'A Night with Boy Blue', dress rehearsal in the Barbican Theatre on Thursday 31st May 2018. Photo by Mark Allan

We Move, a consortium of nine leading hip hop dance companies and organisations is delighted to announce that applications are now open for a unique 9-month leadership training programme for members of the hip hop dance community, funded for the next two years by an Arts Council England Transforming Leadership Grant.

At a time of transformational change in hip hop dance – with three hip hop dance companies joining the Arts Council’s National Portfolio in 2019 and demand from audiences on the rise –  Artists4Artists, Avant Garde Dance, Boy Blue, Breakin’ Convention, East London Dance, Impact Dance, Uchenna Dance, University of East London and ZooNation: The Kate Prince Company have joined forces to co-design a training and support programme for the next generation of hip hop leaders.

Applications are now open (date) and the consortium are looking to invest in 10 aspiring hip hop dance creatives and producers who want to represent the hip hop community and culture, are passionate about raising the profile of hip hop dance in theatre and want to be the voice of change in the arts sector.

Sylvia, ZooNation - The Kate Prince Company. Photo by Johan Persson
Sylvia, ZooNation – The Kate Prince Company. Photo by Johan Persson

Created by the hip hop community for the hip hop community, We Move aims to ready the next generation of artform leaders to ensure a sustainable, representative infrastructure for hip hop and to influence key decision-making within the wider cultural sector.

The programme is designed to reach people who may not self-identify as leaders or have the resources or self-belief to take part in a traditional leadership programme, but who have the potential to bring powerful change to the arts sector.

“We have convened this consortium of pioneering hip hop leaders to pave the way for the next generation and evolve the faces, perspectives and experiences of cultural decision makers and influencers in this country to ensure hip hop dance theatre thrives.”

Polly Risbridger, Chief Executive and Artistic Director, East London Dance

“Traditionally hip hop grows talent from within the community so there is a great opportunity to develop strong, hip hop producers who then go onto advocate across culture and influence how work is commissioned, produced & presented across the arts sector.”

Jonzi D, Artistic Director, Breakin’ Convention

Production meeting, Collabo. Photo by Stephen Ambrose
Production meeting, Collabo. Photo by Stephen Ambrose

The programme takes place across locations in London over a series of one and two day sessions from April to December 2020. Two-day intensives will see ‘soft’ skills development; masterclasses from inspirational guest speakers and current leaders; and support bespoke leadership plans for individuals throughout the programme. One-day industry skills workshops will be topic-specific to develop key producing skills. In addition, the programme will include action learning sets, board shadowing, mentoring sessions and an opportunity to pitch for personal development bursaries and paid work placements in the arts sector.

The consortium is looking nationally for hip hop dance theatre producers and creatives with at least 5 years’ experience; who are committed and passionate about hip hop dance and culture; have a serious desire to impact the cultural sector, inspire social change through the arts and innovate in hip hop theatre; have determination to move their career to the next level; are open to learning new ways of working; and are willing to reflect on and develop their skills.

The application deadline is Friday 13 March, 12 noon. Further information and the application form can be found here:  eastlondondance.org/opportunities/we-move-applications