Latest news

Dancers' Career Development proudly presents:

Dancers' Career Development is thrilled to share with you the release of ‘A Dancer's Journey’ - a moving and powerful short film that follows the emotional arc of the feelings faced by dancers as they move towards and through the end of their performing career.

Featuring the beautiful Eve Mutso, DCD supported dancer and former Principal dancer with Scottish Ballet, and written and directed by the visionary Emma Flett, former dancer and film maker.

Find out more about the making of the film and film premiere here.

See all our latest news in our Christmas newsletter.

Christopher Wheeldon OBE Announced as New DCD Patron

Photo: From left to right - DCD Chair Zoe Van Zwanenberg; Leanne Benjamin AM OBE; and Christopher Wheeldon OBE at DCD's Christmas event at Bentley & Skinner

We’re thrilled to announce Christopher Wheeldon OBE as a new DCD Patron.

“I’m proud to be Patron of such an extraordinary organisation. Dancers’ Career Development’s support for dance artists across the UK, including so many dancers I’ve worked with, is vital for our industry. I would encourage all dancers, no matter what genre or stage of career, to reach out to DCD to find the right direction forward after a professional career.” Christopher Wheeldon OBE

The exciting news was shared with guests at our glittering Christmas drinks event for DCD funders and supporters, held in the beautiful showroom of Bentley & Skinner of Mayfair, Fine Jewellers by Royal Appointment.

Special thanks to Sainsbury’s, Bentley & Skinner for their generous support for the event, and to all those who help make our work supporting dancers possible.

Bentley & Skinner have created an exclusive and generous seasonal offer especially for DCD supporters, offering a 10% discount on any purchase made until the New Year. Bentley & Skinner will then also make a matched donation of 10% of the sale value to DCD from every purchase.

This could be the perfect Christmas gift and every purchase made will directly support our work, supporting dancers in 2018 and beyond.

26 December 2017 - Boxing Day Listening

Tune into BBC Radio 4’s ‘Today Programme’ early on 26 December Boxing Day morning when DCD Partner Company English National Ballet’s Artistic Director Tamara Rojo is guest editor on the programme. Tamara will be discussing dancer transition and the programme will include interviews with DCD supported dancers! (or catch up on BBC iplayer if you’re sleeping off your Christmas sherry!)

Watch DCD’s Facebook Inspiration and Training Day Highlights Reel

Have a sneak peek at what happened when we brought over 60 professional dancers into Facebook’s London HQ, as part of DCD’s Career Insights Programme.

Watch it here!

Dancers were given first hand insights into HR recruiting for people changing careers, personal accounts of career transitions from professionals working in motorsports, opera and dance as well as practical tools and guidance on using social media in leveraging your next project.

Watch this space for next year’s programme!

EVOLVE West End - Snapshot

Here's a look at our latest EVOLVE workshop, held at the Prince of Wales Theatre in London's West End.

Photo credit: DCD supported dancer Becky Lee

Huge thanks to all who came along as well as to DCD supported dancers who shared their own stories of career transition, former Birmingham Royal Ballet dancer Kristen McGarrity, who is now performing in the hit West End musical An American in Paris; and former musical theatre dancer and now sound engineering student, Nick Searle.

Look out for details of our 2018 EVOLVE workshops!

'Reflections on Life After Dance'

Check out and share this latest Dancing Times blog featuring DCD!

Read it here.

'Career Transitions: The Power and Potential of Dancers'

DCD also appears in One Dance UK's latest edition of its 'One' Magazine', the Careers Issue, with a piece written by DCD Executive Director, Jennifer Curry.

Read it here:

One Magazine Sept 2017
Estimated Size: 1,879 kb

Top Tips from DCD’s Inspiration and Training Day at Facebook HQ

What happens when you take 60 dancers into Facebook’s London HQ for the day?

That’s what we found out at our Inspiration and Training Day, part of DCD’s Career Insights Programme.

We were given first hand insights into HR recruiting for people changing careers, personal accounts of career transitions from professionals working in motorsports, opera and dance as well as practical tools and guidance on using social media in leveraging your next project.

Top 3 tips from the day:

  • Be open minded and believe that you're more capable than you think you are

  • Highlight what makes you stand out from the crowd on your CV - your professional dance background is a real differentiator!

  • If you are passionate about a new opportunity just get a foot in the door and figure the rest out afterwards

Huge thanks go to all at Facebook who welcomed and looked after us so warmly, in particular to Charles Knoblich, Leonie Cassidy, Anna Bishop Rehrig, Karin Thyselius-Schumacher, Jason Mills, and Leigh Thomas.

