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U.Dance

U.Dance is an enterprising scheme from Youth Dance England that aims to give every child and young person in England the opportunity to take part in dance performances.

A strategic framework for the arts

Read Achieving great art for everyone, our 10-year strategic framework for the arts, published November 2010.

You can download the dance appendix from our initial Achieving great art for everyone consultation paper in both  Word format and PDF format.

National portfolio funding

Find out more about dance and the National portfolio.

Dance covers a wide range of aesthetics and styles. We want to widen understanding and appreciation of the many and varied kinds of dance, influenced by the social and demographic richness of British society, and other artforms.

We fund touring companies, development agencies and festivals as well as individual artists and producers. Our role focuses on supporting talent, production and distribution and encouraging audience development and participation.

The dance portfolio includes specialist dance houses. Dance increasingly also takes place in theatre, visual arts and combined arts contexts, responding to a growing audience interest in work anchored in physical expression and choreography.

Dance will contribute to our Achieving great art for everyone goals and priorities by:

  • supporting world class choreographers and dancers to push boundaries and explore a mix of artistic, cultural and aesthetically diverse practices that offer audiences rich and meaningful experiences. Contemporary artists in the National portfolio include Hofesh Shechter, Akram Khan, Wayne McGregor and Charlotte Vincent
  • continuing to fund ballet both to present heritage work and to innovate and re-imagine the form for the future
  • increasing opportunities for research and talent development, recognising that high quality dance production requires extended periods of time working with dancers in appropriately equipped spaces
  • supporting beacon organisations as catalysts for regional dance development. Nearly all of the dance houses, such as Dance East and Dance City have received an increase in funding to widen their strategic development roles
  • building a more diverse confident public for dance and ballet able to make informed choices and be more adventurous as participants. Sadler's Wells is a leader in this area of work. Other organisations building audiences include DanceXchange and Dance Consortium
  • funding and developing producers to grow new markets and increase opportunities for people to value and enjoy dance. Support platforms like British Dance Edition to increase opportunities for promoters to understand dance
  • supporting artists and organisations to understand and realise digital opportunities
  • encouraging more grassroots participation. Organisations working in areas of low arts engagement include Kala Sangam in Bradford and Attik Dance in Plymouth
  • supporting the development of entrepreneurial skills to ensure that companies, artists and producers have a deeper sense of their markets and how to position themselves
  • growing stronger dance organisations by encouraging strategic collaboration and better knowledge and resource sharing between leaders
  • encouraging young people both to dance and see dance. Organisations working in this area include ACE Dance and Music, balletLORENT, Protein,Tavaziva Dance Company and agencies such as Swindon Dance, Dance South West and Yorkshire Dance
  • increasing dance skills and the quality of choreography made for and by young people. Encouraging the improvement of standards in dance teaching through partnerships such as the Dance Training and Accreditation Partnership (DTAP)

Dance initiatives

Dance mapping

The dance mapping research creates a picture, a 'map', of the dance field, its ecology, economy and environment and its various segments and market trends. Pulling together this information provides evidence of the impact dance makes and how the dance field can make a more robust case for the work it does. This is the first time such a widespread data gathering of this field has happened. The full report and executive summary were published in September 2009. 

Joining up the dots

Joining up the dots is a companion report to Dance mapping. It focuses on the work of dance agencies, offering ideas for future working and highlighting the contribution this network has made to the dance ecology across England. This report was completed in April 2010.

Youth Dance England

Youth Dance England is the national organisation that champions dance for children and young people working to ensure that dance is available to all, both in and outside of school. Through a shared vision with the National Youth Dance Network and other partners, their aim is to increase access, raise standards and improve progression routes. www.yde.org.uk

Development of Centres of Advanced Training for 11-18-year-olds, in

partnership with the Department for Education and Skills

Currently there are centres based in Arts Council's regularly funded dance organisations in Leeds, London, Swindon, Ipswich, Newcastle and Nottingham.

Featured publication

Arts Council Plan 2011-15

This Plan sets out what we will do to deliver our Achieving great art for everyone goals and priorities over the years 2011-15.

Featured publication

Achieving great art for everyone

Informed by a major consultation, Achieving great art for everyone sets out a 10-year vision with five ambitious goals at its heart. It argues for ...

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