A diverse line-up enlightens Stretch

If you’ve been following our journey, you might remember that we have decided to co-create an event with the dance sector; we asked the community what kind of activities, themes, and resources they would like to see as part of Stretch. Many months (and surveys) later, we started crafting the most exciting chapter of this story so far: this diverse line-up you can see now!

Building up a conference programme is no easy task: in 2 days only, how can we create opportunities to discuss the most relevant topics for the sector while helping professionals develop some of their skill sets and networking? We started looking into all these questions with one clear mission: building an event for tomorrow’s dance sector. And to achieve that, what can we do today?

Our answer turned into an exciting and diverse Stretch line-up, including:

  • 9 panel discussions featuring 16 industry-led professionals;
  • 3 professional development workshops;
  • 2 networking slots and 1 after-party;
  • 2 performances curated by the dance magazine Dance Art Journal;

Although many international dance festivals are gradually adding panel discussions into their programmes, it is still challenging to fit those moments into a busy schedule of performances. We want Stretch to fill this gap: prioritising conversations by providing time and space for discussions. And we couldn’t be happier to have a multitude of diverse voices that will share their experience and know-how throughout the event. At the same time, our professional development workshops will provide tools that dance professionals can use in their work, on and off the stage, which includes writing, marketing and leadership. 

Shall we take a look at our line-up of panels and workshops?


Making Dance More Accessible – Production and Programming

With Lydia Wharf (Independent Dance Producer & Manager) and Reece McMahon (Chisenhale Dance Space)

Dancepreneurs and Innovation in the Sector

With Tamar Dixon (One Dance UK, unique tay) and Simone Muller (Dancers Career Development)

Fund Your Creative Career – Institutional vs Alternative Funding

With Johanna Taylor (VAULT Creative Arts) and Jessica Walker (Trade Creatives)

Your Freelance Desk – Accounting and Admin for Freelancers

With Christopher Rodriguez (One Dance UK)

Q&A with Beverley Glean MBE (IRIE! dance theatre)

Diversity, Inclusion and Creating Safe Spaces

With Peter Laycock (Freelance Creative Learning Consultant), Pierre (Mind Ur Head) and Bakani Pick Up (Freelancer)

How to Network within the Sector – Best Practices

With Isabel Sachs (I Like Networking) and Steph Townsend (Movement Connects)

Diversifying your Career Paths – Working with Agencies and Embracing Commercial Work

With Kosta Karakashyan (Studio Karakashyan) and Helen Esther Aschauer (Freelance Director/Choreographer)

Creating Content and Storytelling – Communicating Dance Better

With Rachel Elderkin (Fjord Review, Dance Dialogues Podcast), Sarah Blanc (Moxie Brawl, 2Faced Dance Company)


Leadership Development for Women in Dance

With Avatâra Ayuso (Ava Dance Company, Awa Dance)

Workshop with dance art journal: Dance Writing

With Katie Hagan (dance art journal, Royal Academy of Dance) and Angel Dust (dance art journal, The Albany)

Dance Marketing in Practice

With Antonia Wiese (HdK Associates), Ines Carvalho (diagonal dance, English National Ballet) 

For this edition, London was our first choice as the perfect city to pilot this event, thanks to its talented workforce, a diverse international community, and a wide range of projects and organisations that make the UK dance sector so vivid and unique. After that, it didn’t take long to find our venues, both based in South East London (New Cross and Nunhead): the Moonshot Centre (home of IRIE! dance theatre) and The Ivy House, both community-oriented. 

We can’t wait to welcome you to Stretch. The programme schedule is now fully available on the website, and you can start planning your days and making the most out of your experience. In the meantime, keep an eye on our website, Slack channel, and social media for updates and further announcements.

Let’s Stretch together in March 2023!


Written by Ines Carvalho

Ines advocates contemporary dance in different forms. She strives to create a more accessible language for dance by working as a marketing communications coordinator.

Posted January 26, 2023

Listed in: Events | Featured


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