#IamDCD Across the Country!

The past weeks have been a whirlwind of DCD events all over the country – connecting with our DCD supported dancers at our Alumni gatherings in London, Glasgow, Leeds and Birmingham.

These free events brought together dancers from all genres and at all stages of career transition, carving out fascinating new careers in a huge range of fields, from fashion design to medicine and opera to PR.

Thank you to all who came along – you’re such an inspiration to all of us here at DCD and to other dancers.

We can’t wait to bring our Alumni events back to each of these cities in 2018!

Mandy Special Offer for DCD Supported Dancers

Get 25% off monthly membership to Mandy!

DCD has teamed up with Mandy for this special offer for our network of DCD supported dancers.

To claim your discount, simply complete the Mandy profile and email quoting the code DPDCD17.

Sign up here.

'Making Time for Future You'

Check out this piece in Arts Professional, which takes a look at coaching for creatives, including DCD's coaching programme for dancers.

Steph Vidal-Hall explores the role coaching has to play in building confidence and helping artists make it to the top.

Read the article here.

'Dancing Your Way to Business'

Pick up the June issue of Dancing Times to read an article written by DCD supported dancer Gavin McCaig: ‘Dancing Your Way to Business’.

It examines the transferrable skills that dancers gain throughout their training and careers – from communication and social skills, to teamwork, leadership, creativity and discipline.

Dancer Transition Around the World

DCD supports professional dancers across the UK, and also works hard to promote the issue of dancer career transition internationally.

We are a founding member of the International Organization for the Transition of Professional Dancers (IOTPD) and other countries often look to our expertise and insight when setting up their own transition centres.

Just this past month, DCD’s Executive Director Jennifer Curry travelled to Brussels and Budapest, to speak at two working seminars: Dance Futures: Creating Transition Schemes for Dancers and Promoting Sustainable Mobility in the Dance Sector - a project delivered by (STAR-LINK)">EuroFIA (the European group of the International Federation of Actors)and the IOTPD.

The aim of this project is to conduct working seminars in Belgium, Hungary and Spain to determine the possibility for a programme of transition support for dancers in those countries.

Jennifer also attended the annual IOTPD meeting in Berlin, where representatives from 10 countries took part in discussions on dancer transition. Participating countries included the UK, Switzerland, France, Poland, the Czech Republic, South Korea, Germany, the Netherlands, Canada and the USA, where best practice and trends from around the world as well as diversity and delivering broad and ambitious support programmes for dancers were discussed.

Click here to find out more about the IOTPD and the Philippe Braunschweig Grant for professional dancers who have had an international career - application deadline 30 April 2018.

We’re having a makeover…

Exciting things are happening at the DCD Transition Centre – we’re having a makeover and will be launching a new website late summer…watch this space!

New DCD Brenda Naylor Bursary Announced

We are delighted to announce that from 2017/18, DCD will be offering a new annual Brenda Naylor Award, of £2,000 that will be awarded to professional independent dancers pursuing a second career in a creative field, business management or marketing.

This prestigious bursary has been made possible by an extraordinary £37,441, which was raised for DCD through the sale of the works of the late Brenda Naylor, dance sculptor and artist, at an exhibition late last year.

Brenda Naylor is known for her beautiful bronzes and drawings, mainly of dancers.

In addition to the annual bursary, this legacy gift will go directly towards DCD’s work in supporting professional dancers in the UK to successfully transition into alternative careers after retiring from performance. We are incredibly grateful for her and her family’s generosity.

“It was Brenda’s wish that her art, created over many years, should go towards helping dancers move on to second careers following their life on stage. It is wonderful to see her life’s work become a part of so many dancers’ futures”. David Lade, Brenda Naylor's Nephew

Apply for the Brenda Naylor Bursary at our next application deadline. Please contact Ellen Chambers or Nancy Liiv to book in a one to one consultation prior to your application.

Pledging a legacy to DCD is an easy and impactful way of ensuring that we are able to support future generations of professional dancers.

Any gift, no matter what size, makes a real difference to the lives of dancers.

There is an opportunity to own one of these one of a kind pieces of art, with a few sculptures and drawings still available for sale. Visit Brenda Naylor’s website to find out more.

To find out how to leave a legacy for DCD, go to our website.

Visit Brenda Naylor Website

Photo credit: Sculptures images by RGB Digital Ltd. All pictures copyright The Executors of Brenda Naylor.

DCD's An American in Paris Star Studded Fundraising Gala

Thanks to your generous support, together we have raised over £34,000 for independent dancers across the UK.

