Transitioning into leadership

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< Insight and Inspiration

Leadership comes in many forms and is a hugely personal journey.


11th December 2018

Amazing things happen when you bring dancers together into a room and let them talk. The realisation that they are not alone spreads across their faces, an openness and shared understanding occurs and hope and inspiration fills the room.

Our panel discussion on Transitioning into Leadership at the One Dance UK Conference in Leeds last month was no different.

The diverse range of DCD supported speakers, from Kenneth Tindall (Resident Choreographer and Director of Digital at Northern Ballet), Sharon Watson (Artistic Director, Phoenix Dance Theatre) to Emma Clayton (independent artist and lecturer), Sandrine Monin (independent choreographer) and Beverley Spencer (BA in Journalism student) demonstrated that leadership comes in many forms and is a hugely personal journey.

One thing that really struck me as the room filled with questions and inspiring advice and ideas, was the need for support between leaders. Something special happened when they were able to speak about the challenges they face with others in the same position, who could relate to their experience and offer support. Although it wasn’t the initial focus of the session, it felt like a strong outcome that those involved had been able to be honest and authentic about their leadership stories.

This, I feel, is a vital lesson for anyone looking to transition into leadership: you will never have all the answers, and you should not have to pretend that you do. No one can pour from an empty cup. Be honest and ask for the support you need.


Inspired by Sue Hoyle and her fabulous article on the risk of burnout for arts leaders: click here to read it.