Supporting dancers – learnings from across the globe

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18 representatives from 8 countries over 3 days - sharing their approach to supporting dancers in transition


25th June 2018

Jennifer and I recently visited Berlin to attend the very first IOTPD (International Organization for the Transition of Professional Dancers) meeting focusing specifically on one to one support for dancers.

Over a period of three days, 18 representatives from 8 countries shared the different challenges they were facing, gave an overview of the one to one support they offer to dancers, and received training by a professional coach.

The discussion reaffirmed that dancer transition to a post-performance career is a unique experience, but with the right support can be positive and exciting.

It was fascinating to see how other IOTPD member countries provide such different services to dancers to support them in their transition. Here is a little overview:

  • In order to be better prepared for academic studies, the Korean Transition Centre (Dancers’ Career Development Center) have set up an Academy for dancers which offers pre-courses in Arts Management, Stage Management and Rehabilitation;
  • In addition to grants, the Career Transition For Dancers /The Actors Fund in America (The Actors Fund) offers individual career counselling to help dancers find and secure new careers; a Dancer Support Group, which helps dancers manage grief, loss and change; and a Creative Entrepreneurship Program, where business savvy dancers can widen their knowledge on the world of business and develop the skills that are needed for success;
  • The Canadian Transition Centre (Dancer Transition Resource Centre) offers counselling in five different areas: Academic, Career, Financial, Legal and Personal to support dancers tackle various difficulties that may arise on their transition journey.

We’ve come back with several great ideas on how to develop our transition support services for dancers further, and we look forward to continuing our important conversations with our international colleagues.

Thank you to Sabrina, Inka and Heike at Stiftung Tanz for hosting us.