News: Trailblazers Fellowships 2004

Wednesday 30 June 2004

Following the success of last year’s Trailblazer Fellowships, ADAD @ Dance UK will provide four new fellowships of £1000 this year. These fellowships are available to dance artists working in dance forms of the African Diaspora, to develop their careers. Fellows will be assigned a mentor and follow a self-directed programme of professional development for a period of one year. Fellowships can contribute to dance classes, training, equipment, research trips and other professional development needs.

Last years’ fellows found that being a Trailblazer not only offered financial support for their individual projects but also gave them the confidence and motivation to continue striving to reach their individual, artistic goals.

‘Being a Trailblazer was a window of help and gave me a lot of confidence and since then all the doors have opened.

Jean Abreu (winnner of a Jerwood Choreography Award & one of the 20 choreographers commissioned to make work for the Place Prize)

‘My training is the most important thing because you need to be inspired all the time. It is really hard to be freelance and to always inspire yourself, so you need some finance to be able to go and work with other people. The fellowship has really helped with this.’

Bawren Tavaziva (one of the 20 choreographers commissioned to make work for the Place Prize)

‘It helps to keep you going, not only to inspire yourself, but to be able to inspire other artists that are coming up behind us. It is good to be able to tell the kids that there is support out there for you if you work hard, and personally it just helps to keep your spirit up. I feel that being a Trailblazer has given me more exposure and more recognition. It has elevated me.’

Jane Sekonya

‘It is a lot to do with motivation. You’re focused all the time and you want to progress, but sometimes it feels like a lot of closed doors. Just one open door gives you a bit more strength to pursue it, rather than saying I’m going to have a break from all of this. You decide that actually, someone else thinks that it’s worthwhile.’

Simone Foster

‘receiving support from Dance UK and ADAD was great. Knowing that these organisations were willing to invest in me certainly helped me to feel less isolated and I’m sure will also help me to gain future support.’

Diane Mitchell

Any dance artist working in dance forms with origins or significant influences in African, Caribbean, or African-American dance forms including jazz and street dance forms can apply. Applicants should have some professional experience and be a member of a professional body such as Dance UK, The Place Artist Development or the Foundation for Community Dance, but can be at any stage of their career.

Further information and application forms are available from Dance UK. Please call Sian on 020 7228 4990 or email The closing date for applications is Monday 12 July 2004 and interviews will be held in the week of 26 July 2004.

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