Community Dance Practitioner
The role involves working in the community as a workshop leader or teacher and also choreographing and organising dance programmes or projects. People working in this field can also be known as community dance artists. Working in community dance could be for a regional arts or community agency, linked to a professional dance company, or freelance as a self-employed practitioner and is usually based in one particular geographic area.
Teaching dance in the community could involve working in a range of diverse dance styles, for example, contemporary, street dance, choreography, creative movement, and with a range of groups such as people with disabilities, young people, elderly people, as well as school groups. The work takes place in a variety of settings too, from youth centres, to arts community and leisure centres, homes for the elderly, childrens centres, streets and schools – anywhere and everywhere where people may want to dance!
Dance practitioners working in this area will often have undertaken a degree in dance, vocational dance training at a dance school, a specialised Dance in the Community course, or registered as a dance teacher with a private dance teaching association such as The Royal Academy of Dance, the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dance or the British Ballet Organisation. The routes to working in community dance can be varied however, and many people working in community dance have found their own individual pathway.
There are a number of BA courses specialising in Community Dance, see UCAS www.ucas.ac.uk
Laban, London offers full-time Community Dance courses http://www.laban.org/
Further information can be obtained from Foundation for Community Dance http://www.communitydance.org.uk
Case Study #1
Interview with Kat Irving, Community Dance Artist, Ludus Dance 14 January 2009
Case Study #2
Interview with Ellen Turner, Recent Graduate and Freelance Dance Artist, Cumbria 15 January 2009