A mentoring scheme billed as the first of its kind will pair professional dancers with business leaders to help them develop new careers when they stop performing.
Run by Dancers Career Development, which supports retired dancers transition into new careers through grants, workshops and networking, the Beyond Dance mentoring programme will foster relationships between professional dancers – who are approaching the end of their performance careers or who have already retired – and figures from the business world.
Despite training for about 10 years, professional dancers’ careers end at the average age of 35.
The mentoring scheme aims to “broaden their horizons and plan their next step”, by operating across different sectors. Alongside DCD, it is being delivered by Moving Ahead, which specialises in mentoring for elite athletes.
The scheme will launch early next year and will initially be open to dancers currently or formerly employed by DCD’s partner companies, which include the Royal Ballet, English National Ballet, Rambert and Scottish Ballet.
DCD trustee Ida Levine said: “Elite dancers possess extraordinary skills, strengths and a resilience that make them ideal to thrive in dynamic and competitive environments. The Beyond Dance Mentoring programme delivered by DCD and Moving Ahead is a pioneering scheme that provides opportunity for both the dancers and mentors involved, to support and learn from one another.”