EVOLVE Digital

EVOLVE Digital is a new series of free online career development workshops for all dancers in the UK. All workshops will be facilitated by DCD Director of Coaching, Isabel Mortimer.

Dancers can sign up for multiple workshops. Limited spaces are available so early booking is advisable.

All workshops will include a 20 minute break. All workshops will have summary notes taken that will be shared after the workshop. For any additional access needs please contact dancers@thedcd.org.uk, we will be happy to support you.

Anything is possible, dreaming big  

Speaker: Ann Wixley, Executive Creative Director Wavemaker

A former Prix de Lausanne winner and principal ballet dancer, Ann Wixley is now the Executive Creative Director at Wavemaker, a media content and tech agency. Her focus on creativity in media started in 2003 when she founded a new non-traditional ideas division for WWP’s strategy hot shop Nota Bene in South Africa. She went on to pioneer the Creative Director role in two London media agencies after moving to the UK in 2007, winning an IPA Grand Prix for Effectiveness and Silver Cannes Media Lion. Ann is a regular mentor for new creative talent at School of Communications Arts.

About the Workshop

DCD Director of Coaching Isabel Mortimer will guide dancers through a suite of practical exercises, tools and thinking focusing on how, as dancers, we can embrace our resourcefulness and continue to dream big. We will investigate recognising and building resilience and explore ways to move forward in the way that is right for us.

This workshop is in the past. 


How to get out of your own way, manage negative thoughts, and step into courage

Speaker: Crystal Nicholls, Professional Dancer and Certified Transformational Nutrition Coach (CTNC)


Dance artists across the world are facing uncertainty about the future. DCD Director of Coaching Isabel Mortimer will guide dancers through theory around managing energy and enhancing wellbeing at this time. We will also share some recommendations around listening to your inner voice, recognising and acting on your intuition and how to manage negative thought patterns.

This workshop is in the past.


Negotiation skills: knowing and communicating your voice

Friday 17 September 9:30am-1:00pm (GMT)

Speaker: Jessica Wright, Dance Artist & award winning Filmmaker 

After training at Central School of Ballet, Jessica performed with the Forsythe Company in Human Writes and with Ballet Preljocaj at the Centre Pompidou. She then danced with Company Wayne McGregor from 2008 to 2019 creating roles and touring internationally. She continues to work closely with Company Wayne McGregor as Staging Director and has restaged McGregor’s ballet Chroma on the Hungarian National Ballet and Norwegian National Ballet.

She also creates dance films with Morgann Runacre-Temple, collectively known as Jess and Morgs. Together they have made numerous award-winning dance films including commissions for English National Ballet and Scottish Ballet. Their work has been featured on Channel 4, BBC iPlayer, Canal+ TV, at TATE Liverpool & Sadlers Wells. Most recently they directed Scottish Ballet’s first feature film The Secret Theatre, which won Best Dance Film at the Critic’s circle National Dance Awards 2021.

In 2020, Jessica was sponsored by Studio Wayne McGregor to be a part of the Freelance Task Force. She continues to work with Dance FTF to lobby, champion and highlight the issues facing freelancers in the dance sector.

About the workshop

Dancers are increasingly needing and wanting to use their voices both in and out of the studio to influence, to ask questions and to share insights. DCD Director of Coaching, and former dance artist Isabel Mortimer will guide participants to harness the skills to embolden and elevate your voices because we believe you have important and valuable things to say.

This workshop is in the past.


Leadership, embrace your unique strengths and skills

Thursday 07 October 10:30am-2:00pm (GMT)

Speaker: Gaylene Gould, Creative Director, Broadcaster & Writer

Gaylene is a leading cultural director who creates space for the new, the imaginative and the transformative. Gaylene is a Creative Director, broadcaster and writer who designs interactive art projects and spaces that generously connect us with ourselves, each other and the world. Her projects are produced by her creative company  The Space to Come and have been performed at Tate, V&A and BAM (New York).

She is also an arts broadcaster for the BBC, a published fiction writer, a facilitator, cultural reviewer and a Cultural Ambassador for London appointed by Mayor Sadiq Khan. She has been a cultural leader for 25 years heading up major cultural institutions and projects including Head of Cinemas at BFI Southbank and producing, programming and consulting for the Arts Council, Toronto International Film Festival, National Theatre, Young Vic and Bernie Grant Art Centre amongst others. She is on the Artistic Advisory Board for Brixton House, the Advisory Board for the Decolonising Arts Institute, University Arts London and a Trustee for ANU Productions.

About the workshop

Join DCD Director of Coaching Isabel Mortimer to explore practical pathways to leadership. We will guide you through a suite of practical exercises, tools and thinking focusing on how, as dancers, you can embrace your unique strengths and skills as leaders. Whatever that looks like for you.

This workshop is in the past.


Decision making, know and understand your values

Friday 05 November 09:30am-1:00pm (GMT)

Speaker: Kendra “KRO” Horsburgh, Co-founder & Managing Director, BirdGang Ltd

Founder and Managing Director of a leading Hip Hop theatre company Kendra has worked around the world since 2005. Kendra creates for Musicals, Theatres, Film and TV, including global arena tours, music videos and most recently associate Choreographer of the West end musical &JULIET. Her mission is to tell thought provoking stories, create vivid and striking experiences through Dance, Theatre, and Technology.

About the workshop

Dancers face a multitude of important decisions, non more so than around career development. These can be difficult to navigate, particularly at this unparalleled time. DCD Director of Coaching, Isabel Mortimer, will guide us through evidence based learning exercises, exploring listening skills and recognising and knowing your values. We will look together at tools which will enable you to recognise, understand and utilise your strengths and make decisions that are right for you, now.

Book your place by clicking here OR Add your name to the waitlist by clicking here


Skills for self-coaching and the GROW model 

Friday 10 December 09:30am-1:00pm (GMT)

Speaker: Emma Gladstone OBE, Arts Programmer and Advisor

With over 25 years’ experience including roles such as Artistic Director & Chief Executive of Dance Umbrella (2013-2021) and Artistic Programmer at Sadler’s Wells (2005-2013). Before her programming career Emma danced for many years with Arlene Phillips, and Lea Anderson’s The Cholmondeleys. She co-founded Adventures in Motion Pictures (now New Adventures) with Sir Matthew Bourne. In 2019, she received a Tonic Award for Outstanding Women in the Arts, and in 2021 awarded an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours. She is currently Chair of the Board at Siobhan Davies Studios, and a Trustee at Aesop (Arts & Health) and Dartington Trust in Devon.

About the workshop

DCD believes fundamentally that as dancers you are the expert in your own life. DCD Director of Coaching Isabel Mortimer will guide you through some self-coaching tools including the GROW (Goal, Reality, Options, Will do) model. A resource for you, whenever you might need it – because you already have everything you need to embrace all of life’s opportunities.

Book your place by clicking here OR Add your name to the waitlist by clicking here


Come and be inspired! Previous EVOLVE Digital speakers have included:

This programme is kindly supported by the Royal Opera House Benevolent Fund and DCD Partner Companies.

Help dancers take their next step in their careers beyond performance