Dancers’ Career Development (DCD) has been supporting professional dance for 40 years. We help dancers to make the often difficult transition from professional dancing to a new career by giving them the confidence and skills they need to keep working beyond dance.

DCD is the only organisation of its kind in the UK and is a world leader in dancer transition

Image: DCD Supported Dancer Amber Hunt DCD supported Amber, a dancer with English National Ballet, in her career as a professional photographer.

Latest news:

Tuesday 22nd July 2014 - 20 dancers selected for 2014-15 DCD and Dance UK Mentoring Scheme

20 dancers, all nominated by their peers as future leaders, have been selected to take part in Dance UK’s Dancers’ Mentoring Scheme. The programme, organised by Dance UK in partnership with Dancers’ Career Development, recognises the huge potential for dancers to become leaders. It is designed to build capacity within the dance workforce and to ensure skills and knowledge retention in the sector, addressing problems of succession to key artistic and non-artistic roles.

DCD beneficiaries Kenneth Tindall and Seeta Patel are among the selected mentees

Over eight months, each dancer will meet with a paid mentor to discuss and consider a future beyond or alongside their performing careers. Dancers will also be able to identify transferable skills, build confidence and develop leadership potential.

Read the full list of mentees here.

Thursday 17th July 2014 - Applications open for EMERGE

Applications are now open for EMERGE, a unique shadowing and career development opportunity for professional dancers.

The brand new programme, part of the EVOLVEworkshop series, offers the opportunity for professional dancers to explore another field and gain practical experience and networks in that area.

Successful applicants will have the opportunity work alongside a professional in either:

  • Film-making – with DCD retrained dancer and documentary filmmaker Robert Gravenor. Learn how to capture an event on camera and turn it into a finished film.
  • Photography – with a DCD retrained dancer, to be announced. Get behind the lens and learn what goes into creating picture perfect shots.
  • Event Management– with DCD Grants and Careers Officer Ellen Chambers, Project Lead, EVOLVE. Explore the practicalities of managing a high-quality workshop, including planning, budgeting and evaluation.

Find out more and download an application form here.

Monday 7th July 2014 - EVOLVE Workshop to take place at the home of DCD Contributing Companies Northern Ballet and Phoenix Dance Theatre, Leeds, Monday 29th September

Following the success of the inaugural EVOLVE Workshop at Sadler's Wells in May 2014, Dancers' Career Development are excited to announce that EVOLVE Leeds #1 will be taking place in partnership with DCD Contributing Company, Northern Ballet, at their home on Quarry Hill, Leeds, on Monday 29th September. Find out more and register your interest here.

Monday 7th July 2014 - Our latest newsletter is here!

Thursday 3rd July 2014 - DCD welcomes new Trustee, former Birmingham Royal Ballet and Rambert dancer Virginia Bullock, nee de Gersigny

‘I am very excited about being part of the DCD Board going forward. I am delighted to have this opportunity to give back to the organisation that gave me such invaluable support during my transition’ Virginia Bullock, DCD Trustee.

Having been supported by Dancers' Career Development, Virginia is now a Senior Administrator with Begbies Traynor (Central) LLP, and is due to qualify as a chartered certified accountant by the end of 2014. Find a full biography here.

Thursday 26th June 2014 - See EVOLVE in action!

EVOLVE is a series of workshops across the UK which allow all professional dancers to discover their potential, unlock new possibilities and explore pathways in an energised, open and safe environment.

Our EVOLVE trailer was created by DCD beneficiaries, Seeta Patel and Nick Lashbrook at the very first EVOLVE workshop at Sadler's Wells on Monday 19th May.

Find out more about EVOLVE Workshops here.

Wednesday 25th June 2014 - Malgorzata Dzierzon to be one of 20 UK Fellows on the 2014/15 Clore Leadership Programme.The Dance Fellowship is supported by Dancers’ Career Development and the Linbury Trust.

Photographer: Renaud Wiser

'I am absolutely thrilled to be offered the Clore Leadership Programme Dance Fellowship. I hope to absorb as much as possible over the coming year and share the knowledge with the artists I have the fortune of working with now and in the future.I feel that this opportunity has come at the right time as I am making a transition from full time dancer to full time creative producer and choreographer and reflects an interest in a more artist-driven, collaborative and entrepreneurial ways of working in the industry, which I have tried to explore and champion.I am incredibly grateful for the support from the Dancers' Career Development and the Linbury Trust which has made this unique professional development opportunity possible'

Malgorzata, previously a dancer with DCD Contributing Company Rambert Dance Company and Creative Producer, Choreographer and Administrator with New Movement Collective Ltd will begin her individually tailored programme of personal and professional development in September 2014.

