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Community dance practice: Core career skills

Tuesday 26 July, morning and repeats Wednesday 27 July, morning

Tutors: Claire Pring, Independent dance artist and educator and Laura Jones, Head of Talent Development at Stopgap with guest Anna Leatherdale who will outline the new Participatory Arts Qualifications

Everything you need to know about becoming and enduring as a teaching dance artist and community dance practitioner now!

Whether you are starting out, returning after a break or changing lanes from another part of dance this half-day mix of practical and discussion, inspired by our People Dancing Code of Conduct, will enable you to foster a deeper understanding of professional practice when working in participatory dance, both practically and philosophically. You will also gain information about a new set of qualifications, developed specifically for participatory artists and supported by People Dancing, that enable artists to evidence their skills and knowledge in participatory practice.

The ideal confidence builder/restorer, this course will leave you better able to craft and develop your practice, run it as a business with confidence and integrity, share your love of dance with participants & employers and advocate its value to the wider world.

Participants are welcome to make a day of it by booking onto a 90-minute peer sharing and advice session in the afternoon with Louise Katerega, Associate Producer for Change and Chris Stenton, Executive Director, People Dancing about starting out, self-management and self-care secrets, negotiation and advocating. There is no extra charge and you can book via your application form.

Above image credit: Laura Jones, People Dancing Summer School. Photo: Rachel Cherry.

About Claire Pring B.Ed (Hons), M.A., A.S.T.  

Claire graduated from Middlesex University in 1990 with a B. Ed (Hons) in Dance, taught in London until 1994 then headed north to join Cheshire Dance as Dance Animateur for Macclesfield. She was with Cheshire Dance for eight happy years, where she began to deliver INSET under the guidance of Veronica Lewis and Julia Williams.  

Since 2002 she has worked as a freelancer along with part time teaching at Buxton Community School, Derbyshire, Poynton High School, Cheshire and Biddulph High School, Staffordshire where she gained AST status. In 2005 she completed an MA in Dance Studies. She is currently the lead practitioner for Dance for Derbyshire and part of the Create & Dance team at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden where she devised and presented the dance content for BBC Teach Step by Step as well as devising some of their podcasts for Let's Move, Time to Move and Ten Pieces. She has produced resources for Oak National Academy, Birmingham Royal Ballet, Cheshire County Council & Derbyshire County Council and co-authored a book in lockdown, Making A Move. Claire is an ArtsMark Associate & Partner and a Quality Assessor for the Arts Council of England.  

Image: Claire Pring.

About Laura Jones

Laura joined Stopgap in 2001 where she has been integral to the growth and direction of the company.  She is a fierce advocate for dance and disability, inclusion and equality, advancing the sector through teacher training in inclusive practice, public speaking and consultancy work.

Laura started her training at Linda Butler School of Dance, aged 5.  Having sustained a spinal injury in 1998, Laura went on to become the first wheelchair user to complete 100% of the A-Level dance syllabus.  Since then, she has accumulated a wealth of experience, working with numerous choreographers, gaining extensive creative and performance experience, touring internationally in both traditional and non-traditional settings, including Street Arts festivals and Rural Touring.

Additional choreographic and performance work includes the collaboration with Abi Motimer (Lila Dance) and Suzie Birchwood on the dance film “a part”, and performing with Step Change Studios.  She choreographed the Heritage Flame Ceremony for the Rio 2016 Paralympic handover, and, as a Dance Captain, assisted in the choreography and teaching of the mass volunteer cast for the London 2012 Paralympic Games Opening Ceremony and performed in the ceremony itself. 

Her extensive teaching experience ranges across all ages and abilities, with a passion for empowering future generations of diverse dancers. She has been instrumental in the development of Stopgap’s IRIS Dance Syllabus for disabled dancers and the Seedbed teacher training program. She has also contributed to the ISTD’s and RAD’s inclusive practice. 

Image: Laura Jones, People Dancing Summer School. Photo: Rachel Cherry.