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Scottish Dancers' Mentoring Scheme

Scottish Dancers' Mentoring Scheme

19 November 2012

Dance UK is launching a new Dancers' Mentoring Scheme for company and independent dancers based in Scotland - closing date for applications is 25th February 2013.

SCOTTISH DANCERS’ MENTORING SCHEME ANNOUNCED

Dance UK, funded by Creative Scotland and in partnership with Dancers’ Career Development is launching a new Dancers’ Mentoring Scheme for company and independent dancers based in Scotland who have been identified by their peers as future leaders.

Dance UK is now open to receive applications, closing date 25th February 2013. Five mid-career dancers will be selected by a panel of dance professionals to receive a paid mentor in a high level leadership position from the arts sector or beyond, as well as a bursary to cover travel expenses.

This Mentoring Scheme recognises the huge potential for dancers to become leaders. It is designed to build capacity within the dance workforce and to ensure skills and knowledge retention in Scotland and the sector, addressing problems of succession to key dance roles. The aims are to build dancers’ confidence and highlight their transferable skills, to provide guidance and to demonstrate the opportunities available to performers with perceived leadership potential in both artistic and non-artistic roles.

James MacGillivray, Acting Artistic Director of Scottish Dance Theatre benefitted from the Dance UK’s Dancers’ Mentoring Programme in 2007. He says:

“The mentoring scheme provided me with the wonderful opportunity to learn skills in leadership and arts management which have proved invaluable in my transition from dance studio to office.”

Dance UK has designed this programme inspired by the successful dancers’ mentoring programme the organisation ran in England and Scotland in 2007. Of the 16 dancers who took part five years ago, many have gone on to leadership positions including: James MacGillvray, Acting Artistic Director of Scottish Dance Theatre; Rachel Krische who became Head of Dance for Northern School of Contemporary Dance and is now Head of Dance for Leeds Metropolitan University; Victoria Willard of Scottish Ballet is now Pilates & Gyrotonic Instructor for Dance School of Scotland and is studying Sports Psychology at Stirling University; Andrew Hurst, who became General Manager of Phoenix Dance and is now Company Manager of the Royal Ballet; and Michaela Polley, Rehearsal Director of Rambert Dance Company.

How to apply:

Dancers will be nominated on their perceived potential to be leaders within the field outside of their performing career. Those drawn from companies will be nominated by the Executive Team of the organisation, in consultation with other staff as appropriate. Those drawn from the independent sector will be nominated by companies, choreographers, dance agencies, anyone working in the profession. To apply dancers must be a member of Dance UK or in a Dance UK member company.

Step by step application process for dancers employed by dance companies:

  1. Executive team of dance companies decide which dancers they see as potential future leaders who they would like to nominate for the Dance UK dancers’ mentoring programme
  2. The executive team approaches the dancer to ask if they would like to be nominated.
  3. The nominator emails caroline@danceuk.org to propose the dancer.
  4. DanceUKemails the dancer (copying in the nominator) the application form which asks the dancer to write a short statement about why they would benefit from the programme.
  5. Deadline for completed applications Friday 11 January 2013

Step by step application process for independent dancers:

  1. Anyone working in dance, ie. arts professionals working in companies, theatres, dance agencies, including choreographers, directors, managers, etc, can nominate independent dancers they see as potential future leaders.
  2. The nominator approaches the dancer to ask if they would like to be nominated.
  3. The nominator emails caroline@danceuk.org to propose the independent dancer.
  4. DanceUKemails the dancer (copying in the nominator) the application form which asks the dancer to write a short statement about why they would benefit from the programme.
  5. Deadline for completed applications Friday 11 January 2013

Dancers’ applications will be assessed against the following criteria:

  • The applicant is an established mid-career dancers (with eight years or more professional experience)
  • The applicant demonstrates leadership potential
  • The applicant articulates a coherent personal statement
  • The applicant will benefit from a mentor

Mentors:

Each dancer will be appointed a mentor for an eight month period that will help them consider their careers beyond or alongside their current performing careers.  Mentors could be from within dance, from other art forms or beyond the cultural sector.  As part of the intention of the programme is to allow people to develop careers within the dance sector, mentors who are role models within dance, and can demonstrate a similar shift in their own career history may be the most useful mentors. 

The mentoring process will be determined by the mentor and the mentee, underpinned by a clear framework provided by Dance UK, setting out what can be expected from the process and stating minimum requirements, and through the negotiation of the mentoring agreement at the beginning of the process.  The nature and content of the mentoring relationship will vary depending on the needs of the dancer mentee.  However, it is intended that it will cover:

  • Identification of skills, talents, areas of interests and aspirations
  • Signposting to opportunities, resources and information
  • Dialogue relating to the wider dance context and networks
  • Discussion and identification of possible progression routes
  • Sharing of experience and life history.

Application Deadline:

Nomination and application deadline: 25th February 2013.

Applications to be sent to:

Caroline Miller, Director of Dance UKcaroline@danceuk.org or call Caroline on 020 7713 0730.

For further press information please contact Caroline Miller, caroline@danceuk.org,

020 77130730 / www.danceuk.org

 

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