Connecting the dance business with Stretch

Katie Hagan, founding father of Stretch associate 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 sensible, empowering and actually deliver folks 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 come back collectively; to get out of our silos, share information and experiences, and be taught from each other.

Networking is essential

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 largest information gaps out of all of the performing artwork sectors. Over 40% of individuals surveyed don’t assume there are enough networking alternatives, with many graduates not realizing 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 in addition 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 several contexts – possibly you’re a producer and wish to attempt extra neighborhood work? – and likewise ensures you may hold issues recent and meet new folks. 

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

It goes with out saying then that occasions reminiscent of Stretch are notably necessary for folks coming from working-class backgrounds like myself, the place they discover there are quite a few financial and social limitations to accessing the humanities throughout their lives. I didn’t develop up in an atmosphere 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. At college, and rising up within the shadow of the Recession, a profession within the arts simply wasn’t articulated. My method into the business, as a graduate, was by way of a means of trial and error; googling methods to attach with the suitable folks all of the whereas working in hospitality or retail.

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

The programme is now stay!

The Stretch programme is now stay 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 throughout the arts sector together with Reece McMahon, Peter Laycock and I Like Networking founder Isabel Sachs. 

For those who’re eager about discovering out extra concerning the programme, you head to Diagonal Dance’s designated Stretch website or be part of the Stretch neighborhood on Slack.

We hope to see you there!