Our Stories - Anneli Binder

Anneli was born in Germany and completed her dance training at The Rambert School of Ballet and Contemporary. Amongst others Anneli danced for Irina Pauls, Yorke Dance Project, Van Huynh Company, Wayne McGregor. She spent most of her career as a dancer for the Richard Alston Company.

Anneli left the stage and her career as a dancer in 2012. With the DCD's support Anneli was able to complete her studies in Cultural and Media Management and now holds a Master of Arts in that subject.

From 2012 - 2014 Anneli was working as a Personal Assistant for the Artistic Director of the Theater Freiburg, Germany, and Production Manager for the same theatre. From January 2015 onwards Anneli is working as a Production Manager at Dampfzentrale, Bern, Switzerland.

"Towards the end of my career as a dancer, though at that time I didn't know it was the end, I started to become interested in all the things that happen around dance, such as reviewing dance,theoretical studies of dance and management of the arts. As I did not hold a university degree from my time at Rambert School, I completed my Postgraduate Degree at The Place and afterwards a Masters in Dance Studies at the University of Kent. However, this only felt like a small step into a new direction. All the while I was still pursuing my dance career with RADC.

One day, somebody from the DCD came to us and introduced the work of DCD. RADC is one of the few contemporary dance companies which is contributing to DCD's fund. The representative told us about the opportunities that were readily available for the dancers wishing to change of having to change their careers. The conversation sparked further thought, as it was clear to me that I'd move towards the managerial side of the arts. Although I loved teaching I never wanted to become a full-time teacher and had no talent in choreography.

The DCD sent me for Careers Profiling with Andy Evans, who asked many questions. The questions' aim was to find out where my interests and strengths were. The session confirmed that I could build on my organisational skills. I started to look for a Master Degree course, as I felt I lacked certain tools and knowledge to find work in that field.

In my final year with the RADC I started studying Cultural and Media Management. Richard was incredibly supportive. I then stopped dancing, which itself was a huge step. I remember my last show at Sadler's Wells and how I shed a few tears.

After having moved and fully delving into my studies, it really took some time to adjust to a new life: Your body changes, your day to day experience changes, everything changes. And yes, of course I miss dancing which is why I still take ballet classes and teach every now and then. But I also really love my new career. I get to do and understand all those things that seemed to influence my work as a dancer on stage; moreover my experience stage helps my work off stage tremendously.

My first "post-dance" job was a personal assistance to the Artistic Director, Barbara Mundel, at the Theater Freiburg, German. The job gave me an insight into understanding how artistic choices are formed and how a theatre is run as a business. Barbara Mundel is the head of a theatre with 320 employees.

At first I didn't earn anything or very little, which is why I could never have completed my studies with the DCD's help. Time after time I was given projects on my own. I was able to finished my Masters and am now working as a Production Manager at Dampfzentrale Bern, in Switzerland. We show artists like Emmanuel Gat, Nacera Belaza, Sidi Larbi and the performance collective Pink Mammas. Dampfzentrale's programme focuses on dance/performance and music.

It took a while to adjust to a new way of working and spending my days. As a matter of fact it took longer than I had imagined. But I am really happy with the choice I made and if somebody offered me a fantastic dance job today, there is a good chance that I would decline it - something I never thought possible.

Leaving a career on stage behind is, even in the best of circumstances, not the easiest thing to do. More than anything, be patient with yourself and allow for things to fall into place. It takes time to create a new identity and to integrate the identity "dancer" into a new life, a new career.

The fact that I started to think about the things that interested me, apart from dance, early on, helped me with the transition. Luckily I found something that I enjoy doing. Finding a new career takes time. Moreover, rely on the DCD's support! Without their help, this already challenging process would be much harder."

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

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

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