Our Stories – Phil Sanger

Phil has performed works by some of the UK and Europe’s most established choreographers including Sir Kenneth MacMillan, Robert Cohan, Charlotte Vincent and Luca Silvestrini. Between 2007 and 2016 he worked within numerous dance companies such as Phoenix Dance Theatre where he stayed from 2009 to 2014 and more recently with Denada Dance Theatre and Yorke Dance Project.

DCD supported Phil in his pursuit of additional training with the Coaches Training Institute and he is now a qualified Life Coach and a specialist in personal and professional development. In September 2016 he was appointed Lecturer in technique and performance at The Northern School of Contemporary Dance where he puts his new skills to use with the next generation of dancers.

Photo credit: Richard Moran

"Having been a personal and professional development junkie for over ten years I decided it was time to be on the other side of workshops. I used Isabel Mortimer’s life coaching services via DCD and started to explore ways in which I could work in the Personal Development sector. It was soon clear that life coaching was in fact the route I wanted to take.

After 5 sessions with Isabel I started my grant application. Speaking regularly with Ellen really helped me to understand the application process I and started researching course providers in order to approach the DCD committee with evidence to support my interest in the course and why it was the best choice.

And then my training began. It has been a rich journey, almost 3 years from my first session with Isabel to the point at which I became a fully certified life coach in May 2017.

The training has helped me in so many ways, I have numerous career options now. The coach training augmented my recent application to NSCD and I was successful in securing a role there. I also offer workshops and one to one services using life coaching skills to improve life quality and empower people in transitional periods of their lives.

Within the dance sector I also use coaching skills to provide dramaturgical support to artists who are creating new work and as a rehearsal director I feel much better equipped to work with dancers on a personal and compassionate level. I am continually surprised by new ways in which this training supports me personally and professionally.

This process has really encouraged me to think big and to be curious. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do and that was hardest thing to accept. I just knew that something was changing and that I wanted something more alongside my performing career. DCD held me in that place of uncertainty and provided what felt like unconditional time and support to help me find my way. I have learned that there are no limits. Dance training prepares us for much more than movement, this journey has really helped me to know myself on a deeper level.”

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

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

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


"I have learned that there are no limits. Dance training prepares us for much more than movement.”