News: Dance Mapping report published

Wednesday 30 September 2009

Arts Council England’s report on involvement in dance in England has just been published.

It is the most comprehensive survey to date and was informed by research conducted with more than 1,400 dance artists, companies and promoters working in England today by Susanne Burns and Sue Harrison.

The report highlights the achievements of increasingly entrepreneurial dance artists mentioning Akram Khan, the Royal Ballet and Wayne McGregor | Random Dance in particular. There is evidence to suggest that dance’s contribution to the overall strength of the creative economy is growing with, 45% of the workforce engaged with film, television, digital production, webcasting and music video. It also shows a new generation of emerging artists coming through the DCSF funded Centres for Advanced Training and the number of people studying dance in higher education has increased by more than 97% in the past five years.

More than 40,000 people currently work in dance and the non professional sector accounts for a fifth of all arts participation. However, the report also demonstrates that although the dance sector is highly educated (62% with degrees), many are grossly underpaid. 38% of those making a living from dance earned between £5,000 and £20,000 last year.

Janet Archer, Director of Dance strategy, Arts Council England said; “We want our dance organisations to be the best they can be; to make exciting, challenging and wonderful art for everyone to enjoy. Dance mapping provides us all with a clear picture of dance in this country, the challenges it faces and the very tangible opportunities it could embrace.

“I’m looking forward to working with the dance sector on seizing the chance to build on the hugely encouraging picture the report paints.”

Charlotte Vincent, Artistic Director, Vincent Dance Theatre said: “The Dance mapping report is an honest reflection of the breadth and range of dance now taking place in the UK. It is heart warming to witness the Arts Council’s growing recognition and understanding of the very real challenges that dancers and choreographers face. This new publication also documents the enormous achievements that dance artists have made over the last few years and I hope very much that this information is put to good use.”

Kenneth Olumuyiwa Tharp, Chief Executive, The Place said:“The Dance mapping report is detailed, factual study of dance across England which will be of great value to organisations like The Place which aim to widen access to dance and deepen opportunities for artists. It reflects the success our art form has enjoyed in recent years, and the challenges facing us, which The Place and all the country’s dance organisations and artists can look forward to working with the Arts Council to tackle.”

Download the full report here:


“People train to become dancers and choreographers because they are passionate and obsessive about the art. But that sense of vocation has been exploited for too long, and it’s a grim fact that even the lucky few who make it to the top still earn very little.”
Judith Mackrell, Guardian, 30 Sep 09

‘According to the figures, around half of dance artists live and work in London and the south east. Archer said that while this reflects population figures, ACE needs to address the fact that parts of the country have “patchy access” to dance.’ Read more in The Stage, 25 Sep 09

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