Where can I find general information, advice and contacts on dance activities in my area?
Most parts of the UK now have a national dance agency, dance agency or dance development officer (usually based at your local council).
For ballroom dancing related information please contact the British Dance Council on +44 (0)20 8545 0085. Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you have a request for dance classes in your area. They will also accept postal enquiries that include a self-addressed envelope.
Where can I find out more about British dance companies and choreographers?
Many dance companies have their own website, or you can ask for a press-pack for further information. If you are researching a particular choreographer's work for an essay remember that they may get lots of requests for such information and that you should plan well ahead to make sure they have time to answer your questions. (See links pages for some dance companies' sites).
The National Resource Centre for Dance at the University of Surrey holds the national dance archive and should be able to help you find books and articles on most established UK choreographers and companies. The Theatre Museum holds the London Contemporary Dance Theatre's archives.
Where can I find out about dance performances in my area?
Check your local paper, and get on the mailing list for your local theatre and nearest dance agency or national dance agency. See our links and resource page for key UK dance organisations who will provide you with useful information on dance in their area.
Where can I find out about funding for vocational training?
At Dance UK we frequently get enquiries about funding for vocational training.
We don’t specialise in vocational training, or funding for this, but we can give you advice on where to go.
The Council for Dance Education and Training (CDET) is the best place to start as their purpose is to provide help and advice in all aspects of dance training. Visit their website at http://www.cdet.org.uk/or call them on 020 7240 5703.
First, D&DA Awards is the stream of funding designed especially for talents students that have been accepted onto vocational courses. More information on D&DA Awards and how they work can be found on the CDET website detailed above.
Second, ask the college(s) you have been accepted to, to see if they have any help, assistance or guidance on how to cover the cost of fees.
Find your national or regional dance agency - these are organisations set up to facilitate dance in regions. Their remits vary, but they are there to promote dance in their areas and may be able to help.
It might also be worth contacting the National Dance Teachers Association (NDTA). Visit http://www.ndta.org.uk or call 0121 689 1085.
Also consider getting in touch with the Princes Trust. We have heard of them offering travel grants to young dance students. Visit www.princes-trust.org.uk
After this, our advice is as follows:
Start local: there are a lot of young people that are looking for this kind of funding and national schemes for funding will be attracting nationwide applicants. In contrast local sources can be less competitive - stress that you are / your child is a talented local child.
Start with your local education authority and see if they have any schemes, or any knowledge of local schemes of programmes that you can apply for.
Look for charities that specialise in your region. Look also at large companies based in your area. In some ways the larger and wealthier the better. For example the insurance company AXA, which was then based in High Wycombe, used to offer funding and support for young people within a certain catchment area for a variety of projects.
Press: press stories are great for encouraging local funds or companies to support you. Perhaps attach your clippings to the applications you submit. Call the local paper. If you / your child is performing with the school or class invite them and a photographer. If there are any usual angles you can offer them, do so - how their interest in dance began, or that they’re selling their favourite things on eBay to add to their tuition fee fund.
Ring up your local MP’s office or write to them, asking for help / suggestions with the problem of realising your child’s potential in dance. Stress what an achievement it is to be offered a place at a vocational school.
Push all the buttons you can think of - it is a hard task ahead as there are a lot of people in this position.