Creating Space in 2020

There are many positives to creating space.

Creating space in our lives can allow us to think freely and energise us for whatever is to come. It can empower us to notice new things or to come back to our intentions – settling into ourselves and noticing our own voice. Creating space for you gives you time to reflect on where you are on your journey and perhaps your next steps.

Generating this time for ourselves can be difficult. It may seem unimportant and automatically fall to the bottom of the list as you respond to the needs of others. But creating space for you can lead to powerful moments.

All of DCD’s programmes offer the opportunity to create space for you in some way.

Through our one to one conversations or Coaching sessions you are allowing yourself time for you.

EVOLVE workshops also offer the opportunity to invest in yourself and perhaps find out something new.

As we start the beginning of a new year and a new decade, DCD invites you to create some space for yourself and connect with us through one of our national programmes, so that you may move forward positively, whatever that looks like for you.

Discover something new about yourself and click here to sign up for EVOLVE Edinburgh – 22 March 2020

Explore the positive changes you may want to make in your life or career – click here to register for Coaching.

A conversation with DCD can help you find clarity about your next step – click here to register for a confidential one to one conversation.

Celebrating 45 years supporting dancers

Today marks 45 years of Dancers’ Career Development supporting dancers in their next steps beyond a professional performance career.

And what better way to celebrate than together with so many our incredible DCD supported dancers at our annual DCD Alumni Celebration drinks in East London last night.

Since DCD was founded, we have supported over 2,500 dancers across the UK, from all genres of dance. As well as supporting independent artists, seven of the UK’s leading dance companies partner with DCD and we continue to be the only organisation of our kind in the UK.

The History

Photo: Peter Williams OBE, (1914-1995) Founder, The Dancers’ Resettlement Fund

The very first meeting of the Trustees of the Dancers Resettlement Fund, as DCD was formerly known, took place on Friday 6 July 1973 – Peter Williams OBE was appointed Chair and Margaret Lawford confirmed as the first Resettlement Officer. The Fund’s Founder Patron was Dame Ninette De Valois.

Peter Williams OBE served on the Arts Council of Great Britain Advisory Committee on Dance from 1965, and an organisation dedicated to supporting dancers at the end of their performing career had been the principal recommendation of the ballet section of the Arts Council’s Opera and Ballet Enquiry 1966-1969. Following the enquiry, the Arts Council of Great Britain and British Actors Equity set up the Dancers’ Resettlement Fund.

The remit of the organisation at that time was to assist dancers employed by revenue funded companies in establishing a new career when they were no longer able to perform professionally.

The Resettlement Fund was the first of its kind and continues to be a blue print for transition programmes for dancers worldwide.

DCD Today

DCD now reaches more dance artists across the UK that ever before. As we look to the next 45 years and beyond we will continue to be revolutionary in our thinking and action as we advocate for the indisputable need for retraining support for professional dancers and the incredible impact that artists have on the world.

We are indebted to all those who have supported DCD since its founding.

If you would like to join us on our journey and help to ensure DCD continues for the next 45 years and beyond, please click here  or drop me a line at

A global perspective on dance futures

In March I was invited to speak at the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport in Madrid, Spain to contribute to an international conference on the future of transition support for Spanish dancers.

This was the third and last seminar of the project “Dance Futures – Creating Transition Schemes for Dancers and Promoting Sustainable Mobility in the Dance Sector”. This project, organised by the International Federation of Actors (FIA) and the International Organisation for the Transition of Professional Dancers (IOTPD) aims to put in motion the establishment of a professional transition scheme for dancers in three countries in Europe – Spain, Belgium and Hungary. The project is funded by the European Union.

Seminars such as this offer a critical opportunity for key stakeholders in the country to come together to discuss practical ways in which long term and sustainable support for dancers can be established.  We heard from Educationalists, Dance Company Directors, Government Ministers and dance artists living and working in Spain. We also heard from dancers who had navigated career transition with little support. There is clearly a strong will from many key players to establish a road map  towards a transition centre for dancers. No more so than César Casares from ConARTE and Danza-T, who is a strong and passionate advocate for all dancers.

During the days after my visit my colleagues were continuing the discussing with a National Conference on this subject. It will take some time, but I have no doubt that significant progress will be made, which will have inestimable impact the lives of dancers in Spain, the cultural sector and wider Spanish society.

I am always privileged to present on the work of Dancers’ Career Development (this time alongside my colleagues from France, Germany and Holland). 45 years ago, DCD was the first Transition Programme for dancers to be set up worldwide and we continue to play an important role in the global conversation. I see sharing our challenges and achievements as a critical part of our work, particularly when it results in new programmes being established.

DCD are able to do this work through the invaluable framework of the International Organisation for the Transition of Professional Dancers (IOTPD) which celebrates it’s 25th Anniversary this year. The IOTPD is the international network of organisations dedicated to offering professional dancers the resources and support they need when facing the end of their performance career. There are now 10 countries with transition programmes worldwide. One of the initiatives set up by the IOTPD is the  Philippe Braunschweig Grant.  This is an education grant for professional dancers who have had an international career and who don’t qualify for support from any one of the countries where they have danced. The next deadline for this grant is 30th April. Take a look here for more details: