The UK development organisation and membership
body for community and participatory dance
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>   Chris Stenton Executive Director

 Chris Stenton is Executive Director of People Dancing, and has worked in community and participatory dance since 1992.Chris leads on strategy and development, pioneering the organisation’s approach to partnership working both within the dance industry and with organisations from other artforms. He heads up a team of specialist Producers and Programme Directors who are focused on professional development, inclusive dance practices, public engagement and membership services for artists, teachers and organisations.

In 2011-2012 he was seconded to lead the UK programme for Big Dance 2012, part of the London 2012 Festival. Chris has written for several books, is a regular contributor to conferences in the UK and internationally and has served on various Boards, including the Voluntary Arts Network and East London Dance.

Chris graduated from Leicester Polytechnic with a degree in performing arts in 1992 and has worked at People Dancing (and its previous incarnations) since then in various roles. Chris says this feels simultaneously like a lifetime and a blink of an eye - both in good ways; no two years have ever been the same. Chris has a distant memory of taking part in dance sessions, aged 7 or 8, led by one of the early Dance Animateurs. He remembers a ripple of excitement at ‘the Dance Animateur coming to school’ but feeling less clear about what that meant. This may or may not have influenced the career route he went on to follow. 

 

>   Ruth Bates Lee Director of Development

Ruth Bates Lee is the Director of Development at People Dancing and is responsible, with the Executive Director, for income generation, including fundraising. Ruth is also responsible for leading the organisations communications and marketing.

Ruth is a Dance and Drama Graduate from the University of Roehampton. She brings her knowledge and experience in a variety of roles to the organisation from management and administration roles at the Royal Ballet School and Central School of Ballet to running dance and arts programmes in community settings for Dance4 and Blaby District Council as well as leading the dance programme for The Brindley Arts Centre. Ruth set up and ran the Dance Development programme for Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland (2008-2011).

On behalf of People Dancing and as a freelancer Ruth has lead workshops in fundraising and development for dance artists and taught at Further and Higher education levels. Ruth is the co-author of People Dancing’s online learning programme, ‘Developing Income Streams for participatory Arts Practice’ and has lead business development surgeries and seminars at the People Dancing Summer School since 2014. Ruth is an experienced mentor and coach. In her spare time Ruth volunteers as a committee member for SideKick Dance Company and is currently Vice Chair of Aakash Odedra Company.

>   Emma Hayes General Manager