Dancing Through Crises

    Project Details


    Our project has assessed the direct impacts of Covid-19 and Brexit on freelance dance artists, who constitute 70% of the UK dance scene, but who can be seen as a marginalised group due to their low income levels and the inadequacy of public support schemes during this period of crises. It has sought to lend a voice to freelancers – as well as national institutions and organisations employing or otherwise interacting with freelance practitioners – to raise awareness and offer a tailored approach to policy making with a view to maintaining and increasing diversity in UK dance.

    We collected first-hand data through interviews, questionnaires and a discussion forum from key stakeholders in the field, to ground our policy recommendations on the experience of those artists directly affected. Conducting research into the challenges faced by freelance dance professionals is vital as it may inform decision-making about changes to be implemented at individual, institutional and arts policy level. We gave particular attention to the artists’ national and ethnic backgrounds, ages, ability levels, and socio-economic situations.

    Our questioning was threefold, pertaining to the impacts of Covid-19 and Brexit on the UK freelance dance scene, and in particular considering their impact on diversity. Accordingly, the voices of a range of freelance practitioners from diverse backgrounds (e.g. respondents working in integrated companies, of colour, of different career and age groups) were included. We also interviewed, and invited to our discussion forum, key stakeholders from various world-renowned companies (e.g. Akram Khan Company, Hofesh Shechter), theatres (e.g. Sadler’s Wells) and smaller independent organisations, agencies and funding bodies who deal with freelance artists, to understand the institutional perspective.
    Effective start/end date15/01/2131/03/21