New Birmingham initiative boosts training support for city’s Professional Dance Artists
Birmingham Pro Class, a brand new non-profit initiative supported by local dance artists, companies and organisations, launches on 4 June with an exciting programme of regular dance classes, events and workshops for the growing professional dance community based in the city and wider region.
Responding to the ambition of the city’s dance sector to have a consistent offer of classes in a variety of styles, Birmingham Pro Class offers bi-weekly sessions open to professional dancers, recent graduates and those in training.
Lucie Mirkova, Executive Producer of DanceXchange, the Birmingham-based dance agency, explains,
“More and more dance artists and companies are finding Birmingham and the West Midlands a great place for their careers to flourish, so there is a real need for a consistent programme of professional classes and other development opportunities, designed to support their practice. We are delighted to join with the dance organisations in Birmingham to make this possible. By joining our efforts and resources we are able to provide a scheme that keeps the costs of classes affordable and offers new exciting opportunities for professional development in the city and beyond.”
DanceXchange has worked in partnership with local leading dance organisations ACE Dance and Music, Birmingham Dance Network, Autin Dance Theatre and Rosie Kay Dance Company as well as a number of independent dance artists, to design the new scheme which offers a membership model that encourages a collective share in the responsibility for making the classes sustainable. Members will enjoy discounted access to professional classes and priority booking for special events and workshops, with all fees going directly to support the programme.
Gail Parmel, Artistic Director and Co-Founder of ACE says,
“Birmingham Pro Class is another great example of dance organisations in the Midlands working together and being ahead of the game. The model offers dancers the chance to experience classes and workshops in many contrasting styles, in a cost effective way.”
Rebecca Randall, Associate Director of Birmingham Dance Network says ‘During dance training, or when working full time in a company, daily class is a vital part of a dancer’s schedule, but as a freelancer it can be hard to access regular, relevant, affordable classes. We at BDN are therefore thrilled that here in Birmingham organisations and individuals are working together to enable dancers to invest in their physical practice.
“The programme reflects the broad range of skills required by dance artists. Dancers from all contemporary dance backgrounds are welcomed to this supportive environment where we can each find new physical challenges. Class is an opportunity for us to maintain and develop our practice, following the ebb and flow of a career in dance. It is fantastic that this scheme, which allows dancers to think long term about investing in themselves, is being co-created here in Birmingham. By signing up for membership you can be part of it – we look forward to seeing you in the studio!’
The Birmingham Pro Class programme and membership is open now!