Our Stories - George Long

From Musical Theatre to Garden Design

George Long received the Acting for Others Bursary in 2010. Watch his story:

Previous occupation: George was a professional Independent dancer for 22 years, appearing in musicals including: Sister Act, Porgy & Bess, Fame and Miss Saigon. As well as TV and videos for well known artists.

Retraining: George undertook a one year Diploma in Garden Design with The English Gardening School.

"Being awarded the Acting for Others Bursary was a great relief, now I can concentrate fully on my Garden Design course" George Long

How did you find out about the DCD Bursaries and why did you apply?

I found out through a friend who was also thinking of retraining. I applied as I had been offered a place on the Garden Design course at the English Gardening School, and wanted to pursue Garden Design as my new career.

What has been the best thing to come out of the Bursary so far?

Thanks to the Acting for Others Bursary I was able to continue with my course. I no longer had the worry of having to find the outstanding fees and I wouldn't have been able to survive without it. It is such a relief to know that I can concentrate fully on my studies.

What is your advice for people applying for future Bursaries?

I believe that any artist has to re-train, it is the nature of the business, however, this is much harder to do without DCD. The application process is straight-forward, but it pays to think carefully about your individual needs before applying. Dedicate yourself wholeheartedly to the process. My advice would be to do your research and be focused on exactly what you want to achieve and how you would like DCD to help you. No-one can assist you if you don't know what it is that you want.

"Think carefully about re-training, what you want to get out of it, and how DCD can help you" George Long

What's next?

I am committed to excelling on the course and my own website is in production. The course is hard work and I am spending hours at the drawing board, but I am thoroughly enjoying it. I graduate in July 2011 and look forward to the exciting challenges that lay ahead. The Bursary made such a difference and I would encourage any dancer in need of help, guidance or support to contact DCD.

To find out more about how we can help you, contact Ellen Chambers, Grants and Careers Officer, on ellen@thedcd.org.uk or 020 7831 1449.

You can support a dancer like George to navigate career transition through the boundless appeal