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BBC fund’s support for dance

Posted on May 25, 2011


soyouthinkyoucThe BBC Performing Arts Fund is launching two new schemes in support of dance, Community Dance and Dance Fellowships. The fund, a BBC charity committed to developing new performing arts talent in the UK, will be awarding up to £350,000 in grants through the two schemes. This is the first time the charity has supported dance groups and individuals.


Launched on May 24, the Community Dance scheme is now open for applications. It supports grassroots dance groups around the UK, giving grants for training, audience development, encouraging new members and raising the groups’ profiles in the community. Groups can apply for up to £5,000.


The Dance Fellowships scheme will open for applications on June 7. It is designed to support individuals through the early stages of their dance careers. Fellowship winners will be given bespoke placements within dance organisations, helping them to establish themselves in the professional world.


Grants will be awarded to dance companies, organisations, venues and agencies in order to host a BBC Performing Arts Fund fellow. Fellowships will fall into one of three categories: performer, choreographer and producer. The grant will help organisations pay for the cost of hosting the fellowship and support the individual fellow.


Revenue for the BBC Performing Arts Fund comes from the voting lines of BBC One entertainment programmes. In the past eight years, nearly £3.5 million in grants has been awarded through the Fund. The charity, formerly known as the Fame Academy Bursary Trust, has previously supported training in musical theatre. The new focus on dance reflects the fact that the Fund receives money from voting on shows such as “So You Think You Can Dance” (pictured) and “Strictly Come Dancing”. The Fund’s vision is that long-term careers in the arts are achievable and that community groups – given support and guidance – have a key role to play in the development of new talent.


For more information about both new schemes, see

Picture: Tom Shilcock on “So You Think You Can Dance”.



Zoë was born in Edinburgh, and saw her first dance performances at the Festival there. She is the dance critic of The Independent, and has also written for The Independent on Sunday, The Scotsman and Dancing Times. In 2002, she received her doctorate from the University of York for a thesis on “Nationhood and epic romance: Ariosto, Sidney, Spenser”. She is the author of The Royal Ballet: 75 Years and The Ballet Lover’s Companion.

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