On 26 March 2015, Arts Council England announced a three year commissioned grant for a ground-breaking consortium bringing four leading dance organisations together to create a unified “go-to” industry body. The four organisations are: Association of Dance of the African Diaspora (ADAD), Dance UK, National Dance Teachers Association (NDTA) and Youth Dance England (YDE). This partnership proactively responds to industry demand for radical transformation of its workforce and talent support. Together, the combined impact of these organisations will be much greater than they can achieve as stand-alone bodies.
ADAD, Dance UK, NDTA and Youth Dance England are pooling their expertise to result in a simplified, strengthened and specialist partnership body nurturing and developing talent and delivering excellence in: education; youth dance; dance of the African diaspora; performance, health and well-being; management, leadership and career development. This will become the subject association for dance to further the teaching and learning of dance in schools, embedding education at the heart of the dance sector.
Cate Canniffe, Director of Dance, Arts Council England, said:
“This commissioned grant for £650,000 a year, for three years, awarded to the partnership between Dance UK, ADAD, NDTA and Youth Dance England, will strengthen the national dance infrastructure. Working through its joint national membership which includes dance agencies, higher education institutions, teachers, schools, professional dancers, choreographers and touring dance companies in every region, the consortium will support a more coherent national approach to the delivery of dance services. It will offer dance services and development across the spectrum from children and young people’s dance to professional dance practice and being representative of the creative case for diversity. It has been really exciting to work with the four organisations to develop the vision for the consortium and the leadership potential of, in and for the sector.”
This new collaborative working model will directly benefit the 40,000 plus dance workforce, and children dancing in and outside school, and indirectly impact on the millions of adults who participate in dance and watch performances. It will provide
• a single more powerful voice for dance to policy makers and politicians
• a centralised knowledge hub
• policy direction
• industry intelligence
• a three year programme of strategic initiatives with industry-wide benefit
• and promote best practice and nurture talent.
More information about the new consortium’s plans will be announced at the industry-wide conference, The Future: New Ideas, New Inspirations taking place 9 – 12 April 2015, organised by Dance UK. The conference will result in the consortium’s first initiative – the publication of a five year strategy for dance representing the areas of dance that the partners represent, as well as the wider dance sector, to be published on International Dance Day, 29 April 2015.
Judith Palmer, Chair of ADAD said: “The merger provides a solid infrastructure for dance; a broader remit for advocacy, development and support. Significantly, it is a conduit to embed Dance of the African Diaspora into the British cultural landscape.”
Judy Evans and Sue Trotman, Co-Chairs of NDTA said: “The National Dance Teachers Association welcomes this unique opportunity to merge with three other national dance organisations creating a powerful lead body for dance across all sectors. We believe this is a pivotal moment to secure the future support of dance in schools and beyond for all children and young people and the provision of high quality professional development and resources for teachers.”
Farooq Chaudhry, Chair of Dance UK said: “30 years ago, dance professionals created a number of specialist support organisations to help them achieve their ambitions. Today, we are excited to be part of the creation of a new joined-up organisation which will provide a stronger and more effective service for dancers and dance professionals helping them become the best they can be.”
Richard Alston, Chair of Youth Dance England said: “Children and young people’s dance will be central to the work of the new organisation, bringing together all areas of the dance sector to support young people right from their first steps, to progressing into professional training, launching a career and becoming life-long dancers. The new organisation will develop the highly regarded and well established children and young people’s dance initiatives to create many more exciting and progressive opportunities for young people and dance professionals.”