Dancers Emerging Bursary Scheme

Dancers Emerging Bursary Scheme

Each year Dance Base Scotland recruit four emerging dance / movement artists to join the Dancers Emerging Bursary Scheme (DEBS) – a supportive programme of mentoring, guidance and practical support.

Established in 2008, 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 different practicing artist 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.

During this time DEBS members will receive:

  • Mentoring from an experienced dance artist
  • Free professional classes and workshops at Dance Base from September through to July of the following year
  • Two week-long group residencies at Dance Base
  • Free community classes, by negotiation
  • Free studio space, subject to availability

The DEBS members are recruited through an open call process and each year the selection centres around the expertise of the mentor, with support from Tony Mills, Artistic Director of Dance Base, and Kirsty Somerville, Head of Professional Programme.

For 2023/24 our DEBS members will be Catriona O’Connor, Hannah Draper. Laura Mathana and Rho McGuire, and they will be supported by their mentor Solène Weinachter! Find out more here

If you have any questions of would like any more information please contact Kirsty Somerville, Head of Professional Programme, on 


Meet our 2023/24 DEBS members, and their mentor, choreographer and maker Solène Weinachter!

Past DEBS Members & Mentors

Meet the past members and mentors of the DEBS scheme