Connecting the dance business with Stretch

Katie Hagan, founding father of Stretch companion 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 suppose I’ve ever actually come throughout a conference-style day of dance that brings all disciplines (artists, entrepreneurs, PRs, producers, designers, et al) collectively. Certain, I’d been to occasions catered to every of those disciplines, that are sensible, empowering and actually carry individuals from one specialism collectively. However within the absence of an occasion for all people there was a chance for somebody like diagonal to create a spot for all to return collectively; to get out of our silos, share data and experiences, and be taught from each other.

Networking is essential

The urgent want for an occasion the place data and experiences may be shared was highlighted in a current survey carried out by diagonal. Dance has one of many greatest data gaps out of all of the performing artwork sectors. Over 40% of individuals surveyed don’t suppose 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’s a lot worth in creating networking alternatives. It offers them the prospect to upskill to allow them to maybe work in several contexts – perhaps you’re a producer and wish to strive extra group work? – and in addition ensures you may preserve issues contemporary and meet new individuals. 

Alternatives equivalent to Stretch are additionally large for these beginning out within the business, equivalent to 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 equivalent to Stretch are notably 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 surroundings 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 means into the business, as a graduate, was by a strategy of trial and error; googling methods to attach with the fitting individuals all of the whereas working in hospitality or retail.

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

The programme is now reside!

The Stretch programme is now reside and it seems completely tremendous. The diagonal staff has put collectively a wealthy and provoking 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. 

Should you’re enthusiastic 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!