International Career Transition Symposium,- 'Professional Dancers, Design a New Tomorrow'

Saturday 30th May 2015

Attended by over 150 delegates from Korea and worldwide, the symposium was held in the beautiful surroundings of the Seoul Cyber University, who had generously supported both the symposium and the IOTPD Conference.

Supported by Minister Jong-deok Kim, of Culture, Sports and Tourism and officials from Arts Council Korea, the aim of the symposium was to raise awareness of the need for transition support for dancers in Korea and world-wide, as well as to introduce an international perspective on the challenges of career transition.

From L-R: Leanne Benjamin AM OBE, Paul Bronkhorst, Sun Hye Hur, Pierre-Marie Qur and Paul Waarts.

Following opening greetings from In-Ja Park, Chair of the Dancers' Career Development Center in Seoul and Myo-Yeon Hur, President of Seoul Cyber University, the Keynote speech was delivered by Paul Bronkhorst, President of the IOTPD and Executive Director of Omscholing Dancers Netherlands. Following an introduction to the Dancers' Career Development Center (DCDC) in Korea by In Hee Kim, General Director of Seoul Ballet Theater and Committee Member of the DCDC, four dancers who had been supported by Transition Centres world-wide presented their stories.

DCD were honoured that Leanne Benjamin AM OBE, former Principal with The Royal Ballet, joined the DCD Executive Director Jennifer Curry for a Q&A. Leanne discussed her prolific performance career, as well as giving insights into her transition journey to date and the importance of the support from Dancers' Career Development. With the support of Dancers' Career Development, Leanne graduated with a Post-Graduate Degree in Interior Design from Chelsea School of Art and Design in London in 2014.

Leanne also taught a Masterclass on Sunday 31st May.

Pierre-Marie Qur, former dancer with Les Ballets de Monte Carlo and Lyon Opra Ballet, spoke about his transition to Events Manager at LSO international group. Pierre-Marie is now the Administrative Director of the ESDC Rosella Hightower and Ecole Nationale Suprieure de Danse de Marseille, having graduated from Business School in Marseille with the support of the Center National de la Danse.

Sun Hye Hur, a contemporary dancer working in Switzerland, received support from the Association pour la Reconversion des Danseurs Professionnels (RDP) to retrain as an Acupuncturist and Swedish Massage Trainer. Finally Paul Waarts from the Netherlands, who danced with several contemporary dance companies, spoke about his transition to a lawyer, with the support of the Omscholing Dancers Nederlands. Paul has been working as a Criminal Judge since 2011.

The ambassadors were also honoured to attend a Gala Performance at Universal Arts Center, hosted by DCDC. Delegates were treated to performances by Seoul Ballet Theatre; National Dance Company of Korea; Universal Ballet; Korean National Ballet and Korea National Contemporary Dance Company amongst others.

DCD extends our immense gratitude to our colleagues at the DCDC Center for the invitation to take part in this conference that was crucial for the development and advocacy for transition support for dancers worldwide.

Meeting of the International Organisation for the Transition of Professional Dancers

Sunday 31st- Tuesday 2nd June 2015

Over three days, representatives from the UK, France, Netherlands, Switzerland, South Korea, Germany, Canada, the United States of America and Belgium came together to share learning, discuss challenges and examine trends around transition support for dancers. A key remit of the IOTPD is to support and advise groups, organisations and countries seeking to establish transition programs in their own countries and on Day One we were honoured to be joined by representatives from Japan, Hong Kong and China, all of whom are keen to develop transition support for professional dancers.

Items discussed during the meeting were the development of the IOTPD as a robust taskforce for International advocacy and lobbying and the IOTPD Philippe Braunschweig Grant.

A big thank you to the Dancers' Career Development Center in Seoul for their extraordinary hospitality and we look forward to the next IOTPD meeting which will be hosted by our colleagues at the Dancer Transition Recourse Centre in Toronto, Canada in November 2016. Find out more about the IOTPD.

Dancers' Career Development's attendance at the Symposium and IOTPD meeting has been made possible by the kind and generous support of Asiana Airlines.

,"Asiana Airlines is honored to be supporting Leanne Benjamin AM OBE and Dancers' Career Development UK to take part in the Dancers' Career Development Center Symposium in Seoul. The international symposium promises to be an extremely valuable occasion that will raise awareness of the crucial need for career transition support for all professional dancers; we wish you the best of luck.," Mr. Sangju Kim, Asiana Airlines

For more information please contact Jennifer Curry, Dancers' Career Development Executive Director. 020 7831 1449 and jennifer@thedcd.org.uk.

"During my time in Seoul I was inspired by the energy and commitment of Dancers’ Career Development and their quest to give dancers comfort both during and after their transition from dance.

I am eager to help raise awareness of the importance of Dancers’ Career Development and to offer my support to the many dancers across the UK who benefit from this critical organisation."

Leanne Benjamin AM OBE

IOTPD June 2015 Press Release