Beyond Dance Mentoring

a woman sitting on top of a stair case, Text Beyond Dance - Mentoring for dance

DCD’s Beyond Dance Mentoring for Dancers is the first programme of its kind in the dance sector.

the logo for moving ahead and in partnership with moving ahead

'This has changed my life, it’s a once in a life time opportunity and one I am so grateful for.'

Beyond Dance mentee

about beyond dance mentoring

Beyond Dance Mentoring matches dancers with extraordinary people, from outside the dance sector, with unique skills and experience; to help challenge you and support your personal and professional growth.  

WHO IS MENTORING SUITABLE FOR?

DCD invite applications from current or recently retired dancers from all dance genres, who are ready and motivated to take the next step, and to gain a fresh perspective on topics such as:

  • Attaining your career goals
  • Career transitions and evolution
  • Developing your leadership potential
  • Starting your own business
  • Attaining a healthy work-life balance
  • Building your self-belief and confidence

This programme focusses on your individual professional and personal development.  You will have time to explore your future career steps, discover your unique strengths, values and skills, and how these can help you take charge of your career.

Beyond Dance is delivered in partnership with Moving Ahead, world-leading experts in the design, development and delivery of structured mentoring programmes. Successful candidates will be enrolled on their 30% Mission Include Programme which has a strong focus on developing leaders from under-represented groups.

Through Moving Ahead, mentees receive digital mentoring toolkits including access to engaging filmed sessions, masterclasses and tutorials, as well as written guides that are carefully curated for each programme and cohort.

A successful mentoring relationship requires your own initiative to drive the conversations with curiosity and an open mind, it invites you to reflect and develop your emotional intelligence, be brave and develop your professional network.

The programme is relevant to those who are eager to learn, expand horizons and are ready to invest in themselves and their career progression.

This opportunity is FREE via DCD’s Beyond Dance Mentoring Programme (actual value in excess of £1,000). Successful applicants will be expected to participate fully in the programme and are required to report to both Moving Ahead and Dancers’ Career Development throughout and at the end of the programme.

A programme for all dancers

As an organisation committed to Equity, 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.

AM I ELIGIBLE?

The programme is open to dancers from all genres with at least five years’ professional performing experience in the UK.

The programme is open to dancers who are currently performing and those who have recently retired from their performance career. You do not have to be currently based in the UK to apply.

ARE YOU A HIP HOP DANCER?

Three mentoring places are available through our programme SHIFT, funded in partnership with DCD and ZooNation: The Kate Prince Company. If you are a Hip Hop artist, you can apply directly for the Beyond Dance Mentoring scheme. However, you may also like to apply for the SHIFT programme. In addition to mentoring, SHIFT also provides some funding to support retraining costs and career exploration.

Click here for more information.

Illness or injury

Should you be unable to meet the application criteria set out above because you were forced to retire due to physical or mental illness or injury, you may still be eligible. Please contact us on dancers@thedcd.org.uk.

Time Commitment

It is expected that mentees:

  • attend opening and closing events
  • have regular contact with their mentors (e.g. once a month)
  • meet with DCD staff approximately four times during the year
  • make good use of the online tools
  • attend webinars and other online live events e.g. inspirational talks

Application deadline: Applications for the 2024/25 programme will be open until Monday 19 August 2024.

Apply online now! Click here.

Delivered in partnership with Moving Ahead

Moving Ahead’s mission is for the world’s workplaces to be more diverse, equitable and inclusive. They deliver structured development programmes and have supported tens of thousands of individuals, across multiple sectors. From the world’s largest banks to tech firms, the armed forces, global campaigns and Government.

The structured, cross-company mentoring programme Moving Ahead run in partnership with DCD allows dancers to develop, grow and be mentored by others from outside the industry.

