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Creation of One Dance UK

Posted on December 18, 2015


One Dance UK is a new industry body created by the merger of the Association of Dance of the African Diaspora, Dance UK, National Dance Teachers Association and Youth Dance England. A registered charity, it will provide services for young people, teachers and training institutions, professional dancers, choreographers, companies and producers. It aims to provide a single, more powerful voice for dance, a central knowledge hub, professional development opportunities and performance platforms. The new body will be based outside London.

One Dance UK was launched at the Royal Society of Medicine in London on December 7, with 450 dance professionals in attendance and hundreds more watching online: visit to see the footage. Speakers included Arlene Phillips, Alistair Spalding, artistic director of Sadler’s Wells, and deputy chief executive of Arts Council England, Althea Efunshile. Harlequin Floors, a long-term supporter of Dance UK’s Healthier Dancer programme and National Institute of Dance Medicine and Science, becomes One Dance UK’s principal sponsor.

Key programmes for One Dance UK’s first three years have also been announced. U.Dance, the national youth dance festival, will be expanded and presented at The Lowry, Salford in July 2016. More than £145,000 will be invested in leadership development benefitting dancers and teachers. There will be a national conference for choreographers in 2016 and development opportunities and performance platforms for artists working in dance of the African diaspora. In 2018, a new flagship exhibition and digital platform will be launched to celebrate the last 70 years of British dance.  One Dance UK has been funded by Arts Council England, the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation and the Paul Hamlyn Foundation.  

Picture: dance professionals at the One Dance UK launch. Photograph: Elliott Franks



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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