Schools and conservatoires programme

DCD’s support for dancers begins from the earliest stages of vocational training, throughout their performance career and through retirement.

Research shows that early preparation for career transition can help avoid the trauma some dancers experience when they retire from professional performance and even lead to a more fulfilling and successful post-performance career.

The first of its kind in the UK, DCD’s Schools and Conservatoires Programme is a pioneering initiative, partnering with some of the UK’s leading vocational training institutions, to support dance students at a key time in their personal development. Through the programme, students are encouraged to consider a wider view of the world around them and to recognise the transferable skills they have developed through their training.

DCD typically works with students in the final three years of study (ages 16 to 19). They are given an Introduction to Transition in Year One and in Year Two, students participate in visits by DCD beneficiaries working in diverse careers. They have the opportunity to meet and network with current and former professional dancers, including some of Dancers’ Career Development’s 2,500 beneficiaries. In the Graduate Year, students learn about the practicalities of Transition and the Transition Support Programmes provided by DCD. Staff delivering the student workshops are DBS checked.

Christopher Powney

'This exciting new partnership will be particularly valuable in giving students a forum to think more broadly about a future beyond their careers as dancers. Dancers' Career Development will give them the support they need to understand how the life skills they learn during their training will one day serve them in other disciplines.'


Christopher Powney,
Artistic Director,
The Royal Ballet School

We currently partner with The Royal Ballet School, English National Ballet School, Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, Elmhurst Ballet School and The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.

If you are a school interested in DCD providing a similar programme for your students, or for more information, please contact Ellen Chambers, Support and Programmes Manager:

Kindly supported by:

A direct difference

Help dancers take their next step in their careers beyond performance.