Photo credit: DCD supported dancer Lindsey Brook. Including graphics designed by DCD supported dancer Joe Walkling

DCD's An American in Paris fundraising Gala at London's Dominion Theatre on 15 March 2017 was a star studded and very special evening in supporting the important work of Dancers' Career Development.

Read more here.

DCD Supports BBC Young Dancer 2017 Finalists

Make sure to watch the live final of BBC Young Dancer 2017 on BBC Four on Saturday 22 April.

DCD continues to work in partnership with BBC Young Dancer since its inaugural competition in 2015. DCD provides confidential, bespoke career transition support to the finalists of the competition through individual coaching sessions and group workshops.

Catch up on the Street Dance, Ballet, South Asian Dance and Contemporary category finals on BBC iplayer.

Dance Enterprise Ideas Fund

DCD had the honour of being an investment partner in the Dance Enterprise Ideas Summit which awarded bursaries totalling more than £20,000 to six dance creatives, with a further four projects offered in-kind support.

The day long event, hosted by East London Dance at Stratford Circus Arts Centre is the second annual event offering artists, producers, venues and organisations from East London and beyond the opportunity to share and exchange enterprising ideas in dance.

Find out more here.

Photo credit: Ben Stanley. Dance Enterprise Ideas Fund Winners 2017 from left to right: Joe Garbett, Carolina Adewale, Lisa Hood, Jo Rhodes, Mars El Brogy, Sharon Davis, Tom Rowland-Rees, Jessica Wright, Morgann Runacre-Temple (top); Rashmi Becker, Emma Houston, Clint Sinclair (bottom)

Mentoring Programme Participants Announced!

Following a peers’ nomination and an evaluation process by an expert panel, 10 dance artists and 8 dance teachers have been selected to take part in One Dance UK’s Dancers’ and Dance Teaching Mentoring Programmes.

Organised by One Dance UK in partnership with Dancers’ Career Development, the programme recognises the huge importance of supporting the next generation of leading dance artists and dance teachers.

The selected dance artists and dance teachers will benefit from the wisdom, experience and industry insights of a mentor. They range from independent artists, young entrepreneurs, freelance dance teachers to national dance company members.

Find out more about the 2017 Mentoring Programme here.

A Global Conversation About Career Transition: A letter from our Executive Director, Jennifer Curry

Photo: IOTPD delegates, including DCD's Jennifer Curry, at the annual meeting in Toronto

Taking an active part in the global conversation around career transition for dancers has always been a key aspect of DCD’s work and it is a privilege to have the opportunity to be surrounded by like-minded, courageous individuals who are committed to delivering the best possible support for professional dancers who are navigating career transition. Each year, representatives from Transition Centres around the world, who together form the International Organisation for the Transition of Professional Dancers (IOTPD), come together to discuss trends, challenges and to ask questions of ourselves and each other, always with the aim of ensuring a cohesive and global voice for dancers. This year representatives from France, Germany, Switzerland, the Netherlands, South Korea, America, Poland, Belgium, Canada, UK and the Czech Republic came together at the Dancer Transition Resource Centre, in Toronto, Canada.

Photo: Panel at the LEAP Together Conference in Toronto

The IOTPD meeting was preceded by the Leap Together: Career and Life Transitions in Dance and Sport, an international conference devoted to exploring the intersection of transition issues for professional dancers and athletes; an incredibly valuable opportunity to explore partnerships and opportunities. I am eager to continue these conversations with partners in the UK moving forward.

I always come away from these meetings inspired by the ongoing commitment of our colleagues and by the new approaches, programmes and ways of working that are being established around the world, many of which we will be looking to take inspiration from and in some cases implement in the UK.

It is also a moment for me to reflect on the many achievements of DCD over the last year and how we continue to drive forward in our ambitious programme of work at the organisation. This could not have been achieved without the remarkable work of the team at DCD, including our Coaches and volunteers, who work tirelessly to ensure that we remain an agile, creative and fearless organisation. A very special thanks to the DCD Board of Trustees, led by Chair Zoe van Zwanenberg and members of our Grants Committee and Gala Committee, for their commitment, energy and hard work. I thank you all wholeheartedly.

There is much more to be done and in 2017 we will be continuing our focus on key programmes, such as our Nationwide Coaching Programme and the development of our Schools and Conservatoires Programme, amongst others. We also look forward to welcoming you to our Fundraising Gala – An American in Paris on the 15 March, which will raise much needed funds for independent dancers across the UK (tickets are selling fast so reserve yours now by emailing

Thank you all for your unwavering support for DCD and the dancers that we serve. We would not be able to continue our work without the support of our many committed funders and supporters, whose support enables DCD to offer life-changing opportunities for dancers across the UK.

