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Dear Supporter, welcome to your May 2016 newsletter!


New Bursaries for Musical Theatre Dancers Announced

Dancers’ Career Development is delighted to announce the launch of prestigious new Society of London Theatre (SOLT) Bursaries for Musical Theatre Dancers from June 2016.

The two new bursaries, worth £5,000 each, will be available to support two professional dancers who have contributed significantly to London’s West End through their performance careers, to retrain into professions that are directly linked with the creative industries and in particular London’s thriving theatre sector.

DCD exists to support all professional dancers in the UK to navigate a positive and successful career transition, and just in the last year has supported 64 dancers who have performed in London’s West End in productions such as CATS, Phantom of the Opera and Matilda the Musical.

We encourage all dancers from the Musical Theatre sector who wish to retrain within the creative industries to apply for the SOLT Bursary at one of our four application deadlines every year – the next one being 25 May, followed by 17 August.

Martin Scott, Chief Operating Officer of The Society of London Theatre said, “Whilst transition is a necessary and inevitable part of a dancer’s career, the potential for the theatre industry to benefit from the unique skills, knowledge and experience of dancers is vast and there are many opportunities for dancers to stay closely linked with the industry. SOLT is committed to the long-term health and success of the sector, by enabling the expertise and knowledge contained within it not to be lost”.

DCD have supported a number of dancers to successfully retrain in roles such as producers, managers, movement directors, stage managers and lighting designers.

We are extremely grateful for the historical support of SOLT, which has provided immediate and life-changing help to so many professional dancers in the theatre sector. 

Have You Booked Your Place for EVOLVE 2016 Yet?

EVOLVE is a full day workshop giving you the chance to explore career transition with confidence and positivity.

Next coming to:

  • London - Saturday 10 September, in partnership with DCD Contributing Company Richard Alston Dance Company at The Place

  • Birmingham - Monday 31 October, in partnership with DCD Contributing Company Birmingham Royal Ballet

Open to dancers from all genres of professional dance – from classical, contemporary to musical theatre and commercial.


Raise Free Donations for DCD Every Time You Shop Online

Now, whenever you buy anything online - from your weekly shop to your annual holiday - you could be raising a free donation for Dancers' Career Development.

There are nearly 3,000 retailers on board ready to make a donation, including Amazon, John Lewis, Aviva, thetrainline and Sainsbury's – it doesn't cost you a penny extra!

It's very simple, all you have to do is:

1. Join.
Head to and sign up for free.

2. Shop.
Every time you shop online, go to easyfundraising first, pick the retailer you want and start shopping.

3. Raise.
After you’ve checked out, that retailer will make a donation to DCD for no extra cost whatsoever.

There are no catches or hidden charges and DCD will be really grateful for your donations.

Thank you for your support.


Inside DCD’s First Ever EVOLVE Cardiff Workshop

You know you’re in a DCD EVOLVE workshop when the participants are sprawled out across the studio floor, loosening their joints during mini coaching sessions, legs open wide in second as they write their career transition action plans.

EVOLVE Cardiff, held earlier this month, was an historic milestone for DCD having delivered our first ever EVOLVE workshop in Wales, and making new connections with the Welsh dance sector.

Bringing together over 25 dancers from National Dance Company Wales, Ballet Cymru and other local independent artists, the career transition workshop was delivered in partnership with National Dance Company Wales at Dance House, Wales Millennium Centre.

"I thought that being a dancer would be the best chapter in life, but that doesn't mean the next chapter won't be great too".

Day one was opened by DCD's Executive Director Jennifer Curry, followed by first-hand, honest accounts from DCD supported dancers Dane Hurst and Clare Meardon about their inspiring experiences of career transition. DCD’s Director of Coaching Isabel Mortimer then took participants through silent coaching, mini coaching trios and making an action plan. Lunch on Wales Millennium Centre's sunny roof terrace was followed by an afternoon group session.

Day two gave the dancers the opportunity to have in depth one to one consultations with DCD’s Grants and Careers Officer Ellen Chambers and individual coaching sessions with Isabel whilst the rest of the DCD team met with Cardiff's dance sector leaders, including Coreo Cymru, Rubicon Dance, Arts Council Wales, Kate Perridge, and National Dance Company Wales to discuss the issue of dancer transition and how DCD can help support dancers in Wales.

