"Brexit put us in the fridge, Covid in the freezer”: The impact of Covid-19 and Brexit on UK freelance dance artists

Alexandra Kolb, Haitzinger Nicole

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This article investigates how Covid-19 and Brexit have impacted the practices, finances and wellbeing of UK dance professionals, drawing on first-hand data collected in early 2021 from interviews, questionnaires and a panel discussion. The testimonies of freelance practitioners from different backgrounds, as well as key stakeholders from national institutions and organisations employing or otherwise interacting with freelancers, present bottom-up insights from the scene. Our research project more specifically explored the ramifications of the pandemic and Brexit, and the impact of these crises on the diversity of the UK dance scene (broadly construed). The voices and findings presented are framed by a discussion of the economic and political infrastructure of the so-called ‘creative industries’ in the country, with particular attention to the freelance creative labour model, risk and precarity. The article concludes by proposing a politics of small resistive steps which might help to mitigate these challenges, working from within the dance ecosystem.
Original languageEnglish
JournalDance Research
Issue number1
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 12 Dec 2022

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