Elland’s Happiness Lab

The first measure of happiness in a small town in the UK through the arts!
From November 2021 until July 2022, Elland’s Happiness Lab is exploring what happiness means to the people of Elland through a programme of accessible creative activity.
We’re dancing, writing, singing, walking, and more with the people of Elland and the surrounding areas. The Happiness Lab is for everyone – all ages, heritage backgrounds, life experiences, people who live here, people who work here, people who have newly discovered Elland…
Come and join us to explore what happiness means to you!

Perform with us!

Curious Motion is looking for people from all walks of life who live in or near Elland to be part of a special performance!

We’re now in the final stages of the project and to celebrate everything we’ve explored about happiness in Elland, we’re creating a show! You don’t need any previous experience, and you’ll be fully supported to take part in the way you would like. Open to all aged 16+ and it’s free!

Find out more at this month’s Happiness Lab workshop:

Saturday 14th May, 1pm – 2.30pm at Southgate Church in Elland.

FREE and just DROP IN!


We’ll meet for weekly summer workshops to have fun, connect, and create together – ready to share with the community on Friday 15th July. Join us to make memories you’ll cherish!

Workshops will take place on Monday evenings, 6.30pm – 8.30pm, at Southgate Church in Elland:

  • 30th May
  • 6th, 13th, 20th, 27th June
  • 4th, 11th July

There’ll be two extra sessions on Saturdays nearer the performance too – 2nd and 9th July, 1pm – 3pm.

Our FINALE SHOWCASE EVENT will be on Friday 15th July in the evening – alongside the performance we’ll be displaying a beautiful exhibition of writing and drawing, and premiering a wonderful film all about the project!

Workshops will be really fun and inclusive – we’ll start by exploring the group’s ideas and thoughts around happiness in Elland, as well as using some of the writing and drawing we’ve collected from the community over the past six months to inspire us! Then we’ll put all of our favourite ideas together to share with the community! We recommend coming to all the workshops if you can, but we are flexible and will ensure everyone can participate in the way that is most meaningful for them.

Want to join? Not sure? Got questions? Get in touch with us on hello@curiousmotion.org.uk or drop Sam a message on 07740 366365.

A photo of smiling people as they dance, with the words 'perform with us!'
Performance Taster flyer - text is repeated in image.

Happiness Lab Workshops

Monthly drop-in creative sessions for all ages

Creative activities for all the family – join us to draw, make, write, and explore your creativity in these relaxed sessions. Workshops are held on Saturday afternoons, once a month until June 2022. There’s a different workshop on offer each time:

May’s workshop is a taster session for our performance opportunity – see above!

A young person making a lantern
Handmade Lanterns with red and yellow flames and the words 'stars' and 'soul mate' written on them
Lots of brightly coloured lanterns. The words 'my boys' are written on one.
Flower doodles - a mixture of colours and lots of different shapes and sizes
Flower doodles - a mixture of colours and lots of different shapes and sizes

January 2022 – Lantern Making with Handmade Parade

We captured what happiness means to us on our lanterns – words included ‘my boys’, ‘soul mates’, ‘laughter’, ‘friends’, and ‘family. The lanterns will soon be on display in shop windows for Handmade Parade’s ‘Windows on the World’ project! Huge thanks to Fran from Handmade Parade for teaching us how to make lanterns!

February 2022 – Flower Doodles with Artworks

Taking inspiration from British artist Angie Lewin, we explored flower illustration through a series of simple, playful doodle activities. We created a mixed media composition bursting with colour and detail, including some larger collaborative flower doodles too! Big thanks to Sarah O’Boyle from the Artworks for leading this lovely workshop!

A group of children smiling with their arms stretched wide and holding origami flowers
Flyer for the workshop, the text is repeated alongside an image of people of a a mixture of ages and ethnicities dancing.
The word happiness drawn inside a cloud, with the words 'is true' at the bottom.
A drawing of a person floating in clouds and the words 'free as the wind'

March 2022 – Family Dance Party and Rainbow Art Trail

A very happy day of disco dancing and getting outdoors to explore! We began the day in Hullen Edge park, making origami flowers and searching for the colours of the rainbow in our Rainbow Art Trail workshop. Then, we made our way to Southgate Church for an afternoon disco and fun! Many famous party dances made an appearance, including The Macarena, Saturday Night, and ‘5,6,7,8’ by Steps!

April 2022 – Collecting Happiness!

An afternoon of drawing, writing and dancing – collecting all sorts of ideas on what happiness means to the community. We had fun choosing music, practicing some favourite dance moves, and then drawing and writing about our experience! We also worked with a group of young people via Time Out, a youth project run by local mental health charity, Healthy Minds. The children turned their happiness drawings into dance performances!

Join a class

Join us to get moving, express yourself, and catch up with friends.

Our classes programme is running throughout the project and is always open to new people. All sessions are either free or offered on a ‘pay as you feel’ basis so you can choose to donate if you’re able to. Classes currently on offer are:

Brews & Grooves – dance for people over 55

Rhythm & Brews – music and movement for all ages

Dance for Wellbeing – a fun and accessible movement and stretch session for adults of all ages.

Children & Young People

Exploring what happiness means to the children and young people of Elland.

We’ll be working with Elland’s schools, children’s centres and local groups to hear from children and young people about happiness and how being creative makes them feel.

If you’d like your school or child to be involved let us know!

Group of children holding dance poses
A big thank you to The National Lottery Community Fund for supporting this project.

The National Lottery Community Fund Logo