Dance Consortium: Future Leaders


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ODUK image by Brian Slater

One Dance UK and Dance Consortium are looking for applications from young people to become Dance Ambassadors 2017-18.

One Dance UK, working in partnership with Dance Consortium is looking for proactive and confident young people from across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to help us champion dance and its place in education, health and the cultural life of the UK.

Dance Ambassadors will be given training and a wealth of opportunities to develop their skills and experience through venue visits, talks by senior managers and dance artists, providing hands-on support at events like the national U.Dance festival and advice from staff at One Dance UK and Dance Consortium. As part of this years’ programme Dance Ambassadors will also be part of the Future Leaders project developed by Dance Consortium, see info in the Guidance Notes.

Travel and accommodation costs will be covered where Ambassadors are required to attend events and training days.

Dance Consortium

Dance Consortium brings together 18 large scale venues to tour international contemporary dance. Founded in 2000, it has presented 41 tours by 22 different companies from Australia, Brazil, Canada, Cuba, France, The Netherlands, Taiwan, Israel and the USA.  Details about how the organisation works, past and current tours can all be found at: Dance Consortium was established in 2000 with the specific aim of touring international contemporary dance around the UK. It has 17 members, all large-scale theatres, and since its formation has presented 40 tours by 22 different dance companies. Companies have come from across the globe and have performed to over 600,000 people in venues from Plymouth to Inverness and major UK cities in between.

Future Leaders

The consortium members are keen that young arts leaders and dancers have the opportunity to benefit from Dance Consortium’s tours. We have a relationship with the Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts, linking students directly to the world of venue management and touring. Initiated by Heather Knight, our Coordinator since its inception, two second-year students from the BA Management of Music, Theatre, Entertainment and Events course accompany Heather for two weeks on each tour, gaining a practical introduction to tour and venue management, marketing and communication.

In 2015 we introduced the Future Leaders programme, a career development opportunity for young people aged 18 to 25 to participate in a year of support and mentoring, learning from leaders within UK theatres. Nine young people from across the country participated, visiting seven member venues, meeting CEOs and their teams, as well as UK and international dance companies. Each of the participants had a mentor throughout the programme. This programme will be repeated in 2019/20.

Dance development

Prior to Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater’s tour, we worked with Dance East and Centres for Advanced Training (CAT schemes) to offer a four-day intensive with members of the company. The residency was attended by 46 dance students between the ages of 16 and 18 who were drawn from CAT schemes across the country. The intensive was led by Matthew Rushing, the company’s Rehearsal Director, and was designed to augment the students’ dance training and raise their levels of confidence and aspiration.

Matthew said of the intensive: “It gave me great pleasure to have the opportunity to share what I’ve learned with some of the best dance students in the UK. What a privilege it is to be part of passing on a legacy of inspiration to the next generation of performing artists.”

The intensive was a huge success for partners and students and this is a way of working that we plan to repeat in the future. I will leave the final words to a 17-year-old CAT student:

“These four days have been significant and life-changing. I know that dance is for me even more than I did before the intensive. I’ve found a voice in me that I didn’t know existed. I have courage and the nerve to do what I thought was impossible. It isn’t impossible – everything is within your grasp if you just try and you have the people around you to help it become a reality.”

Ros Robins is Executive Director of Dance Consortium