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.
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 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.