Dance Teachers' Mentoring 2014-15

Following a popular application process, 20 dance teachers nominated by their peers as future leaders have been selected to take part in Dance UK's Dance Teaching Mentoring Programme.

Organised by Dance UK in partnership with Dancers' Career Development, Youth Dance England and the National Dance Teachers Association, the programme recognises the huge importance of teachers within the dance sector and aims to develop the next generation of teaching leaders within the industry. Dance UK and partners worked to attract applicants from across the UK. Successful teachers have been drawn from areas including the South West, London, West Midlands, Norfolk, Cheshire, Shropshire and Ireland.

Dance UK has raised money to support this programme from Arts Council England, and distributes up to £2,500 investment for each teacher, to provide them with a paid mentor, a £300 bursary to cover expenses, and funding for a leading dance company or organisation to build a relationship with that teacher. Last year, companies involved included the Royal Academy of Dance, Siobhan Davies Studios, Candoco Dance Company, Elmhurst School for Dance and the Council for Dance Education and Training.

Launched in 2013, this mentoring programme is open to dance teachers working in all contexts: inside schools (primary or secondary); in community settings; in private dance schools who are qualified through the awarding bodies, including RAD, ISTD, IDTA, BBO, UKA, BATD, etc; in Higher Education; in vocational training; in Special Schools; or freelance dance artists who teach as part of their portfolio career. This year we support ten freelance and independent dance teachers, five secondary school teachers, three primary school based teachers and two vocational school teachers.

Dance UK has received overwhelming support from teaching institutions and organisations including the Royal Academy of Dance that help to design training for the mentors, the National Dance Teachers Association that identifies teachers in schools and Youth Dance England that has an extensive network of youth dance practitioners.

One of the chosen teachers, Laura Erwin says: "As a freelancer, this is an incredible opportunity to grow my teaching skills, gaining valuable insight and advice from an expert mentor in the industry as I continue to develop, I can't wait to get stuck in!"

The full list of dance teachers selected to take part in the 2014-2015 mentoring programme is:

1. Hayley Adams, Dance Artist (Bristol)

2. Akosua Boakye, Dance Lecturer (London)

3. Emma Brady, Dance Artist (Norfolk)

4. Gill Callaghan, Curriculum Support Teacher for Dance, Music and Performing Arts Service (Shropshire)

5. Belinda Chapman, Dance and theatre Practitioner / Theatre Maker (Devon)

6. Anthony Cranwell, Jazz Teacher (Diploma/Foundation Courses) (Surrey)

7. Mary Davies, Independent Dance Artist (Essex)

8. Laura Erwin, Freelance Performer, teacher and University Lecturer (London)

9. Lucy Evans, Dance Artist (London)

10. Victor Fung, Choreographer/ Dance Teacher/ Researcher (London)

11. Kamara Gray, Freelance Dance Artist/Teacher, founder of Artistry Youth Dance (London)

12. Jemima Hoadley, Associate Director of High Fliers and Candoco Artist (London)

13. Kirsty Horoz, Head of Creative Arts & Technology Faculties and Achievement coordinator for year 8, Feltham Community College, (Middlesex)

14. Laura Kendal, Freelance Dance Education Consultant (Cheshire)

15. Francesca Martin, Subject Lead: Dance at The Bourne Academy (Bournemouth)

16. Jane McLean, Dance Development Artist for Cheshire Dance and Visiting Lecturer in Dance at University of Chester

17. Verity Merryweather (MA), Lead Teacher Create, Parkside Federation Academies (Cambridge)

18. Zoe Patterson, Dance Teacher (Wicklow, Ireland)

19. Carla Price, Subject leader of Dance at Harris Boys' Academy (London)

20. Suzanne Tromans, Director of Production Arts / AST Dance (West Midlands)

How were the 20 teachers selected?

Dance UK organised and chaired a selection panel of leading dance teaching professionals who generously volunteered their time to assess the applications. The panel included Linda Jasper, Director, Youth Dance England; Ginny Brown, Vice-Chair, National Dance Teachers Association and Dance Partnership and Access Programme Manager, Royal Ballet School; Anne Hogan, Director of Education, Royal Academy of Dance; Michelle Groves, Dean, Faculty of Education, Royal Academy of Dance; Kerry Nicholls, Director, Kerry Nicholls Dance; Rachel Krische, Course Leader and Senior Lecturer in Dance, Leeds Metropolitan University; and Jennifer Curry, Executive Director, Dancers' Career Development.

How to apply next year

Dance teachers must have at least five years professional teaching experience and must first be nominated by a peer or colleague who has identified them as having potential to be a future sector leader. Full details on the nomination and application process can be found on the Dance UK website at (click on 'What's On' and then select the relevant mentoring programme from the left hand menu).

Dance UK has raised funds to deliver this programme for the next three years. Applications for the 2015 programme will open again next spring.