Dancers' Career Development (DCD) is unique in its mandate in offering a holistic and comprehensive range of specialist and confidential practical, psychological and financial retraining and career support services to all professional dancers in the United Kingdom.
Founded in 1973, as The Dancers' Resettlement Fund with the aim of providing career retraining support to the dancers from the five Arts Council funded dance companies, the organisation expanded its work in the mid-1980's to offer career support to all professional dancers in the UK. Today, the Company Fund caters for those dancers who have completed a minimum of five years (out of a total of eight years as a professional dancer) with one or more of its seven contributing companies, Birmingham Royal Ballet, English National Ballet, Northern Ballet Theatre, Rambert Dance Company, Richard Alston Dance Company, Scottish Ballet, and The Royal Ballet); whilst the Independent Trust supports all professional dancers who have performed a minimum of five years (eight years in total) in the UK. Both the Fund and the Trust division operate within one single charitable organisation under the name of Dancers' Career Development.
DCD's range of services is dancer-driven, strictly confidential and tailored to each individual's needs, allowing dancers to choose the support needed for a successful transition and fulfilling career path. In addition to its individual dancer support system DCD runs a comprehensive outreach and workshop program in dance schools, companies and commercial productions, to encourage dancers as early as possible to expect transition periods within and from their performing careers.
Practical individual support provided by the organisation includes career, emotional and academic support, as well as referrals to welfare and other private and government support service providers. Retraining and Business start-up grants are approved on an individual basis according to need and the charity's funding guidelines. DCD also provides career and educational resources, networking and international collaboration, research and conferences as one of the founder members of the IOTPD (International Organisation for the Transition of Professional Dancers).