A new organisation will combine the expertise and resources of four former dance organisations to offer a more comprehensive package of support to the dance sector.
A new one-stop-shop for support services for the dance sector has been named ‘One Dance UK’. The umbrella body has been created following the merger of four specialist dance organisations: Association of Dance of the African Diaspora, Dance UK, National Dance Teachers Association and Youth Dance England, and is planning to re-locate from London to another part of the UK.
The new organisation aims to provide “a single more powerful voice for dance” and lead strategic initiatives that will benefit the entire dance sector. Services will be provided for professional dancers, choreographers, companies and producers, including professional development opportunities and performance platforms to nurture talent. A central knowledge hub will support these services, which will also be available to young people dancing, teachers and training institutions.
The creation of One Dance UK has followed calls from the dance sector for more joined-up working that would reduce duplication, combine expertise and resources, and strengthen advocacy. Its funding comes from a range of sources. Although a Dance UK Consortium bid last year for National Portfolio status was unsuccessful, the group was instead offered three-year funding from Arts Council England’s strategic funds. Other funders include the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, the Paul Hamlyn Foundation and principal sponsor Harlequin Floors, which has more than doubled the level of support it previously provided to Dance UK's Healthier Dancer Programme and National Institute of Dance Medicine and Science.
Some of the key programmes that One Dance UK will deliver in its first three years were unveiled at its launch. The national youth dance festival, U.Dance, will be expanded and presented at The Lowry in Salford in July 2016; £145,000 will be invested in leadership development to benefit dancers and teachers; a national conference for choreographers will take place in 2016; and professional development opportunities and performance platforms will be offered to artists working in dance of the African diaspora. In 2018, a new flagship exhibition and digital platform will celebrate the last 70 years of history of British dance.