Beyond Dance Mentoring

The first of its kind in the dance sector delivered in partnership with Moving Ahead, Mission Include. A global 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.


Image (right): Sherisse Bisram Dancer, Choreographer. Photography: Laura Belcher

Low angle photo of mid-toned female dancer sitting on white wall, looking up to the blue sky with hands holding head from behind with a strong, neutral facial expression. She is wearing a black leotard with white piping, white ankle socks with black details and white high tops. Her dark hair is slicked back in to a tight ponytail.

'A mentor is someone who allows you to see the hope inside yourself.'


Oprah Winfrey

‘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

Applications are now open for 22/23 

Submit your application by no later than 5pm, 14th September 2022. Click here for the application form 

For any questions, support needs or to request an informal conversation with a member of the DCD Support & Programmes team about your application please contact 

This programme matches current and former professional dancers with business leaders from under-represented groups and their allies, in a mentoring relationship to broaden your horizons and explore your next steps.

Previous mentors 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 mentoring and supporting this programme to please contact to register your interest.

The matching process is hosted by Moving Ahead. You can meet as regularly as you choose with your mentor, either online or in person (please note your mentor may not be based locally to you).. 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:

Who is mentoring suitable for?

DCD invite applications from current or former dancers 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. 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 programme will provide valuable 1-1 support to all successful  applicants and operates ‘cross-sector’, enabling dancers to be matched with a mentor from outside the world of dance.

Application Criteria

The programme is open to dancers with at least four years’ professional performing experience, with at least two of these years spent in the UK.

The programme is open to dancers who are currently performing and those who have already retired from their career on the stage.

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 from any geographical location.  

Illness or Injury

Should you be a current or former 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 on

Applications are now open for 22/23 

Submit your application by no later than 5pm, 14th September 2022. Click here for the application form 

For any questions, support needs or to request an informal conversation with a member of the DCD Support & Programmes team about your application please contact 

Feedback from previous 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