Find out more about Moving Ahead: www.moving-ahead.org

Find out more about Moving Ahead’s mentoring programme: www.moving-ahead.org/mission-include-2024 

A fresh perspective

‘My (mentor) match was impressively suited. As a senior business and finance lawyer, who had even vocationally studied ballet in her youth she understood a lot of my lived experience. Through discussion we arrived at avenues I hadn’t considered before. Even though my plans weren’t solid, just having an idea of the field I am interested in was enough…to make my transition something I was excited to begin.‘

Heather Lehan
Dancer
Northern Ballet

Click here to discover Heather Lehan’s Beyond Dance mentoring journey on the 2021 programme in full.

a woman in a blue dress smiling for the camera

FEEDBACK FROM PREVIOUS Beyond Dance MENTEES

‘I have learnt so much about myself and my potential. It was a transformative experience.’

‘It has been challenging and has encouraged a leap out of my comfort zones. Meetings with my mentor were always inspiring and energising.’

‘[My mentor] made me realise my transferable skills and how they’re relevant.‘

‘…when two people connect and are open to learn from one another. I want to cultivate this feeling for future collaborations. Conversation, exchange and honesty are crucial in any relationship. This has made me feel accompanied on many levels.’

‘Mentoring has given me the confidence to talk about areas of my life both personal and professional which I was ignoring. Which was getting in the way of my enjoyment and progress.’

The mentoring process

The matching process is hosted by Moving Ahead and runs for nine months, from October to July. 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 additional, online masterclass and networking events are available from Moving Ahead, with exceptional speakers. They cover topics such as leadership, inclusion, mental health and dealing with change. Previous guest speakers have included:

  • Caroline Casey, Founder of The Valuable 500 & inclusion activist
  • June Sarpong, TV Presenter and author of Diversify
  • Helen Tupper & Sarah Ellis, award-winning authors of The Squiggly Career
  • Dr Kate Goodger, Olympic Performance Psychologist
some logos that are all different colors

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

Meet some of the Class of 2022 Beyond Dance Mentees

 

Headshot of fair-skinned female with long dark brown straight hair smiling at the camera, wearing a green wool polo jumper in-front of a cream wall and light bokeh effects in the background.

Click here to read bio.

Iris Athanasiadi

Performer / Choreographer / Dance Teacher

‘I look forward to challenging my bias and limiting beliefs, so that I can overcome them and transform myself and my practice.’

Photography: Nick Corre

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Black & white headshot of fair-skinned female with long dark brown straight hair smiling at the camera, wearing a wool polo jumper in an outdoor setting. Background is blurred.

Click here to read bio.

Avatâra Ayuso

Charity Director / Dancer

‘I’m delighted to be part of this year’s cohort for the Beyond Dance Mentoring Program.

I can’t wait to be challenged, inspired and learn more about how to become a better and more committed change maker. Thanks DCD for this opportunity.’

Photography: Daniel Minguez

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Click here to read bio.

Faye Best

Wellness Teacher

‘I feel extremely grateful to DCD for giving me this amazing opportunity to work with a mentor I would have never otherwise met. I hope to gain a insight and knowledge from a completely different perspective. Working with my mentor who I find truly inspired she has work at the top of her field in the armed forces for many years. I hope to leave this experience with more self-confidence and knowledge of building systems within business.’

Photography: Jennie Scott

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Click here to read bio.

Georgia Bould

English National Ballet Current Dancer

‘I hope to come out of this experience inspired, full of ideas and have learnt new skills which i can implement now and in the future so I can be pro active within my thinking.’

 

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‘I look forward to challenging my bias and limiting beliefs, so that I can overcome them and transform myself and my practice.’

Photography: Nick Corre

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‘I’m delighted to be part of this year’s cohort for the Beyond Dance Mentoring Program.

I can’t wait to be challenged, inspired and learn more about how to become a better and more committed change maker. Thanks DCD for this opportunity.’

Photography: Daniel Minguez

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‘I feel extremely grateful to DCD for giving me this amazing opportunity to work with a mentor I would have never otherwise met. I hope to gain a insight and knowledge from a completely different perspective. Working with my mentor who I find truly inspired she has work at the top of her field in the armed forces for many years. I hope to leave this experience with more self-confidence and knowledge of building systems within business.’

