas clearly and boldly. She is best known for challenging perceptions of men in dance, demystifying the art form and increasing access for those least likely to take part. As an Artistic Director, Producer and Choreographer, she has reached over 100,000 people with her work, both nationally and internationally. 

In 2000, Zoie founded the nationally acclaimed FuzzyLogic Youth Dance Company, leading the way in male dance engagement. In 2013 she established ZoieLogic Dance Theatre, recognised for creating positive social impact by bringing people together for exceptional and innovative dance experiences. 

ZoieLogic Dance Theatre projects during the pandemic – The Grid Experience and RIDE: Covid Response Tour – were recognised in Arts Council England’s Top 10 Cultural Moments of 2020.

“I feel overwhelmed to have been recognised for my work in this way. The honours system remains one of the few avenues for recognising individuals and projects that have gone the extra mile. I feel strongly that this is a rare opportunity to spotlight and celebrate our work and the positive impact dance can have on people and communities. 

To be recognised for services to dance when, like me, you haven’t gone through a formal training route and built your company from the ground up, is a rare honour. This is my chance to share with others that you can find your way into the creative industries in alternative ways. 

I didn’t wait for permission or conform to a traditionally respected route to carve out my career. I am lucky to have built a career out of turning my imagination and ambitions into a reality – this drives my passion to support and encourage others to do the same. There is zero replacement for seeing that moment when someone realises they can do something unimaginable.”

Zoie Golding, Artistic Director of ZoieLogic Dance Theatre

In recent years Zoie’s work has focused on reaching the communities in her home town of Southampton, championing access to dance and culture. Notable commissions include the opening of Studios 144, activity in the Mayflower 400 programme, and an artistic role in developing and advocating for Southampton’s bid for City of Culture 2025. 

In 2021, Zoie was appointed Lead Artist of Critical Mass, a brand new inclusive dance collective for young people across the West Midlands, due to perform at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games Opening Ceremony.

“For over 20 years Zoie has invested her relentless energy, creativity and passion in improving lives through the power of dance – helping those least likely to access dance and culture to develop a positive sense of self and place, bringing communities together, strengthening mental health and physical wellbeing. I am proud to support her and her amazing team at ZoieLogic Dance Theatre.”

Suzanne Waggett, Chair of the Board at ZoieLogic Dance Theatre

This work has been made possible thanks to the many people and organisations who have shared and supported Zoie’s vision over the years. Arts Council England has played a significant role, as have the Esmee Fairbairn Foundation and the Paul Hamlyn Foundation. Zoie is proud to have been Associate Artist of The Point Eastleigh and Pavilion Dance South West, Nuffield Southampton Theatres and now Associate Artist at Mayflower Theatre, Resident Company at MAST Studios and an Honorary Fellow of University of Winchester.

“I would not be doing what I do if it was not for the love, care and support of all those around me and those who have been a part in the journey. I am particularly grateful to my Mum, who went the extra mile to make sure I had access to dance as a kid; Alison Neasom, my inspirational dance teacher, who nurtured my talent, gave me space to be brave, and taught me how to lead and help others in their journey. Sam Connis – without her unwavering support, ZoieLogic would not be where it is today; and everyone involved with the Fuzzy youth companies and ZoieLogic, past and present, thank you!

This is not simply an award for me but for all those like me who believe in what they do, know it makes a difference to peoples’ lives and go above and beyond to make it possible because it matters to others.”

Zoie Golding, Artistic Director of ZoieLogic Dance Theatre

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