We look forward to working closely with you all in 2017.


Jennifer Curry, Executive Director Dancers’ Career Development

Talking Transition with Dance Students

Photo: DCD supported dancer Mark Kelly speaking to students of The Royal Ballet School

DCD were delighted to host a workshop for The Royal Ballet School’s second year students in November.

We’re so grateful to DCD supported dancers who took the time to come along and share their own experiences with the students: Mark Kelly, former Rambert dancer, now trainee counsellor; Claire Meehan, former contemporary and commercial dancer, now yoga instructor and choreographer; and Jean-Marc Puissant, former Birmingham Royal Ballet and Stuttgart Ballet dancer, now set and costume designer.

The students had the opportunity to ‘interview’ each of the DCD supported dancers in small groups, learning about their transition journeys and discussing the transferable skills they possess as dancers.

DCD’s Schools and Conservatoires Programme is generously supported by the Linbury Trust.

Find out more about DCD's Schools and Conservatoires Programme.

Career and Life Transitions in Dance and Sport

DCD’s Executive Director Jennifer Curry attended a ground-breaking two-day international conference in Toronto - LEAP Together – exploring elite athlete and professional dancer transition.

LEAP is a pioneering partnership between Dancer Transition Resource Centre (DTRC) and Canadian Sport Institute Ontario (CSI).

This was a unique opportunity for the sport and dance communities to meet over a common bond – supporting high performers in their career and life transitions.

Here in the UK, DCD also attended the Athlete Futures Event in Coventry earlier this month, organised by UK Sport, the English Institute of Sport (EIS), the British Olympic Association (BOA) and the British Paralympic Association (BPA). The conference saw more than 300 elite athletes, including Olympians and Paralympians, taking part in a range of workshops from how to build a stand out CV to exploring their identity, as well as meeting prospective employers from organisations as diverse as Aldi, Procter & Gamble, the London Stock Exchange and Goldman Sachs.

The shared experience of professional dancers and athletes is an area the DCD is actively developing.

Bringing Dancers Together in Birmingham

DCD’s first ever EVOLVE Birmingham, in partnership with Birmingham Royal Ballet, was a truly inspiring day.

A mix of both independent and company dancers, it was wonderful to bring these communities of dancers together, and as part of building the Birmingham Dance Hub.

Participants shared their own experiences, took inspiration from others and took on practical work, developing personal action plans.

It was moving to hear dancers give each other support and positive feedback, and explore common career and life challenges and experiences, including that of parenthood and transition.

“The bolder I can be, the better it works out. I now feel excited about trying new things”, DCD supported dancer and EVOLVE speaker, Simone Muller-Lotz.

Huge thanks to our incredible DCD supported dancers Simone Muller-Lotz and Josh Tuifua PDTD, RAD RTS, who shared their own honest accounts of their transition journeys.

Make sure to look out for dates of next year’s EVOLVE workshops!

Find out more about EVOLVE.

Royal Opera House Explores Career Transition

The Royal Opera House publishes a piece where two former dancers share how Dancers' Career Development helped them into new vocations beyond the stage.

Check out the article ’Life after dance: Why hanging up dancing shoes needn't be the end of a career’ and the film it links to: DCD’s A Dancer’s Journey, a moving and powerful short film that follows the emotional arc of the feelings faced by dancers as they move towards and through the end of their performing career.

Read the article

The Afterlife of a Prima Ballerina

Photo Credit: Getty + Sven Creutzmann/Mambo Photo

You can read the story of DCD supported dancer Alexandra Ansanelli, who was recently featured in Elle and Harper's Bazaar, in The Afterlife of a Prima Ballerina. DCD was proud to support Alexandra with her studies at Columbia University.

“Having the support such as DCD is a tremendous gift, and benefit. Making such a big leap from the arts into new dimensions of life is quite unique, and the support is invaluable.” DCD supported dancer, Alexandra Ansanelli

Read the article

Raise Free Donations for DCD with your Online Shopping

Join easyfundraising and sign up for free to raise a free donation for DCD whenever you shop online with nearly 3,000 retailers, including Amazon, John Lewis, Aviva, thetrainline and Sainsbury's – it doesn't cost you a penny extra!

Thank you for your support!

Join now

Release of New EVOLVE Cardiff Film

Be inspired and get a taste of EVOLVE by watching this newly released film from EVOLVE Cardiff, created by DCD retrained dancer, Matteo Marfoglia.

EVOLVECardiff from Dancers' Career Development on Vimeo.