Photography: Jennie Scott

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‘I hope to come out of this experience inspired, full of ideas and have learnt new skills which i can implement now and in the future so I can be pro active within my thinking.’

 

Close

Headshot of fair-skinned female with long brown straight hair smiling widely at the camera in-front of a cool purple-grey studio background.

Click here to read bio.

Aisling Brangan

Scottish Ballet Current Dancer

‘In taking part in the mentoring programme I aim to be pushed outside my comfort zone and gain confidence in networking, I hope to learn and acquire tools to assist with future career exploration and ultimately challenge myself with new experiences.’

Photography: Eve McConnachie

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Click here to read bio.

Louise-Brown

Artist

‘Having set up our Community Interest Company in 2019; The Velcro Collective, I hope to come away from the programme with a clear directional focus for our organisation, having built new skills, confidence and awareness about business model potentials from others on the programme and my mentor.’

Photography: Stig Godding

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Click here to read bio.

Alison Grace Clissold

Somatic Educator / Mental Health Mentor

‘Throughout our meetings, my mentor is supporting me to recognise the skills and experience I have gathered so far as a dance artist and facilitator. I would like to bring these into a new chapter of my career, founded upon a clear articulation of my values and knowledge.’

Photography: Maria Alzamora

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Headshot of fair-skinned female of Asian ethnicity in a white studio with long straight dark brown/black hair smiling widely at the camera, wearing an orange v-neck top and small gold hooped earrings.

Click here to read bio.

Sarah Chun

Northern Ballet Current Dancer

‘I’m hoping to learn something new, gain perspective, and connect with others through the DCD mentorship programme.’

Photography: Emily Nuttall

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‘In taking part in the mentoring programme I aim to be pushed outside my comfort zone and gain confidence in networking, I hope to learn and acquire tools to assist with future career exploration and ultimately challenge myself with new experiences.’

Photography: Eve McConnachie

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‘Having set up our Community Interest Company in 2019; The Velcro Collective, I hope to come away from the programme with a clear directional focus for our organisation, having built new skills, confidence and awareness about business model potentials from others on the programme and my mentor.’

Photography: Stig Godding

Close

‘Throughout our meetings, my mentor is supporting me to recognise the skills and experience I have gathered so far as a dance artist and facilitator. I would like to bring these into a new chapter of my career, founded upon a clear articulation of my values and knowledge.’

Photography: Maria Alzamora

Close

‘I’m hoping to learn something new, gain perspective, and connect with others through the DCD mentorship programme.’

Photography: Emily Nuttall

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Headshot of fair-skinned female with shoulder-length dark brown wavy hair smiling widely at the camera, wearing a purple top and pearl studded earrings in-front of a white studio background.

Click here to read bio.

Samara Downs

Birmingham Royal Ballet Current Dancer

‘I hope to optimise my employment prospects by discussing relevant CPD, networking and next steps and benefiting from the vast experience of my mentor. It is really beneficial to have a dialogue with someone working from a different sphere who can provide a perspective that can challenge and inform your existing thinking.’

Photography: Richard Battye

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Click here to read bio.

Sarah Farnsley

Dancer, Choreographer, Dance Advocate

‘As I launch the next stage of my career, expanding my practice as a dancer advocate, writer, and choreographer, I’m excited to work with a mentor who will hopefully help me to imagine new pathways and take creative risks that I might not have dared on my own.’

Photography: Ludovic Robert

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Click here to read bio.

Aanchal Gupta

Director BollyRed Dance Company

‘Through the Mission Include mentoring program I hope to explore wider career options, receive constructive guidance on employing my existing skills, and upskill in the right direction for my next career.’

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Click here to read bio.

George Liang

Northern Ballet Current Dancer

‘I hope to use this mentoring program to get to meet other people in the different fields of industry. I hope to learn more and get feedbacks from them.’

