Career mentoring programme launched by Dance UK

Dance UK has launched a mentoring scheme for dancers to further their careers as industry leaders.

Six independent dancers and 14 dancers who work for membership companies of Dance UK will be awarded mentorships, which will include a paid mentor for eight months and a small personal bursary.

The scheme is funded by Arts Council England and will run in partnership with dancer support charity Dancers’ Career Development, which will help to choose the winning applicants.

It aims to help dancers make the transition from their current positions into new artistic or non-artistic leadership roles.

Dance UK will team up each mid-career dancer with their mentor, who will be a high profile leader from the arts world or other industries.

Nominations can be made by a dance company’s executive team, or in the case of independent dancers can be made by anyone working in the profession.

Applicants will only be eligible for the scheme if they or the company they work for are members of Dance UK and they have at least five years professional dancing experience.

The programme is based on a previous scheme run by Dance UK in 2007. Participating dancers who received the mentoring include Andrew Hurst, company manager of the Royal Ballet, and Michaela Polley, who is rehearsal director of Rambert Dance Company.

The deadline for nominations is September 7, with successful applicants announced in the same month, and the scheme will begin in October.

Caroline Miller, director of Dance UK, said: “I’m really excited about launching the new Dance UK Dancers’ Mentoring Scheme – we’ve already had amazing feedback from dancers. Many high profile arts leaders are former dancers, but we don’t always remember or highlight this fact.”

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