Jane Attenborough Award Winner: Frank Doran (2014)

Jane Attenborough Award Winner: Frank Doran

Frank DoranFrank Doran MP for Aberdeen North, has worked tirelessly at Westminster since 2004 to champion dance as an art form and also for the positive benefits it brings to the health, education and society.

His was inspired to become an advocate for dance when he was part of the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee Enquiry into Dance in 2004. When the report was published Frank arranged for Random Dance to give the first ever dance performance in Portcullis House at Westminster.

In 2006, Frank became the main force behind the creation of the All Party Parliamentary Dance Group becoming its founding Secretary. With Dance UK he rallied a group of parliamentarians from all political parties in the House of Commons and the House of Lords, who are all committed to raising the profile of dance at Westminster.

He also secured a high profile Chairman for the Group, Sir Gerald Kaufman.

Since then, Frank and his wonderful assistant Caitriona Bearryman, have given their time and knowledge to make the All Party Dance Group a real asset for the industry.

In nine years Frank has helped us:

• Secured meetings with Ministers across Government to make the case for Dance as an art form and for its social benefits.
• Made it possible for dance companies and organisations to showcase their work to politicians and decision makers.
• Lobbied to ensure the Government published the 2007 report on Dance Education and Youth Dance resulting in £5.5 million investment in Youth Dance England.
• Organised a debate in Westminster challenging the Government’s comments about dance being a “soft subject” at GCSE and A-Level.
• Secured a 10 minute rule bill into the importance of quality dance teaching
• Organised numerous briefings in Westminster on topics as wide as the importance of dance in schools to the success of the National Youth Dance Company of England, meeting young dancers and teachers, as well as Artistic Directors and dance managers.
• Helped secure parity between contemporary dancers and ballet dancers in immigration policy.
• And he’s recently secured the Attlee Suite at Westminster to launch the new Dance Manifesto and hold a lindy-hop class for polticians on 23 February!

This year, Frank Doran will step down as an MP at the election in May, and we will sadly miss his and Caitriona’s passion and support at Westminster, but his legacy will be the considerable progress dance has made within Government, and the strong group of political supporters we can now turn to at Westminster.