Photography: Emily Nuttall

Close

‘I hope to optimise my employment prospects by discussing relevant CPD, networking and next steps and benefiting from the vast experience of my mentor. It is really beneficial to have a dialogue with someone working from a different sphere who can provide a perspective that can challenge and inform your existing thinking.’

Photography: Richard Battye

Close

‘As I launch the next stage of my career, expanding my practice as a dancer advocate, writer, and choreographer, I’m excited to work with a mentor who will hopefully help me to imagine new pathways and take creative risks that I might not have dared on my own.’

Photography: Ludovic Robert

Close

‘Through the Mission Include mentoring program I hope to explore wider career options, receive constructive guidance on employing my existing skills, and upskill in the right direction for my next career.’

Close

‘I hope to use this mentoring program to get to meet other people in the different fields of industry. I hope to learn more and get feedbacks from them.’

Photography: Emily Nuttall

Close

Fair-skinned female with short blonde hair swept across their forehead smiling widely at the camera, wearing a black low round-necked top in-front of a black background.

Click here to read bio.

Livia Massarelli

Dance Artist

‘Through this programme, I hope to observe my career from a different perspective and discover new opportunities to grow and develop as a dance artist and a holistic coach.’

Photography: Stefano Sasso

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Click here to read bio.

Marie Astrid Mence

Freelance Dancer

‘I hope the program will help me find confidence in myself and a better clarity about what i would like to do after my dance career.’

Photography: Jack Thomson

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Click here to read bio.

Bruno Micchiardi

Scottish Ballet Current Dancer

‘I hope my mentoring experience will help me develop further skills for both my current career, as well as helpful insight and advice for my future transition. I hope to improve on my leadership qualities, develop my business acumen, and to listen and learn from the experiences of someone immensely successful in a world entirely different to my own.’

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Click here to read bio.

Gareth Mole

Choreographer

‘Since becoming a Dad I have had trouble navigating who I am and how I see myself in the industry. I applied to the Moving Ahead mentoring scheme via DCD as a way to reinforce my identity, manage my work life balance and establish a clear pathway for my career to progress forward on.’

Photography: Scarlett Warrick

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‘Through this programme, I hope to observe my career from a different perspective and discover new opportunities to grow and develop as a dance artist and a holistic coach.’

Photography: Stefano Sasso

Close

‘I hope the program will help me find confidence in myself and a better clarity about what i would like to do after my dance career.’

Photography: Jack Thomson

Close

‘I hope my mentoring experience will help me develop further skills for both my current career, as well as helpful insight and advice for my future transition. I hope to improve on my leadership qualities, develop my business acumen, and to listen and learn from the experiences of someone immensely successful in a world entirely different to my own.’

Close

‘Since becoming a Dad I have had trouble navigating who I am and how I see myself in the industry. I applied to the Moving Ahead mentoring scheme via DCD as a way to reinforce my identity, manage my work life balance and establish a clear pathway for my career to progress forward on.’

Photography: Scarlett Warrick

Close

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Click here to read bio.

Serena Morgan

Soft Tissue Therapist

‘I hope to gain stronger knowledge of business, marketing and communication.

I am hoping to understand what it means to be a proficient business woman and to use those skills to continue to create a stable space where I can continue to help people and facilitate growth.’

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Click here to read bio.

Jessica Royle

Choreographer / Dance Artist / Founder

‘I’m hoping my mentor relationship will be a fantastic way to see things from someone else’s perspective & learn from each other to shape my future as a choreographer/ founder of Waggle Dance Co.’

Photography: Louisa Sexton-Worley

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Click here to read bio.

Akshay Sharma

Choreographer / Dancer

‘I am excited and looking forward to an experience of growth and being challenged by my mentor in this year’s programme. Also to be on this journey with the cohort of ’22 and share our learnings. Thank you to Dancers Career Development for this framework.’

Photography: Katy Hewison

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Click here to read bio.

