Dancers' Mentoring Scheme 2014-15

20 dancers selected for 2014 Dancers' Mentoring Programme

Twenty 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.

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.

The dancers selected to take part in the 2014-15 mentoring programme are:

1. Azzurra Ardovini, dance artist (Harrogate)

2. Johnny Autin, dance artist and creative director (Birmingham)

3. Richard Bermange, dancer/choreographer/teacher (London)

4. Neil Callaghan, dance artist (Hampshire)

5. Hannah de Cancho, independent dance artist and Artistic Director, Sole Rebel Tap (Wiltshire)

6. Erik Cavallari, Principal Dancer, Scottish Ballet (Glasgow)

7. Laila Diallo, performer and choreographer (Bristol)

8. Antonia Grove, artistic director/ performer (Brighton)

9. Catherine Long, dance artist (London)

10. Cameron McMillan, dancer/ choreographer (London)

11. Jane Mason, choreographer/ performer (Exeter)

12. Anna Nowak, freelance dance artist and dancer, Wayne McGregor | Random Dance (London)

13. Patricia Okenwa, choreographer and dancer, Rambert (London)

14. Freddie Opoku-Addaie, choreographer, performer, teacher and artistic director (London)

15. Seeta Patel, dancer/ choreographer/ filmmaker (London)

16. Lizzy le Quesne, dance artist and writer (London)

17. Nina Rajarani MBE, Artistic Director, Srishti (Uxbridge)

18. Alesandra Seutin, dance artist and Artistic Director, Vocab Dance Company (London)

19. Karla Shacklock, artistic director/ choreographer/ performer (Bristol)

20. Kenneth Tindall, choreographer and Premier Dancer, Northern Ballet (Leeds)

Previous mentored dancers have found the programme to be of great benefit and many have progressed into leadership positions or taken on leadership responsibilities within their current roles. Jonathan Goddard, dancer on the 2012-13 programme, says:,"I have made a connection to the art world that would have been completely impossible without support from Dance UK. I have been given invaluable advice about management skills and running a large organisation.,"

The mentoring programme selection panel, chaired by Dance UK, included a group of leading dance professionals who all generously offered their time. The panel included Pedro Machado, Co-Artistic Director, Candoco Dance Company (who personally benefitted from the mentoring scheme in 2006); Marie McCluskey MBE, Founder and Artistic Director, Swindon Dance; Benjamin Dunks, Artistic Director, Attik Dance; Dr Scilla Dyke MBE, Senior Lecturer, Royal Academy of Dance; Monique Deletant Bell, Administrative Director, Akademi; Jennifer Curry, Executive Director, Dancers Career Development, and Jan De Schynkel, former dancer, teacher, choreographer and Arts Council England Relationship Manager.

For further information, please contact Ellen Chambers, DCD Grants and Careers Officer, on 020 7831 1449 or email

Kenneth Tindall: Mentee, choreographer, Principle Dancer with DCD Contributing Company, Northern Ballet, and DCD beneficiary. Photo: Simon Lawson

Seeta Patel: Mentee, choreographer, independent dancer, filmmaker and DCD beneficiary.