Our Stories - Florence Peake

"It has increased my skills and given me an exciting, rich, varied career that keeps expanding."

Florence Peake is a London based Dance Artist and creates work of an interdisciplinary nature. Training in dance and a background in painting, her practice now use's artists' materials, film, text and movement where site and the placement of performance are important factors.

She has been creating her own work independently and in collaboration with other artists since 1998, which have been performed nationally and internationally. Recent work includes Paper Portraits, National Portrait Gallery, Secrets and Other Pass Times,Toynbee Studios, Valediction, National Review of Live Art 2009, The Bird Trilogy, Prague Fringe Festival, the solo Eight Moments Wake Me, Laban/ Hackney Empire/San Francisco fringe festival.

As a performer she has worked with a varied range of choreographers, filmmakers and visual artists such as Gaby Agis, Gary Stevens, Robin Deacon, Serena Korda, Nicola Conibere, Mirranda Pennell and Jane Turner.

Florence has taught dance, performance and improvisation extensively since 2004 at Independent Dance, DanceXchange in Birmingham, Dance Mission San Francisco, Academy for cultural studies in Riga Latvia, International Workshop Festival in London, Central School of Speech and Drama and currently lectures at Coventry University and Surrey University.

DCD supported Florence in 2003 and 2009 to train as a certified teacher of Skinner Releasing Technique.

"I was supported by DCD in doing a teacher certification programme in a specialised dance technique called Skinner Releasing technique. The certification programme took place then (2003-2004) in Seattle, USA and DCD contributed to my flight and accommodation expenses. DCD helped me in the transition from my occupation of being a performer to a thriving teaching career. I have taught Skinner Releasing technique (SRT) Nationally and Internationally in its pure form and through having this training has given me a framework to teach Contemporary dance technique, improvisation and choreography in most of the major dance institutions in Britain. This is all due to the generous support of DCD.

I now teach SRT at Surrey University and Coventry University. To have this security in my life has made such a difference to my outlook to the future of my career. There are only a handful of SRT teachers in the UK and it is in popular demand as it is an inclusive and versatile technique. I have taught extensively since my qualification in a variety of settings from Universities on dance BA courses as part of the curriculum to outreach programs with mixed ability workshops, to Hospices and teenagers in risk of exclusion.

I have learnt to diversify, to expand my knowledge and information as a performer, dancer and SRT teacher into all kinds of contexts, environments to work with different kinds of people. This has not only given me financial growth, it has increased my skills and given me an exciting, rich, varied career that keeps expanding. I do not think by expanding our skills as dancers we have to give up on any dreams of performing or choreographing, however the way we do this may have to change. I continue to perform and choreograph but with more financial stability as my teaching supports my artistic practice."

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

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