Connecting the dance trade 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 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 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. Certain, I’d been to occasions catered to every of those disciplines, that are sensible, empowering and actually convey 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 data and experiences, and study from each other.

Networking is vital

The urgent want for an occasion the place data and experiences might be shared was highlighted in a latest 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 assume there are adequate networking alternatives, with many graduates not figuring out 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 additionally for these desirous to be in it.

For these already within the trade, there may be a lot worth in creating networking alternatives. It offers them the prospect to upskill to allow them to maybe work in numerous contexts – perhaps you’re a producer and need to attempt extra group work? – and in addition ensures you may hold issues recent and meet new folks. 

Alternatives comparable to Stretch are additionally big for these beginning out within the trade, comparable to graduates, and for individuals 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 notably necessary for folks 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 setting 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 college 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 approach into the trade, as a graduate, was by means 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 study from each other irrespective of the place we come from. Whether or not you’re considering 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 crew has put collectively a wealthy and galvanizing 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. 

For those who’re considering 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!