Image credit: Tony Mills by Carmen Klammer
Dance Base Scotland are recruiting four emerging dance / movement artists to join the Dancers Emerging Bursary Scheme (DEBS) - a supportive programme of mentoring, guidance and practical support led by Dance Base and our 2022/23 mentor, dance artist and Artistic Director of Dance Base, Tony Mills!
The DEBS programme provides creative mentorship and practical support for emerging movement artists as they hone their practice and navigate their route forward into the professional dance sector. Running from September to June each year, the programme equips artists who have recently completed a period of training, education or practical experience in dance, with the skills, knowledge and confidence to embark on the next stage of their artistic journey, while also providing a strong and supportive relationship with Dance Base, Scotland’s National Centre of Dance, as they continue to develop their practice and creative work.
Each year the DEBS programme welcomes a dance artist based in Scotland to join the programme as the DEBS mentor, enabling the members to benefit directly from their incredible experience and deep understanding of the dance sector.
This year we are welcoming our new Artistic Director Tony Mills to the role!
Tony Mills is a choreographer and performer who has created work for indoor stages, site-specific environments and outdoor spaces. His work is informed by hip hop, physical theatre, clowning, contemporary dance and the use of text. Tony has also programmed and produced theatre evenings, live events and festivals as well as facilitating artist development activities. He joined Dance Base as Artistic Director in September 2021.
“During this year I hope to impart some of the creative tools and processes I have learned over the years, to help you widen your own creative pallet when it comes to making work that goes in front of an audience. This will involve exploring choreographic concepts, improvisation and partnering, utilising principles of clowning in performance and investigating how components like text, objects, costume and music can contribute to your creative process. We will take time to reflect on these processes and there will be opportunity for you to be able to undertake your own creative explorations, both individually and within groups.
Over the course of the year, we will spend some time discussing and tackling the practicalities of developing your dance career, and when possible, see and discuss work together. My focus overall will be to assist you to discover, articulate and lean into your own creative voice and instincts. We will work together to build the tools and confidence to be able to do so.”
- Tony Mills
“During DEBS I achieved more than I thought possible. I hit many career milestones. I had many times when I thought that too much was being asked of me and I navigated this with my mentor’s guidance. I also had a team to celebrate the successes and the experiments. Dance Base has been a great place for me to learn all manner of the skills that are part of being a modern day artist” Past DEBS member
By becoming a DEBS member, you will receive the following from September 2022 to June 2023:
Dance Base recognise that there are significant barriers to working in the dance sector and that these challenges are experienced more acutely by those facing marginalisation and deep-rooted systemic injustice. This includes people with protected characteristics as defined by the Equality Act 2010 across age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation alongside those with chronic illness, neurodiversity, parental/caring responsibilities, experience of the immigration system and people from working-class backgrounds.
We are committed to increasing the diversity of artists working in our sector and especially welcome applications from those who identify as having characteristics currently under-represented in our sector.
To apply for this opportunity please complete the DEBS Application Form
The form will ask for an expression of interest detailing:
You will also be asked to provide:
Please also complete a copy of our Equality Diversity, and Inclusion monitoring form, if you feel comfortable to do so.
Deadline: Monday 4th July, 11:00am
Interviews: Tuesday 12th July
Applicants informed: by Monday 18th July
Autumn Residency Week: Monday 5th - Friday 9th September 2022
Summer Residency Week: April - July 2022, exact dates TBC
The expressions of interest will be read by Tony Mills, mentor and Artistic Director, Kirsty Somerville, Head of Professional Programme at Dance Base, and a member of our Artist Advisory Group. Selected applicants will be invited to attend an online interview with Tony and Kirsty.
Should you wish to have a conversation about the application process, require this information in an alternative format, or have access requirements we need to meet to support you in making an application please contact Kirsty Somerville, Head of Professional Programme, on Kirsty.Somerville@dancebase.co.uk
“One of the most valuable things the DEBS programme has offered me, is a pathway into the professional dance community. It has been somewhat of a stepping stone into taking forward my practice and making and presenting work choreographically as well as connecting with and learning from other early career dance artists, who I carry forward as my peers and friends.” Past DEBS member