Alliance with Dance UK
In June 2003, following consultation with the DAD sector, ADAD and Dance UK formed a strategic alliance to provide enhanced support for DAD forms and dance professionals working in this field. The alliance is positioned as a form of organisational mentoring for ADAD, with Dance UK providing an administrative and organisational framework within which ADAD can build its capacity to meet the needs of its sector.
Dance UK is the national voice for dance - established by dancers for dancers
Dance UK undertake the following:
- Advocate for the increased profile of dance, in all its diverse and dynamic forms, to the media and the public
- Lead the dance industry in lobbying politicians and funders
- Champion healthier dancers and a healthier dance economy
- Develop and facilitate networks for the profession
- Nurture and encourage career development
- Provide information and guidance for the public and professionals
For more information on Dance UK click on the link www.danceuk.org
After 8 successful years in the alliance, ADAD became an independent organisation in April 2011. During this time, we have grown significantly,developing strong infrastructure, partnerships and programmes. We look forward to maintaining a positive and fruitful relationship with Dance UK for many years to come.
Since forming the alliance:
(i) ADAD has raised its profile within the sector.
This has been done through ADAD delivering a series of artistic forums bringing international APD artists to the UK to run artist workshops; publishing Hot Foot a newsletter that developed from the original magazine promoting APD critical writing and distributing information to the sector; This was edited by Jeanette Brooks, a former trailblazer when it moved from a magazine format to the present online format.
(ii) ADAD has championed professional development for APD artists
ADAD has administrated 17 Trailblazers Fellowships to date, worth up to £2,000 each, for dance artists who work in dance forms of the African Diaspora to develop their careers. Trailblazer fellows have gone on to receive other awards, to establish their own touring companies and to do significant community-based dance work. They have included Bawren Tavaviza, Irven Lewis, Adesola Akinleye, and Jean Abreu. ADAD’s pioneering choreographic platforms were picked-up and developed by artists and lead onto projects such as Deborah Baddoo’s State of Emergency which produces The Mission and has featured ADAD’s Trailblazers.
(iii) ADAD has formed advocacy networks and developed relationships with other organisations, including Heritage Lottery Fund, Theatre Museum, The Peepul Centre in Leicester, Woking Dance Festival, Swindon Dance, Office of the Mayor of London, Irie! Dance Theatre, Middlesex University, State of Emergency and Learning Resources Service.
(iv) ADAD has developed research and development. The Heritage Project including ADAD’s historic exhibition and a series of educational and oral history events has a significant contribution in this area. The Heritage Project will culminate in the publishing of a book of articles and interviews with artists. ADAD has also hosted forums for APD Artists covering topics including archiving, relating to key funding bodies and developing confidence in themselves as individual artists.
(v) ADAD has developed a website. The website was launched in May 2006. In the first 11 months:
- The website has had up to 500,000 hits
- 17,000 of the 500,000 hits were unique visitors which means the website is consistently drawing new visitors from day to day.
In addition to the hits within the UK, visitors to the ADAD website have been logged from numerous countries including the United States of America, France, Australia, Kenya, Canada, Nigeria, Romania, Uganda, South Africa and China.
Students and researchers from America and Canada and artists from South Africa have contacted the ADAD office asking for further information on the APD sector in Britain after having seen the website. The popularity of the website points to ADAD’s potential to grow in its role as a communications hub for the APD sector, providing information for and about the sector.
(vi) ADAD, working with Dance UK, achieved a three-year Arts Council Regularly Funded Organisation status in 2004.
(vii) For Dance UK, ADAD has provided a culturally diverse profile; culturally diverse members; improved sector credibility; expertise in APD and the Black dance sector
(viii) The alliance has also impacted on the programmes of work for both Dance UK and ADAD. It has enabled the Healthier Dancer Programme (HDP) to establish networks with the ADAD sector in order to identify particular needs in this area. ADAD is now working with the HDP to organise events. The alliance has also enabled Dance UK to market its other initiatives, such as Choreoforum, to ADAD members. In the early stages of the alliance Dance UK established a fellowship scheme, Trailblazers, for those working in DAD. This is now a specific ADAD at Dance UK scheme which is growing in popularity every year. Through combined networks, the marketing possibilities for such a scheme have been enhanced.
(ix) There have therefore been two-way benefits for this strategic alliance:
- Exchanging knowledge and resources
- Broadening of expertise
- Identity exchanges
- Profile raising
- Widening participation/audience
- Stronger infrastructure
- Change in dynamics of organisation
- Good model of practice
- Makes the organisation more approachable
- Good practice
- Fulfilling what we do more fully
- Building cultural diversity into all of Dance UK’s work
Dance UK and ADAD recognise these achievements resulting from the strategic alliance, which was dissolved in April 2011.