Connecting the dance business with Stretch

Katie Hagan, founding father of Stretch accomplice dance artwork journal, lifts the lid on the significance of Stretch, a networking occasion for the dance sector.

When Ines and Bernardo from diagonal dance first informed me about Stretch and their motivations for making a dance occasion for everybody, I keep in mind instantly feeling how a lot it was wanted. While I’ve solely labored within the dance business for round 5 years – I’m all the time reminding myself to not let my imposter syndrome get the higher of me! – I don’t assume I’ve ever actually come throughout a conference-style day of dance that brings all disciplines (artists, entrepreneurs, PRs, producers, designers, et al) collectively. Positive, I’d been to occasions catered to every of those disciplines, that are good, empowering and actually carry individuals from one specialism collectively. However within the absence of an occasion for everyone there was a possibility for somebody like diagonal to create a spot for all to return collectively; to get out of our silos, share information and experiences, and study from each other.

Networking is vital

The urgent want for an occasion the place information and experiences might be shared was highlighted in a latest survey carried out by diagonal. Dance has one of many greatest information gaps out of all of the performing artwork sectors. Over 40% of individuals surveyed don’t assume there are adequate networking alternatives, with many graduates not understanding the place or who to show to as soon as they’ve accomplished their research. And this clearly is an issue. It’s an issue not just for the many individuals already working within the business but additionally for these eager to be in it.

For these already within the business, there may be a lot worth in creating networking alternatives. It offers them the possibility to upskill to allow them to maybe work in numerous contexts – perhaps you’re a producer and need to attempt extra group work? – and likewise ensures you possibly can maintain issues contemporary and meet new individuals. 

Alternatives akin to Stretch are additionally enormous for these beginning out within the business, akin to graduates, and for individuals who have an curiosity within the arts however don’t essentially have the simply accessible steerage to find the profession path they search. 

It goes with out saying then that occasions akin to Stretch are significantly essential for individuals coming from working-class backgrounds like myself, the place they discover there are quite a few financial and social boundaries to accessing the humanities throughout their lives. I didn’t develop up in an setting the place the humanities was a subject of dialog on the dinner desk or the place we went to galleries and performances on the weekend. Equally I didn’t go to the kind of faculty the place there was sufficient useful resource in place for profession alternatives within the arts to be clearly outlined to me. In school, and rising up within the shadow of the Recession, a profession within the arts simply wasn’t articulated. My approach into the business, as a graduate, was by way of a strategy of trial and error; googling methods to attach with the appropriate individuals all of the whereas working in hospitality or retail.

Stretch will, subsequently, present a core connection level for us all to study from each other irrespective of the place we come from. Whether or not you’re inquisitive about performing some skilled self-development, searching for a profession change, or are simply beginning out within the sector, Stretch might be for you. 

The programme is now reside!

The Stretch programme is now reside and it appears completely tremendous. The diagonal staff has put collectively a wealthy and galvanizing programme with workshops, talks and performances led by and that includes an enormous number of voices inside the arts sector together with Reece McMahon, Peter Laycock and I Like Networking founder Isabel Sachs. 

If you happen to’re inquisitive about discovering out extra in regards to the programme, you head to Diagonal Dance’s designated Stretch website or be a part of the Stretch group on Slack.

We hope to see you there!