With mentoring support from a senior cultural leader, a professional coach and the Clore team, and a secondment in the UK, each Fellow undergoes a period of intense learning adapted to their aspirations, needs and circumstances.

Find our more about our partnership with the Clore Leadership Programme here.

Monday 23rd June 2014 - Report of our inaugural visit to The Royal Ballet School first year students

On Wednesday 11th June 2014, Dancers' Career Development launched a brand new partnership with The Royal Ballet School by visiting the first year students for an interactive workshop, focused on identifying the transferable skills that dancers possess, recognising personal strengths and thinking about careers outside of the performing arts. Find out more here.

Thursday 19th June 2014 - DCD attends the annual meeting of the International Organisation for the Transition of Professional Dancers

Representatives from 10 countries in 3 continents come together to discuss career transition for dancers. Find out more here

Monday 2nd June 2014 - Applications now open for DCD and Dance UK Dancers' and Dance Teachers' Mentoring Programmes 2014/15

Dancers' Career Development and Dance UK, with the support of Arts Council England, are now accepting applications for the Dancers’ Mentoring Programme and Dance Teachers' Mentoring Programme 2014-15.

The Dancers' Mentoring Programme is an opportunity for 20 mid-career dancers in England and Wales, who have been identified and nominated by their peers as future leaders, to be matched with a paid mentor to identify skills and areas of interest and develop their leadership potential.

The Dance Teachers' Mentoring Programme is a funded opportunity for 20 dance teachers who have been nominated by their peers as future leaders to develop leadership skills, expand dance industry knowledge and build contacts within professional dance companies, local dance organisations and across the education sector.

Find out more here.

Monday 2nd June 2014 - Read our latest enewsletter here.

Thursday 29th May 2014 - Dancers’ Career Development and The Royal Ballet School announce a pioneering new partnership to make the subject of career transition a formal part of the full-time students' curriculum.

Credit: Schuhlelewis.com

Today we are delighted to announce an unprecedented initiative that will support students of The Royal Ballet School at a key time in their personal development. Students will be encouraged to consider a wider view of the world around them and to recognise the transferable skills they have developed through their training.

Kevin O’Hare, Director, The Royal Ballet:

‘I am delighted that The Royal Ballet School and Dancers’ Career Development are working together for the benefit of the students and their life-long careers. The Royal Ballet is a proud supporter of Dancers’ Career Development and it is pleasing to know that both students of The Royal Ballet School and the dancers of the Company are fully supported to recognise their unique talents, skills and abilities’

To learn more about the partnership please click here.

Wednesday 21st May 2014 - "The future is now exciting. I feel a warm sense of empowerment." - Joelle Pappas, independent dancer

On Monday 19th May, 30 dancers arrived at Sadler's Wells for the first ever EVOLVE Workshop, presented by Dancers' Career Development.

Facilitated by DCD beneficiary, certified Life Coach and The Clore Leadership Programme Dance Fellow Isabel Mortimer, EVOLVE gave dancers the chance to hear inspiring Transition Tales from former Rambert and Phoenix Dance Theatre dancer-turned-choreographer, Melanie Teall, alongside George Long, Musical Theatre star-turned-garden designer.

The dancers were led through a range of activities which allowed them space and time to reflect on their achievements, where they are now, and helped to empower them to take the next steps on their career journey.

Read feedback from EVOLVE London #1 and sign up for future EVOLVE Workshops here.


Tuesday 20th May 2014 - The DCD Team performs Scottish Ballet's Big Dance Pledge 2014!

This summer sees the fifth biennial Big Dance Festival taking place with community dance and performances all across the UK.

The Big Dance Pledge is a chance to learn, make and perform dance with the rest of the world, and this year it has been choreographed by DCD Contributing Company Scottish Ballet.

Check out the DCD Team of Jennifer, Ellen, Nancy and Philip performing our unmissable rendition of the Big Dance Pledge...

Monday 12th May 2014 - DCD Beneficiary George Long to speak at EVOLVE London #1!

We are delighted to announce that DCD Beneficiary George Long will be telling his Transition Tale at EVOLVE London #1 on Monday 19th May at Sadler's Wells.

George was a Musical Theatre and commercial dancer for 22 years, before retraining as a Garden Designer.

George joins former Rambert and Phoenix Dance Theatre dancer turned choreographer Melanie Teall at our very first workshop for dancers, facilitated by DCD retrained dancer and certified Life Coach, Isabel Mortimer.

You can read more about George here, and find out the full details about EVOLVE here.

Friday 9th May 2014 - Have you read our latest newsletter? EVOLVE is going on tour! Plus inspiring stories from DCD dancers - read more here.

Wednesday 23rd April - Read our latest Transition Tales from DCD beneficiaries Adrien Mastrosimone and Tiit Helimets here.