Clore Fellowship Graduates

We were delighted to attend the Clore Leadership Programme 2015/16 Fellows Graduation ceremony.

Particular congratulations to dancer and 2015/16 Fellow, Ben Wright, whom DCD supported to undertake the Fellowship, alongside The Linbury Trust. Ben is an independent choreographer and is the Associate Artistic Director of Skånes Dansteater, Sweden’s largest independent dance company.

“[The Fellowship] has been an astonishing experience that I will treasure and reflect upon for the rest of my life.” Ben Wright, Clore Fellow

Anthony Missen, Artistic Director of Company Chameleon, is currently undertaking the Clore Dance Fellowship.

We will be hosting another Clore Open Afternoon and Q&A soon, an informal opportunity for dancers to find out more about the programme, the application process and ask any questions you might have - so watch this space!

Find out more.

Action Learning for Dance Professionals

Action Learning is a form of peer mentoring.

Starting in November, Independent Dance and DCD jointly offer an opportunity for dance professionals seeking a rigorous, reflective space to develop.

Over the course of a year, up to three peer groups will meet five times to work through real-life projects and problems in a confidential space, with an experienced facilitator. Meetings will take place at Independent Dance in London.

Deadline for applications: Mon 17 October 2016

First set meetings: Tue 1 November / Mon 7 November / Wed 16 November 2016

To reserve your place please call Independent Dance on 020 7091 9650 or email

Support Independent Dancers!

DCD’s Executive Director Jennifer Curry recently ran the Spotlight 2016 challenge in London's Regent's Park to raise funds towards DCD’s work supporting dancers, completing 10K in 58:46 min.

And there's still time to donate!

Help us reach our £1,000 target - we're already on £920, so not far to go!

DCD ran as part of Acting for Others, an umbrella charity which specialises in supporting professionals of the entertainment industry.

Huge thanks also to Daniel Gabbitus as well as DCD supported dancer Simone Muller-Lotz who both ran alongside Jennifer!

Thank you to all those who have so very kindly donated!

You can donate here – Thank you for your support!

Sharing Transition Expertise

DCD were invited to meet with the Swedish Employment Council (TRS, Trygghetsradet) to share our expertise and experience of supporting dancers through career transition and to hear about dancers’ transition journeys.

The TRS are looking to create support for dancers and performers in Sweden through a new organisation called SOK-stiftelsen and were in London as part of a study trip.

We're grateful to DCD supported dancers Lee Bamford, George Long, Jenna Lee, Celisa Diuana and Claire Meehan for sharing their moving and personal accounts of their experience.

Photos: Top - from left to right, Lee Bamford, Claire Meehan, Celisa Diuana, Jenna Lee and George Long.

Bottom - Members of the Swedish Employment Council

What a Night! - DCD's First Ever Alumni Celebration Event

Thank you so much to everyone who came along to our first ever DCD Alumni Celebration Event at The Loft at The Club at The Ivy in July.

The place was packed and celebrations continued long into the night as our alumni reunited with old friends, and made new ones, sharing and celebrating their incredible transition journeys.

A very special thank you to DCD supported dancers Josephine Darvill-Mills for her inspirational speech and Stephen Wicks and Mark Welford of Bloomsbury Flowers for the beautiful flower arrangements.

Check out #IamDCD to see more photos from the night, and make sure to put Thursday 13 July 2017 in your diaries for our next London Alumni event, with dates for local Alumni events across the UK to follow!

If you'd like to connect with other DCD Alumni, or support DCD and another dancer through transition, please don't hesitate to get in touch with Nancy.

DCD to Partner with BBC Young Dancer 2017

As the BBC launches its search for the next generation of dance talent, opening applications for BBC Young Dancer 2017, Dancers’ Career Development (DCD) is delighted to be providing confidential, bespoke career transition support to the finalists of the Competition.

This follows the success of the first ever competition last year, and the aftercare support package DCD provided for the six finalists of the inaugural BBC Young Dancer 2015.

The BBC is now inviting young dancers to submit entries in four categories: Ballet, Contemporary, South Asian Dance and Street Dance.

The winner from each category and up to two wild cards will earn a place in the Grand Final at Sadler’s Wells which will be televised live on BBC Two. The Grand Final will be judged by a leading panel of dance experts, to be announced.

Through the individual coaching sessions and group workshops which will be provided by DCD, the BBC Young Dancer finalists will have the opportunity to pause and reflect upon their remarkable achievements to date, both individually and with each other. The finalists will also have the opportunity to meet with and hear first-hand from professional dancers who are currently performing as well as those who have successfully transitioned into a post-performance career.