News: Tamara Rojo's €10,000 donation to Dance UK

Tuesday 17 September 2013 by Carmel Smith

Tamara Rojo at Dance UK's members evening, Royal Society of Medicine, 16 September 2013. Photo: Rick Senley

Over 300 Dance UK members were at the Royal Society of Medicine yesterday evening (Monday 16 September) to hear the leading organisation for dance professionals announce its programme for the next two years.

A highlight of the evening was Tamara Rojo’s announcement that she is donating a €10,000 prize, awarded to her by Banco Santander Foundation, to Dance UK for its work supporting dancers’ health. The world renowned ballerina and Artistic Director of English National Ballet made the presentation, accompanied by Karen Fortunato, Company Secretary and General Counsel of Santander UK plc, to Dance UK’s Director Caroline Miller, joking that she had thought about spending the money on good shoes – but saying that she feels passionately that “as an industry we must support dancers to be the very best dancers that they can be, to look after and nurture their bodies as the instrument of their art that we all love. I am lucky enough to have been given this award by the Bank of Santander and I wanted to make the best use of this money.” The fund was part of the Santander Bank Foundation Award for Anglo-Spanish Relations, which recognises the significant contribution by a British or Spanish person of eminence in bringing Britain and Spain closer together.

Dance UK is renowned for its Healthier Dancer Programme which has supported dancers for 30 years. In 2012, Dance UK and partners launched the groundbreaking National Institute of Dance Medicine and Science, which includes the first ever free NHS specialist dancer injury clinic. In the last 15 months the clinic has treated over 200 dancers and has been universally welcomed by the industry. Dancer UK’s Healthier Dancer Programme is now embedded in the education programme of the National Institute and provides advice, talks and professional development for dance and health professionals.

In 2011 the future looked bleak for Dance UK when it lost its status as an Arts Council England Regularly Funded Organisation but it has emerged again as an even stronger campaigning organisation for the dance profession, led by Caroline Miller and a dedicated staff team, its Board chaired by Farooq Chaudhry (Royal Ballet Director Kevin O’Hare is a new member) and a growing membership base across the country.

Yesterday it announced a two year programme of national activities working with dance professionals at all stages of their careers, supported by funding from Arts Council England and the Paul Hamlyn Foundation – and an emphasis on partnership working, in particular with the National Dance Teachers Association, Youth Dance England, the Association of the African Diaspora and Dancers’ Career Development.

Highlights of the programme include: the expansion of the successful Dance UK Dancers’ Mentoring programme with the addition of a new Dance Teaching Mentoring programme; two major dancers’ health conferences as part of the National Institute of Dance Medicine and Science – Beyond the Body: Psychological Tools for Performance Enhancement and Wellbeing in Dance on 29 November 2013 at the Birmingham Hippodrome, and a dance and aesthetic aports conference at the Royal Society of Medicine on 7 April 2014; and the launch of the DanceVote 2015 advocacy campaign to raise the profile of dance with politicians in the run-up to the general election.

More on Dance UK’s 2013 -15 proramme:

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