Last Monday (December 7th) just past Oxford Circus, more than 400 dance artists, academics, associates and supporters attended the launch of One Dance UK.
For all of those not in the know, this new super-organisation is a merger of four established British dance companies (Dance UK, Assosiation of Dance of the African Diaspora, National Dance Teacher’s Association and Youth Dance England) and will champion diversity and all aspects of British dance.
I attended the merger as a representative for Serendipity, and it was fantastic to see just how our contribution to the dance sector from Leicester is recognised and valued by those that now run this new dance organisation.
The executives of One Dance UK described how they would be using strategic thinking to create visibility to different areas of dance. This instantly had me thinking about our Black Women in Dance: Stepping Out the Barriers conference, which will similarly be bringing visibility to an area of dance that is not often spoken of or seen in literature.
On May 10th 2016, dance artists and academics will come together with Urban Bush Women’s Jawole Willa Jo Zollar to discuss and celebrate the progression of Black Women in Dance. The conference will be a time for not only reflection but a fantastic opportunity to learn about how the dance sector has evolved and consider where we want it to be in the future.
Two speakers for our Black Women in Dance: Stepping Out the Barriers conference, Maureen Salmon and Sharon Watson, also attended the launch. It was really wonderful to meet them prior to the event and hear them speak so eloquently about how beneficial One Dance UK will be for the progression of British dance.
Sharon Watson was one of the first women to join Pheonix Dance Theatre, and will be discussing the role that dance companies play in supporting Black dancers. Maureen Salmon will review the barriers found in cultural industries and consider what is needed for Black women to take the lead in creative industries.
It appears that focusing on the areas outside of just performance is a key movement for many dance artists and organisations for the coming year.
2016 will be a truly exciting year for dance, and I was totally inspired by how many dance supporters came together with one voice to celebrate the importance of dance in the UK.
Have any thoughts on how One Dance UK will help the development of our current dance industry?
Let me know via firstname.lastname@example.org for a chance to be featured on our blog!