With one successful cycle of delivery of the Creative Re-Work project behind us, this is a good time to showcase both the model and its impact to date.
The creative sector currently employs 2 million people and is predicted to employ another million by 2030. The highest proportion of creative jobs are in London ( 47%). However, 42% of industry employers site a skills cap issue. This is in part, due to the pandemic which saw the loss of c.55K jobs across music, performing arts and visual arts and a significant drop in the available workforce.
Further education in the arts does not necessarily focus on careers guidance and the majority of dancers and actors can expect to experience repeated periods of worklessness or undertake temporary work in between performances. Additionally, dance and acting are disciplines that require continual practice to maintain requisite skills. However there are limited opportunities to practice for an unemployed creative on a limited budget.
Taking all of this into account and following a number of focus group meetings with our Creative Advisory Board, Rinova devised a programme of activity that would specifically meet the needs of unemployed/economically inactive professionally trained dancers who are currently experiencing a period of workless-ness.
Led by renowned professional dancer and teacher Jenny Hayes (previously of Richard Alston Dance and currently teaching at Rambert/New Adventures/London Contemporary Dance School/Northern School of Contemporary Dance/Centre for Advanced Training at The Place, Laban & Dance East and The Royal Academy of Dance) the team at Rinova devised a varied programme of activities to meet the individual participants needs. Over a period of 12 weeks our cohort of professionally trained but currently unemployed dancers and performers were provided with a combination of the following:
- Pro Dance Classes – devised to enhance their skills, provide a professional and safe environment for practice, exploration and audition preparation withlive music accompaniment.
- 1:2:1 Careers guidance sessions
- Reflective workshops designed to assist in identifying, setting and tracking of both short and longer-term goals.
- Workshops and discussions with professionals on topics of interest such as performance approach in different contexts and career progression routes.
- Repertoire workshops with an established choreographers collaborating on a piece of dance for performance – whilst also experiencing a typical workday of a company dancer.
- Networking opportunities
- Opportunities to work on a group performance and to perform in front of an audience at a community event.
The 2nd cohort has now begun their learning journey, based on feedback from our existing learners we will be including additional sessions including:
- Funding acquisition
- How to manage your portfolio career (only 6.2% of employed dancers have a full time contract)
- Devising your dance show-reel
- Open sharings of current creative work and feedback sessions
- Well being – work/life balance as an Independent dance artist
- Entering the industry. CV focus (aimed specifically at younger participants who have yet to secure professional contracts).
Feedback on this first round of provision has been excellent and the innovative nature of the programme has attracted interest from key stakeholders within the sector. As a result organisations such as East London Dance, Woolwich Works, Jona Dance and Anhelo Collective are looking to work collaboratively with Rinova in the coming months.
To find out more about the Creative Re-Work programme, to enroll or to sign up for a class, please check out the project website.
“The classes gave me the opportunity to connect and reconnect with fellow artists, but also reconnect with my body. Particularly doing Cunningham helped me improve my strength without the formal restrictions of Ballet, so I’m very happy with got the time to dive into it (especially considering that professional Cunningham classes are quite rare in London).”
“As a dancer who just graduated and hasn’t had enough certainty towards my career, this project is like an anchor for me. At least I have something beneficial to do through a weekly basis, and I still got the opportunity to perform and support each other in this project. It is very helpful for me to know what I want to do for my career and how I can develop as a dance artist. I am very grateful for being in this project and meeting so many amazing people.”
“Jenny is totally on it and committed to each of us individually. Creates a really nice atmosphere, that feels inviting and safe.”
“Been able to get back into the routine of training in a dance setting. Have met artists in a similar situation and been able to network with them. Starting to get dance fitness back.”
“Love the way we alternate ballet and Cunningham, it’s great to have technique classes as those are hard to find/expensive.”
“It is so great to be in the space with other dancers who are unemployed to network and connect. It was also a great opportunity to work on rep and perform. I am definitely keen on doing another 1 on 1 session and looking at my showreel material. I am very glad that the programme exists and looking forward to it in the new year.”
“I had the pleasure of working with Rinova for the first time in December 2022 on the New Cross Christmas Carols Production, supporting as Technical Production Manager. The warmness and professionalism from Jenny really makes the working environment a safe, happy and nurturing atmosphere for everyone involved. I would highly recommend working with Rinova and can’t wait to work together again!”
Sir Richard Alston