SHIFT is an exciting new career exploration opportunity Launched in 2021 for Hip Hop Artists funded by ZooNation: The Kate Prince Company and Dancers’ Career Development.

ZooNation: The Kate Prince Company (ZooNation) and Dancers’ Career Development (DCD) have come together to provide a paid opportunity for freelance Hip Hop dancers who wish to explore different career options beyond the stage. Successful applicants will gain financial assistance, mentoring and coaching towards exploring options to support their career beyond the stage.

Congratulations to our three successful 2021 applicants, Conor O’Kane, Isaac Our-Gnao and Vanessa Marina.

‘I plan to use the SHIFT programme to explore videography and film making to build upon my recent experience of working on sets. I aim to better understand the filmmaking process as well as having a more professional grasp on the operating of equipment used, by attending an online filming course offered by the Central Film school. My end goal is to be able to fully develop the skills needed to create films and in doing so be able to translate dance to screen.Conor O’Kane

‘I plan to use the SHIFT programme to upskill my digital marketing skills by attending a short diploma course offered by Oxford University on new, disruptive forms of digital marketing to better reflect Hip Hop’s culturally disruptive roots. My goal is to offer bespoke marketing packages – from writing copy to multimedia content – in hopes to elevate the artform's reach, its ability to be funded and its social impact in theatre.Isaac Ouro-Gnao

‘I’m planning to use SHIFT to improve my communication, leadership, marketing and business skills, everything I can learn to improve myself as an Artist entrepreneur to elevate my project, Tinyroom Workouts, designed for female dancers who want to improve their body condition and mindset.Vanessa Marina

Criteria for applicants

All applicants must have at least 6 years’ experience of performing Hip Hop work in a professional and paid capacity within the UK. Applicants must demonstrate that they have been professionally contracted as a Hip Hop dancer consistently for at least a period of 6 years. Teaching experience will be recognised but the onus for applicant is to demonstrate (through their CV) that they have been primarily employed as a dancer (across a variety of context including, but not limited to, stage, tv, film, festivals, exhibition battles and wins etc…) in a performance capacity.

We are not inviting applications from Hip Hop dance artists wishing to develop their artistic work/choreographic skills. This is not an artist development scheme.

This programme is for Hip Hop artists wishing to invest time on personal development, work with a mentor and explore a different career.


We welcome applications that reflect the diversity of society, especially individuals currently underrepresented in the arts.

For this opportunity ZooNation and Dancers’ Career Development will be prioritising applications from:

  • Dancers identifying as female
  • Dancers who have experienced racism as a barrier to their professional development

Scheme details

Successful applicants will:

Receive a grant of up to £2000 to be used towards retraining or exploring a different career

Attend a group coaching session led by DCD Director of Coaching Isabel Mortimer designed to offer the dancers a safe space to reflect on their career journeys to date and take positive action moving forward.

Be part of a DCD’s Beyond Dance Mentoring Programme, powered by Moving Ahead, designed to give dance artists the opportunity to create connections and networks outside of the dance sector.

Be invited to attend DCD’s REACH Ambassador programme for a year.

Any questions?

As this is a new pilot programme for ZooNation and DCD, we know there will be questions which we hope will be answered in these Frequently Asked Questions. If you have any other questions relating to SHIFT please contact

Applications are not currently open.

Image Credits
Banner image by Ezechiel Kouassi
Isaac Ouro-Gnao image by Luke Lentes
ZooNation image by Johan Perrson

Help dancers take their next step in their careers beyond performance