James Streeter

English National Ballet Current Dancer

‘I am incredibly grateful for this wonderful opportunity. Being able to learn first hand from such an inspiring leader from another other industry is truly invaluable’

Photography: Karolina Kuras

Close

‘I hope to gain stronger knowledge of business, marketing and communication.

I am hoping to understand what it means to be a proficient business woman and to use those skills to continue to create a stable space where I can continue to help people and facilitate growth.’

Close

‘I’m hoping my mentor relationship will be a fantastic way to see things from someone else’s perspective & learn from each other to shape my future as a choreographer/ founder of Waggle Dance Co.’

Photography: Louisa Sexton-Worley

Close

‘I am excited and looking forward to an experience of growth and being challenged by my mentor in this year’s programme. Also to be on this journey with the cohort of ’22 and share our learnings. Thank you to Dancers Career Development for this framework.’

Photography: Katy Hewison

Close

‘I am incredibly grateful for this wonderful opportunity. Being able to learn first hand from such an inspiring leader from another other industry is truly invaluable’

Photography: Karolina Kuras

Close

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Click here to read bio.

Julie Havelund-Willett

Independent Dance Artist

‘I applied for this mentorship programme because a lot has happened in the last year since returning to work after maternity leave.

I hope to gain some more clarity through conversations with my mentor, some encouragement and advice where applicable as well as widening my network and connections in the dance sector. So far, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my meetings with my mentor, and I’m very grateful to be part of this programme and for her time and commitment.’

Photography: Natasha Wynn

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Click here to read bio.

Sara Wookey

Creative Practitioner / Researcher / Consultant

‘I look forward to working with my mentor through a reciprocal knowledge-exchange experience wherein I hope to gain further insight into mid-career progression and sustainability whilst offering my open-hearted interest in networking and hearing other people’s stories.’

Photography: Camilla Greenwell

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Click here to read bio.

Crystal Zillwood

Dancer / Choreographer / Teacher

‘I’m excited to be part of Moving Aheads mentoring programme, I’m excited to soundboard my ideas with someone who has such a depth of experience in their field. This is a rare opportunity to meet new, experienced minds that are open to your ideas and ready to support/advise.’

Close

‘I applied for this mentorship programme because a lot has happened in the last year since returning to work after maternity leave.

I hope to gain some more clarity through conversations with my mentor, some encouragement and advice where applicable as well as widening my network and connections in the dance sector. So far, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my meetings with my mentor, and I’m very grateful to be part of this programme and for her time and commitment.’

Photography: Natasha Wynn

Close

‘I look forward to working with my mentor through a reciprocal knowledge-exchange experience wherein I hope to gain further insight into mid-career progression and sustainability whilst offering my open-hearted interest in networking and hearing other people’s stories.’

Photography: Camilla Greenwell

Close

‘I’m excited to be part of Moving Aheads mentoring programme, I’m excited to soundboard my ideas with someone who has such a depth of experience in their field. This is a rare opportunity to meet new, experienced minds that are open to your ideas and ready to support/advise.’

Close

Get in touch

For any questions, support needs or to request an informal conversation with a member of the DCD Support & Programmes team about the Beyond Dance Mentoring for Dancers programme, please contact dancers@thedcd.org.uk.

We also invite organisations who would like to be involved in mentoring and supporting this programme to please contact dancers@thedcd.org.uk to register your interest.

Side profile of Nandita shot in a studio setting, looking up, elevated in the air. They are wearing a long red dress with feet in full pointe and arms in third position. Nandita has shoulder length curly hair and medium toned skin. The studio background is a pale pink gradient. The message ‘Support a future leader’ is energetically written in bold across Nandita.

Application deadline: Applications for the 2024/25 programme will be open until Monday 19 August 2024.

Apply online now! Click here.

Click here to check out our other programmes and events coming up.

Banner image: Nandita Shankardass Dancer, Choreographer,
Teacher, Facilitator, 
Royal Ballet School Alumni, DCD EDI Working Group member. Photography: Simon Richardson.
Get in touch image: Sherisse Bisram, Dancer, Choreographer. Photography: Laura Belcher.

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