News: Creating dance leaders - Dance UK's Teacher Mentoring Programme

Monday 6 January 2014 by Lise Smith

NDTA conference 2009. Image: Simon Richardson

21 dance teachers from all around England have been selected to take part in Dance UK’s 2014 Dance Teaching Mentoring Programme. The programme will support the chosen teachers to develop their leadership skills, expand their dance and education sector knowledge, and consider their future career options. Organised by Dance UK in partnership with Dancers’ Career Development, Youth Dance England and the National Dance Teachers Association, the programme recognises the huge potential for dance teachers to become leaders in the sector.

The dance teachers taking part were all nominated by a colleague or professional peer, and chosen for their leadership potential. Each teacher will now be paired with a paid mentor from the dance industry, who will provide one-to-one support through discussion. This year’s panel of mentors includes Linda Jasper, Director of Youth Dance England ; Ginny Brown, Vice-Chair of the National Dance Teachers Association and Dance Partnership and Access Programme Manager at the Royal Ballet School ; Anne Hogan, Director of Education at the Royal Academy of Dance ; Michelle Groves, Dean of the Faculty of Education at the Royal Academy of Dance; Kerry Nicholls, Director of Kerry Nicholls Dance ; Rachel Krische, Course Leader and Senior Lecturer in Dance at Leeds Metropolitan University ; and Jennifer Curry, Director of Development at Dancers’ Career Development.

London-based teachers who will take part in the programme are: Will Aitchison, lead teacher at the Centre for Advanced Training at Trinity Laban Conservatoire for Music and Dance; dance teacher and choreographer Alison Ray ; freelance teacher and choreographer Simona Scotto ; Jodie Clark, Assistant Director of Dance at The BRIT School Croydon; Amanda Leon-Joyce, founder of Irreverent Dance ; and artist and educator David Blake.

Teacher Suzie West, Head of Dance at Kingsbridge Community College in Devon, says, “I’m excited about being mentored and it’s come at a key time for me as I decide about the next step in my career as a dance educator. Being backed by the Dance UK and the mentoring programme gives me confidence as I move forward.”

Other teachers taking part in the programme are Christy Anson-Harries (South Wales), Dani Batchelor (Kent), Lucy Blazheva (Essex), Kerry Fletcher (Kent), Sophie Gregory (Manningtree); Tom Hobden (Suffolk); Jess Johnson (Dagenham); Mel Knott (Leicestershire); Deborah Norris (Lancashire); Joëlle Pappas (Oxford); Susie Tate (Northumberland); Rebecca Thomas (Birmingham); Rebecca Trevitt (Surrey); Nicole Wellings (Swindon); and Suzie West (Devon).

In addition to working with their mentor, the teachers will be connected to leading local dance organisation or dance company with which they will build a long-term relationship. Through the programme, supported by Arts Council England, the dance teachers will grow networks of contacts, identify transferable skills, build confidence and consider their career ambitions.

Image credit: Simon Richardson

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