Professor Veronica Lewis MBE to retire as Principal of London Contemporary Dance School

22 Nov 2017

Alethia Antonia, Veronica Lewis MBE and Frankie Hickman at LCDS Leavers’ Ceremony 2017. Image: Alicia Clarke

After 19 years as Principal of London Contemporary Dance School (LCDS) and a 50-year association with The Place, Veronica Lewis MBE has announced she will retire from her position in December.

Speaking about her decision, Veronica Lewis MBE said:

“I’m so grateful to have had the privilege of leading one of the most vibrant, creative higher education institutions in the UK. However, after 19 years, it’s time for a new energy to build on the school’s success and enjoy the benefits of working alongside the wonderful staff and students, which make it such a special place. I’ve had one of the most fulfilling and rewarding jobs in dance education.”

Veronica Lewis is a firm advocate for educating students alongside practising artists and being part of The Place enables this to happen every day of the week. The broad range of backgrounds and influences that London Contemporary Dance School students come from has, in turn, supported The Place to grow and develop.

During her time at The Place, Veronica has enabled people from all backgrounds to access dance education. She was the brainchild behind the founding of the Conservatoire for Dance and Drama (CDD), now a thriving Higher Education Institution comprising specialist schools delivering world-leading education and vocational training in the performing arts. Assisted by the staff and students, London Contemporary Dance School is now a forward-looking, risk-taking and innovative conservatoire which, as a part of CDD, was judged world-leading by HEFCE last year. Veronica was a pioneering force in establishing the national Centres for Advanced Training (CATs) in Dance which enable aspiring young dancers to attend regular classes with their peers from the age of ten.

Clare Connor joined The Place as Chief Executive in August 2017 and will take on the role of Interim Principal of LCDS from January 2018. Alongside Clare’s impressive track record in arts leadership, fundraising, entrepreneurship and business development, most recently at Southbank Centre, she brings a wealth of experience in dance. After completing her degree at LCDS she worked as a lecturer in both further and higher education, collaboratively producing performing arts programmes for the University of East London, as well as supporting the validation of new arts programmes in several universities.

Clare Connor, Chief Executive of The Place said:

“Veronica’s contribution to dance and dance education and to the many young dancers who have benefited from the highest level of training is immense. It was at LCDS where I discovered my love of learning. As Interim Principal I’m looking forward to working with the outstanding team of lecturers and visiting artists to help future generations of dance makers unlock their passion for embodied knowledge.”

Jason Clarke, Acting Principal of the Conservatoire, said: “Veronica was instrumental in establishing the Conservatoire for Dance and Drama in 2001, enabling young people from all backgrounds to access the world-leading education and training delivered by this outstanding group of schools. She served as Joint Principal for CDD until 2014, and more recently has championed the development of student engagement across the schools. We are hugely grateful for her vision, commitment and support over the years.”