Beyond Dance Mentoring Scheme

Applications are open for the 2021/22 world-class mentoring programme.

The first of its kind in the dance sector delivered in partnership with Moving Ahead, Mission Include – A global cross‑company, cross‑sector mentoring programme with a proven track record in supporting future leaders to grow and develop alongside creating change and supporting diversity, equity, and inclusion.

This programme is open to:

  • Dancers currently or formerly employed by DCD’s Partner Companies.

  • 3 successful applicants of the 2021 pilot programme SHIFT, a new scheme for professional Hip Hop artists delivered in partnership with DCD and ZooNation: The Kate Prince Company.

  • 1 successful applicant to the IdeasFund 2021, delivered by East London Dance, supported by DCD. This place has already been offered.

Apply by 5pm, Monday 13th September 2021.

*Please see below for application criteria

Image credit: DCD Supported Dancer, Johan Persson

'Elite dancers possess extraordinary skills, strengths and a resilience that make them ideal to thrive in dynamic and competitive environments. The Beyond Dance Mentoring programme delivered by DCD and Moving Ahead is a pioneering scheme that provides opportunity for both the dancers and mentors involved, to support and learn from one another.'


Ida Levine
DCD Trustee

“A mentor is someone who allows you to see the hope inside yourself.” – Oprah Winfrey

This programme matches professional dancers with business leaders from under-represented groups and their allies, in a mentoring relationship to help them broaden their horizons and plan their next step, whether they are still performing, or already retired from performing. Previous mentors to dancers include:

  • Global Head of Diversity and Inclusion at The Financial Times
  • Diversity Project Leader at IBM
  • EU Brand Manager at Mars Petcare
  • Head of Communications at Ocado
  • Head of Strategic Partnerships at Neyber
  • Head of People, Nationwide Building Society
  • CEO, Cromwell Hospital

We also invite organisations who would like to be involved in this exciting new scheme in providing mentors and support for the programme. Please contact to register your interest.

The mentoring matches will be made by Moving Ahead. You will meet regularly with your mentor, either online or in person (please note your mentor may not be based locally to you), to build a strong relationship. A series of online masterclass and networking events are available from Moving Ahead, with exceptional speakers on topics such as leadership, inclusion, mental health and change. Last years cohort heard from:

There are 16 places available on this year’s programme, so unfortunately we may not be able to accommodate all applicants on this occasion.

Please click here for the application form, and submit by 5pm, Monday 13 September 2021. For more information and to discuss your application, please contact

Who is mentoring suitable for?

Mentee applications are invited from those looking for a supportive and confidential environment in which to discuss and think through issues regarding their careers, and gain a fresh, new perspective of managing their career progression, work-life balance and growth.

This programme requires your own initiative and drive to get the best out of your mentoring relationship. You don’t need to know exactly what you want from it, and we welcome applicants at all stages of their careers who are eager to learn, expand their horizons and ready to invest in their own development.

The Beyond Dance Mentoring Scheme will provide valuable 1-1 support to all successful mentee applicants and operates ‘cross-sector’, enabling dancers (mentees) to be matched with a mentor from outside the world of dance.

Please note that the mentoring sessions can take place online; we encourage all prospective applicants to apply regardless of where you might be based.

Application Criteria

Dancers currently employed by a partner company

The Beyond Dance Mentoring scheme is open to dancers with at least four years’ professional performing experience, with at least two of these years spent with one or more of DCD Partner Companies (Birmingham Royal Ballet, English National Ballet, Northern Ballet, Rambert, Scottish Ballet, The Royal Ballet).

Retired dancers from a partner company

The Beyond Dance Mentoring scheme is also open to retired dancers who spent at least eight years working as professional dancers, with a minimum of five years in one or more of the following companies: Birmingham Royal Ballet, English National Ballet, Northern Ballet, Rambert, Richard Alston Dance Company, Scottish Ballet, The Royal Ballet and Phoenix Dance Theatre (if employed there before June 2014). Retired dancers who meet the above criteria are eligible to apply for up to four years after you cease performing professionally.

Illness or Injury

Should you be a current or former partner company dancer unable to meet the application criteria set out above because you were forced to retire due to illness or injury, you may still be eligible. Please do contact us for more information on

Applicants to the SHIFT Programme

This programme is open to 3 successful applicants of the 2021 pilot programme SHIFT, a new scheme for professional Hip Hop artists delivered in partnership with DCD and ZooNation: The Kate Prince Company

Applicants to the IdeasFund2021

This programme is also open to 1 successful applicant to the IdeasFund 2021, delivered by East London Dance supported by DCD.

Please click here for the application form, and submit by 5pm, Monday 13 September 2021.

As an organisation committed to Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, DCD actively encourages applications from dancers at all stages of their career, of all backgrounds, cultures and lived experiences.

Feedback from 2019-20 programme mentees:

“I have learnt so much about myself and my potential. For me it was a transformative experience.”

“It has given me the opportunity to discuss career options and skills outside of my immediate career with someone in a totally different, but relatable, industry.”

“I am extremely grateful to the DCD and Moving Ahead for this unique opportunity. It has been mentally and emotionally challenging, and has encouraged a leap out of my comfort zones. Meetings with my mentor were always inspiring and energising, and I have no doubt we will continue to stay in touch past the timeline of the programme.” 

“Getting to know a successful person and learn about the person’s journey, ask about their experiences and discover that in spite of different backgrounds, we can still learn from each other. The program also gives you “a long-term access” to highly successful person and to her/his authentic knowledge and experiences.” 

“Meeting another human being who is open to generously share expertise and knowledge, listen, exchange, support and be totally transparent.” 

“My mentor was fantastic and very supportive of my decisions.”

“Having the opportunity to have a supportive encouraging mentor to walk alongside me. The opportunity for hearing different perspectives.”

“Giving me the confidence to openly talk about the future and dreams and how to make then happen, not only finding a mentor but a friend and someone I can trust.”

“Mentoring has given me the confidence to talk about areas of my life both personally and professionally, which I was ignoring and which was getting in the way of my enjoyment and progress.”

“I have learnt that no matter what field the mentor and mentee are in, when two people connect and understand each other and are open to learn from one another, there is a sense of working together as a team. I want keep and cultivate this feeling for future collaborations. Conversation, exchange and honesty are crucial in any relationship. This has made me feel accompanied at many levels.”

“I would say communication and psychology have been pillars in our meetings which are of huge value not only in my work environment but also at a human level.”

“I am very grateful to have had the opportunity to enter somebody else’s reality and observe how two different fields could be so similar at the same time. I am certain this experience will lead to new connections and will continue to expand into new learnings.”

“He made me realise how good my transferable skills are and he allowed me to see how they can be talked about so that they’re relevant.”

“Giving me the tools to expand my brand, who I am as a person and life beyond my dance career.”

“This has changed my life, it’s once in a life time opportunity and one I am so grateful to DCD and Moving Ahead for.”

“I absolutely loved this programme, and I would recommend anyone to do it. Ultimately I have achieved my main goal which was start my transition to my next career.”

“Thank you, this has opened my eyes to what’s next for me!”

Help dancers take their next step in their careers beyond performance