Friday 11th April 2014 - Recipients of inaugural Sir Cameron Mackintosh and Royal Ballet Benevolent Fund Bursaries announced

We are delighted to announce the recipient of the inaugural Sir Cameron Mackintosh Bursary – The Brighton Academy.

After highly successful careers on the West End, including roles in Fame, Grease and Starlight Express to name but a few, four dancers with a combined total of 60 years in the business decided to pass on their knowledge and experience by setting up their very own performing arts college, The Brighton Academy. Kate Alexander, Stuart Dawes, Emma Dawes and Tim Newman set up the academy in 2011, and had their premiere showcase at London’s Leicester Square Theatre on Thursday 27th March. Read more on our Financial Retraining Grants page.

In addition, we are proud to announce that Winifred Burnet-Smith and Nicole Vivien Watson are the first recipients of the RBBF Bursaries, a new initiative from Dancers’ Career Development and The Royal Ballet Benevolent Fund that increases support for the retraining of Independent Dancers in the UK.

Winifred Burnet-Smith, a professional dancer for twelve years, currently performs with Hofesh Schechter Company. Winifred was the recipient of a DCD Financial Retraining Grant to become a certified Gyrokinesis teacher. Winifred received a RBBF Bursary that will support her with the associated travel costs.

Nicole Vivien Watson, a professional independent dancer based in the North East of England, received a DCD Financial Retraining Grant that will enable Nicole to study for the Access to Level 6 course in British Sign Language at City Lit. Nicole received a RBBF Bursary to support her with travel costs from Newcastle to London in order to complete the course. Read more on our Financial Retraining Grants page.

Tuesday 8th April 2014 - The latest DCD newsletter is here!

Monday 27th March 2014 - New research from DCD beneficiary Ali Golding

Ali Golding MSc, PG Cert SEN, BA(Hons): "I was inspired to consider Career Transition as an appropriate topic to express my gratitude to the DCD for their support of further study."

Read Ali's research, 'A Golden Thread: Holding Up Identity in a Professional Dancers' Career Transition' on our Research page.

Wednesday 12th March 2014 - Watch a clip from our Sofa Session at MOVE IT 2014 with DCD Beneficiary Alexander Whitley and Jennifer Curry, Director of Development

Look out for more images and a full report in April's e-newsletter!

Tuesday 4th March 2014 - New EVOLVE Workshops to debut at Sadler's Wells

We are pleased to announce that the inaugural EVOLVE Workshop will take place at Sadler's Wells on Monday 19th May at 10am, facilitated by DCD beneficiary, certified Life Coach and Clore Leadership Dance Fellow Isabel Mortimer, and featuring Melanie Teall, former professional dancer with Rambert and Phoenix Dance Company and recipient of Cosmopolitan C&A Dance Awards and the Paul Clarke Award.

"I am delighted to be speaking at the new EVOLVE Workshop at Sadler’s Wells. Dancers’ Career Development has offered me invaluable support during my career development and I am so pleased to share my experiences with other professional dancers and students. I very much look forward to a motivating and inspiring morning with DCD."

Melanie Teall, DCD beneficiary and EVOLVE speaker

For full details, please see our EVOLVE page.

Monday 3rd March 2014 - Watch Acting for Others Bursary recipient George Long's inspiring transition tale...

Could you help Dancers' Career Development to reach more dancers like George? Find out how you can invest in the next generation of dancers here and read more inspirational transition journeys here

Thursday 13th February 2014 - Empowering Change: An introduction to Career Transition & Identity. Dancers’ Career Development's presentation as part of the Dance UK Beyond the Body conference on dancers' psychology

Barnaby Ingram, a professional dancer for nine years, was supported through the transition process by DCD and is now studying for the WSET Level 4 Diploma, working towards his goal to be a Master of Wine. Isabel Mortimer is a former principal dancer with Matthew Bournes New Adventures, a Clore Fellow, DCD beneficiary and certified Life Coach. Isabel currently works with DCD on our Coaching Programme for dancers and the brand new EVOLVE Workshops. Find out more about Isabel here

This video is taken from Dance UK's November 2013 Beyond the Body conference on dancers' psychology. Dancers' Career Development works in partnership with Dance UK to support professional dancers on the Dancer's Mentoring Programme for future leaders and the Dance Teacher's Mentoring Programme. Find out more about Dance UK at www.danceuk.org and watch more conference videos at www.danceuktv.com.

For more of DCD's latest news click here

Help a dancer in transition - DONATE NOW

Contact us
Plouviez House
19-20 Hatton Place
London EC1N 8RU

Tel: (0)20 7831 1449 Fax: (0)20 7242 1462 admin@thedcd.org.uk

Registered Charity No. 327747

Read inspiring Transition Tales from dancers here.

Desk Space Available to Sublet at DCD Transition Centre. Find out more here.

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