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Dance UK Launch Conference 2012 to be held in Leeds

This page contains information which may be out-of-date or no longer relevant. It is kept here for archive purposes only.

Press release date 
Thu 25 Oct 2012

Speakers announced for Dance UK’s Launch in Leeds 2012
The professional development and networking day for professional dance students and recent graduates

  • Date: Friday 9 November, 9.00am - 6pm
  • Venue: Yorkshire Dance and Northern Ballet
  • £25 Dance UK student member or £30 non-member (including lunch and refreshments and evening drinks networking reception)

Book your place at or email

Dance UK's annual professional development and networking day for professional dance students and recent graduates who want to get ahead in their careers is taking place this year for the first time in Leeds, organised in partnership with Dance UK members Yorkshire Dance, Phoenix Dance Theatre, Northern Ballet, Northern School of Contemporary Dance and Leeds Metropolitan University Dance Department. Launch is designed to help young dance professionals starting out in their careers to choose and pursue specific roles in the sector, including teacher, manager, company dancer, independent choreographer and everything in between.

The packed day provides seminars and hands-on practical advice from leading dance professionals, who have all had amazing careers both as dancers and in the other diverse roles the dance profession offers, including producers, dance scientists and educators.

The portfolio career is the reality for most dance artists and Launch will give an overview of the paths open to young dance professionals and how to access the variety of jobs on offer. Designed for dance students and recent graduates in the last two years Launch includes the chance for young dance professionals to make new contacts and collect information about how to get a job in dance. This day is set to inspire and empower a new generation of dancers and practitioners to better understand the nature of the dance sector in the UK.

Conference schedule


Arrival, registration, tea and coffee

9.30 – 10am

Welcome and introduction: What you can expect from a career in dance given by co-chairs of the day Rachel Krische, independent dancer and Head of Dance, Leeds Metropolitan University and Beth Cassani, independent choreographer, teacher and senior lecturer in dance at Leeds Metropolitan University.

10 – 11.30am

Chat show, speakers include:

  • Darren Pritchard, dancer, choreographer, teacher and Artistic Director of Company Fierce Academy
  • Emma Gladstone, former dancer, co-founder of New Adventures, Artistic Programmer and Producer, Sadler’s Wells
  • Tom Roden, co-director New Art Club
  • Simon Harper, Media and PR Manager for Birmingham Royal Ballet and former West End dancer

11.30 – 11.50am

Tea and coffee break

11.50am – 12.30pm

‘Working as a Choreographer’ speakers Aletta Collins and Tom Roden

12.30 – 12.45pm

‘Working as a producer’ speaker Dave Edmunds

12.45 – 1pm

Questions, chaired by Beth Cassani

1 – 1.55pm

Lunch (provided) – information stalls and networking

2 – 2.35pm

‘Working in Education’ speakers Karen Knox, Dawn Holgate and Tracy Witney, Head of Education and Community programmes, Northern School of Contemporary Dance

2 – 2.35pm

‘Working in Education’ speakers Karen Knox, Dawn Holgate and Tracy Witney, Head of Education and Community programmes, Northern School of Contemporary Dance

2.35 – 2.50pm

Questions re working in education

2.50 – 3.30pm

‘Resources available to keep dancers’ healthy (including the National Institute of Dance Medicine and Science) and working in health, wellbeing and dance medicine and science’ speakers Niamh Morrin, Dance UK's Healthier Dancer Programme manager, Msc Dance Science graduate and Howard Bird Visiting Professor in Performing Arts Medicine at University College London

3.30 – 3.45pm

Questions re health and working in health and wellbeing

3.45 – 4pm

Afternoon tea and cakes (included in ticket price)

4 – 5pm

Break out groups (2 x 30 minute sessions for smaller groups, both sessions will be run twice so that all delegates can attend both)

Session A ‘How to approach an audition’ led by Sharon Watson, Artistic Director Phoenix Dance Theatre and Janet Smith, Principal, Northern School of Contemporary Dance and former Artistic Director of Scottish Dance Theatre.

Session B ‘Starting out – what to expect – a personal view from young dance artists’ Speakers Dwayne Simms, Hannah Buckley and Julius Ebreo

5 – 5.20pm

Round-up from Chairs

5.20 – 7pm

Networking drinks (provided as part of the ticket price)

Free information sheet – Launch delegates will also be provided with an information sheet about ‘money matters’ explaining how to manage your finances, invoicing and tax.

What students say about attending past Launch events

“A great opportunity to pick up essential information and network with each other and established professionals”

“It helped me decide what to do and how to get there”

“Very useful information, practical and realistic advice”

“It was great to meet other students in my position and to learn about possible career avenue”

For further press information, to arrange interviews or photos please contact Caroline Miller at Dance UK on 020 7713 0730 / mobile 07980 675137 or email or Catherine Worthington, Northern Ballet on 0113 220 8000 or email