Dance Consortia North West



Mar 2019: Calling North West based Dance Artists and Mentors

Today, Dance Consortia North West launches its first initiative, a new mentoring scheme for Dance Artists.

This is in direct response to the needs expressed in a survey of nearly 100 dance artists across the North West. Mentoring can be implemented quickly and cost-effectively to address these professional needs, and has the potential to shift significantly the prospects and development of the artistic community.

Mentoring is a tried a tested approach widely used in the arts. Utilising the vast riches of expertise and knowledge both within and increasingly beyond the dance sector, including the insight of artists themselves, is an utterly bespoke way to support artists' practice, careers and learning.

To find a mentor to work with to tackle both short and long term ambitions is something the Consortia can enable from the outset. Whether its about 'refining the way I communicate about my work' or 'looking at the challenge of choreographing a full-length piece with new creative collaborators', there is advice and support available.

Whatever your ambitions in dance, your area of practice, whatever you're background, working with a mentor may well be an effective way to make progress. If you think this could be for you, read on.....

We're really keen this initiative responds to the diversity agenda. Mentoring can respond well to diverse needs through its person-centred approach and by using the breadth of mentors across the Consortia. In turn, it will support and develop more diverse voices within the artistic community over time.

Equally, if you think you could offer artists the benefit of knowledge and expertise you've already developed, join those Consortia members who’ve already agreed to become a mentor on the scheme by reading on....

You can apply to be a mentor for others as well as a mentee. Pairing will be progressed sensitively and by careful agreement of both mentee and mentor. Applications (including a video option) sought by 17th April.

Feb 2019: A New Era For Dance in the North West

Dance Consortia North West (DCNW) is progressing a new vision for collaborative dance development in the region having secured £48k strategic investment from Arts Council England for the first year of a four year intervention. To drive this vision forward, DCNW have appointed Ivan Wadeson as Partnerships Director.  

Ivan has over 20 years’ experience in leadership roles in the cultural sector in the North West.  His role will establish new collaborative commissioning and talent development opportunities for dance artists and companies. By year four, the vision for DCNW is a truly connected dance ecology that draws in substantial new investment for artists and artistic production, supports entrepreneurialism and pioneers new models of touring and distribution.

Ivan Wadeson, until recently Chief Executive at The Dukes in Lancaster, will lead on establishing the infrastructure and conditions for long-lasting partnerships, linking the region’s 100+ member strong independent dance artist network Artist-Led for Artists (ALFA), NW Dance HE Consortium of universities, arts venues and promoters, dance agencies and companies.

DCNW is democratic in its thinking and is fast becoming a powerful alliance responsive to the strengths, needs and specialisms of the region’s artists and organisations and to the North West geography, whilst also learning from and collaborating with the wider dance and cultural sector including the new Dance Hubs created in Leeds, Birmingham and elsewhere.

Ivan Wadeson said: “I'm thrilled to take on the role of Partnerships Director for Dance Consortia North West. This role will draw on different aspects of my experience both in terms of art form from my six years at Sadler’s Wells in the 90s and in terms of geography from creating All About Audiences, the first audience development agency for the North West, in the 2000s. However this role and the work of DCNW are both about facing forward. I look forward to harnessing the passion, ambition and expertise of Consortia members to deliver the first phase of the compelling vision for the future of dance development in the North West.”

Cate Canniffe, Director Dance at Arts Council England commented: “We are really pleased to see the dance community in the Northwest coming together to look at how dance can be developed across the whole region over the next four years.  It is great to have someone with Ivan’s experience to lead that work on behalf of the Consortium and we look forward to working with him.

Adam Holloway, Director of Cheshire Dance said: “This is an exciting appointment.  We are all absolutely delighted and this is great timing too. Ivan is joining a highly committed group of artists, professionals and organisations that have come together in the North West to make things happen.  Together we create new opportunities for dance in the broad cultural landscape that would otherwise not be possible.  As a whole group, we are really appreciative of Arts Council England support and investment.  It strengthens the foundations laid so far and increases the growth potential of the dance sector here in the North West.”

For more information or to contact Ivan Wadeson, please email:



The Consortia is a partnership of dance development organisations, venues, companies, independent artists and HE institutions that have co-authored its purpose, ambition and values and secured Arts Council England investment. First established 2 years ago without any funding, it operates through a range of working groups intent on championing dance and inspiring the audiences, artists and professionals of today and tomorrow. Cheshire Dance is an Arts Council England National Portfolio Organisation and is acting as the accountable body for funding relationships for DCNW and employer of the Partnerships Director post. For further information, please contact Adam Holloway, Director of Cheshire Dance, on 01606 861770.

Dance Consortia North West Partners

Executive Group
Cheshire Dance
Co. Chameleon
Dance Manchester
Higher Education Reps
Ludus Dance
Merseyside Dance Initiative
The Lowry
Wired Aerial
Independent Chair, Sue Harrison
Arts Council England observer(s)

Connected Groups
Dance HE NW Consortium
Edge Hill University
Liverpool John Moores University
Liverpool Hope University
Manchester Metropolitan University
Salford University
University of Bolton
University of Central Lancashire
University of Chester
University of Cumbria

Artist Led For Artists (ALFA)
ALFA is a 100+ strong, open membership group of NW dance artists.  It has come together to advocate for dance artists, their connections to the wider dance sector, champion diversity and visibility of artists as well as share resources and knowledge to further the development of the art of dance.

Venues Group
Albert Halls, Bolton
Blackpool Grand
Bluecoat, Liverpool
Brewery Arts Centre, Kendal
Contact, Manchester
Dance House, Manchester
Lyceum, Crewe
Storyhouse, Chester
Theatre by the Lake, Keswick
The Lowry, Salford
New Adelphi, Salford University
Unity Theatre, Liverpool