Connecting the dance trade 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 instructed me about Stretch and their motivations for making a dance occasion for everybody, I bear in mind instantly feeling how a lot it was wanted. While I’ve solely labored within the dance trade for round 5 years – I’m at all times 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 good, empowering and actually deliver folks 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 information and experiences, and study from each other.

Networking is vital

The urgent want for an occasion the place information and experiences will be shared was highlighted in a current 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 suppose there are ample 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 trade but in addition for these desirous to be in it.

For these already within the trade, 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 – possibly you’re a producer and wish to strive extra group work? – and in addition ensures you may preserve issues contemporary and meet new folks. 

Alternatives comparable to Stretch are additionally large for these beginning out within the trade, comparable 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 comparable to Stretch are significantly vital 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 trade, as a graduate, was via a technique of trial and error; googling methods to attach with the fitting folks 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 regardless of the place we come from. Whether or not you’re desirous about doing a little 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 dwell!

The Stretch programme is now dwell and it appears completely tremendous. The diagonal crew 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. 

In the event you’re desirous 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!