"Change doesn't have to be scary if you break it down into small pieces".

Huge thanks to our partners National Dance Company Wales, speakers DCD supported dancers Dane Hurst and Clare Meardon, photographer, DCD supported dancer Asya Verzhbinsky and film-maker, DCD supported dancer Matteo Marfoglia. We're so grateful also to the amazing Isabel Mortimer for leading the sessions.

Check out #DCDEVOLVE on twitter for more insights from the day and find out more here.

"You're not alone in this transition - that is what EVOLVE is about".

DCD’s next EVOLVE workshops are taking place in London in partnership with DCD Contributing Company Richard Alston Dance Company at The Place on 10 September and in Birmingham on 31 October in partnership with DCD Contributing Company Birmingham Royal Ballet.

Photo credit: DCD team and DCD supported dancer Asya Verzhbinsky


Top Tips for Dancers: 

Top tips from DCD supported dancers and EVOLVE Cardiff speakers Clare Meardon and Dane Hurst...

* Don't overthink things, go with your intuition, the journey along the way will surprise you


* Anyone can make a success of themselves, a role model can help you navigate the journey


* Try new things, write a list of things that inspire you and try them


* Start noticing what's pulling your interest and why


* Stay focused, be brave, be proud of what you've achieved, talk to DCD

Photo credit: DCD supported dancer Asya Verzhbinsky


Dane Hurst - DCD Transition Tales

Currently working as an independent Creative Director, Dancer and Choreographer, Dane was supported by DCD to complete the Clore Leadership Programme’s Short Course in February 2016. Check out Dane's Moving Assembly Project film.

"DCD is absolutely fantastic and we dancers rely so much on their work and support".

Photo credit: DCD supported dancer Asya Verzhbinsky


Are you a DCD supported dancer? We'd love to know what you're up to!


Thinking of applying for a Financial Retraining Grant?

The next deadline is Wednesday 25 May 2016 at 5pm.

Make sure you book your one to one consultation at least one week before you submit your application!

For more information or to arrange a consultation in person, over the telephone or via Skype, please contact Ellen or call us on 020 7831 1449 to discuss your plans.

Photo credit: DCD supported dancer Andrew Ross

Have You Donated to boundless?

DCD is raising funds to provide two Financial Retraining Grants, allowing professional independent dancers to expand upon their unique skills and strengths and gain additional experience and expertise in the career field of their choice.

No donations too large or small and all very gratefully received! A big thank you to all those who have already donated.

DCD Welcomes Clore Fellowship Secondment

We're delighted to welcome Jaime Nabeta who joins us on secondment as part of his Clore Fellowship programme.

With a background in Theatre Management, Jaime will be with DCD until July working on projects regarding the alumni network and fundraising.


DCD would like to extend our huge thanks to Andy Evans who leaves us after having delivered DCD’s Careers Profiling Service over the last 25 years. We wish Andy the very best of luck and are most grateful for all his work for DCD.


Coming Up...

  • 25 May - Financial Retraining Grant deadline
  • 23 June - Deadline for applications for The Clore Leadership Programme's next two residential Short Courses and two Emerging Leaders courses (DCD, with support from The Linbury Trust, is offering one bursary for the Clore Short Course and two bursaries for the Clore Emerging Leaders Course in 2016/17 for independent and company dancers)
  • 4 July - DCD's first ever Alumni Celebration Event 
  • 16 July - West End Bake off in aid of Acting for Others
  • 10 September - EVOLVE London
  • 11 September - Spotlight 10k Challenge in aid of Acting for Others
  • 17 & 24 October - Official Acting for Others theatre collection weeks
  • 31 October - EVOLVE Birmingham

Thank you

Dancers' Career Development is kindly supported by the following Contributing Companies: 
Birmingham Royal BalletEnglish National BalletNorthern BalletRambert Dance CompanyRichard Alston Dance CompanyScottish Ballet and The Royal Ballet

The Dancers' Career Development Independent Trust is generously supported by: 
The Linbury TrustThe Society of London TheatreEquity Charitable Trust
The Rudolf Nureyev FoundationActing for Others, The Royal Opera House Benevolent Fund and The Mackintosh Foundation.