News: Applications open for Dance UK's Mentoring Programme

Friday 29 May 2015 by Clare Evans

Photographer: Stephen Wright
Dancers: Estela Merlos and Stefano Rosato
Choreographer: Patricia Okenwa

Dance UK, supported by Arts Council England and working in partnership with Dancers’ Career Development, the National Dance Teachers Association (NDTA) and Youth Dance England, is now accepting applications for the 2015-16 mentoring programmes. Open to dancers and dance teachers in England, Wales and Scotland who have been identified by their peers as future leaders, the successful applicants will be matched with high-level mentors to identify their skills and areas of interest and develop leadership potential.

Dance UK’s 2015 Dancers’ Mentoring Programme offers 20 dancers the chance to consider a future beyond or alongside their performing careers with the support of a paid mentor. Applicants must be independent dancers with Dance UK membership or dancers who work for Dance UK company members, with a minimum of eight years professional dancing experience. The deadline for applications is 15 June 2015, 5pm.

Previous mentored dancers have found the programme to be of great benefit and many have progressed into leadership positions or taken on leadership responsibilities within their current roles. Avatara Ayuso, choreographer on the 2013-14 programme, says: “I gained another perspective on how to approach decision making in the dance sector, advice from an expert leader and time with a very busy director which otherwise would have been impossible.”

Dance UK’s 2015 Dance Teaching Mentoring Programme gives 20 dance teachers the chance to develop leadership skills, expand dance industry knowledge and build contacts within professional dance companies, local dance organisations and across the education sector. As well as a paid mentor, each teacher receives a bursary to cover travel and meeting expenses and a funded connection with a leading local dance organisation of their choice.

The Dance Teaching Mentoring Programme is aimed at dance teachers working: inside schools (primary or secondary); in community settings; in private dance schools who are qualified through awarding bodies such as RAD, ISTD, IDTA, BBO, UKA, BATD etc; in Higher Education; vocational training; or freelance dance artists who teach as part of their portfolio career. Applicants must be Dance UK or NDTA members and have at least five years professional dance teaching experience. The deadline for applications is 30 June, 5pm.

To apply for either mentoring programme, the dancer or dance teacher must first be nominated by a peer or colleague who has identified them as having potential to be a future sector leader. Full details on the nomination and application process can be found on the Dance UK website at (click on ‘What’s On’ and then select the relevant mentoring programme from the left hand menu).

Selection panels will meet in July 2015 to select the dancer and dance teacher mentees. The mentoring process takes place between September 2015 and April 2016. Mentees will receive a training session with Dance UK near the start of the programme.

More information at

What’s On