It’s week three for me here, giving my full working energy to Dance Mama and behind the scenes I am peddling away in developing my ideas to best serve you. Amongst one of my many Post-it note a-plenty ideas is how to reach you in person, and I am happy to remind/alert you that on Friday 23 November I will be leading one of the afternoon breakout sessions at One Dance UK’s wonderfully diverse, annual conference, Leading the Way at Leeds College of Music. I am hugely grateful to One Dance UK for giving a great amount of time for this hugely valuable issue, building on their previous research into dance and parenting with Vincent Dance Theatre in 2008.
The break-out session I am curating is entitled, ‘Pregnant Pause?’ with the added question mark (Ron Burgundy impression optional) to pose this rhetorical question to delegates from across the industry. I am hugely privileged to say that this session will open with Dr Steve Ingham, BSc, PhD, FBASES, who is one of the UK’s leading figures in sport and Director of Supporting Champions. He has trained a vast number of sports people including many Olympians, but most importantly from a Dance Mama point of view, Athlete Mama, Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill. Hearing him talk about his approach to supporting her to win a World Title and Silver Medal at the 2016 Olympics is incredibly inspiring and I am so pleased that the dance world will have this great opportunity to meet from him. There is much we can learn from him, and the sports-world at large.
The session is also a great opportunity for delegates to hear Anna Ehnold-Danailov, Co-Founder of Parents In Performing Arts (PIPA) Campaign who will be joining us. She will be telling us all about the latest developments in the campaign. This includes new data from their Balancing Act Survey in partnership with Birkbeck University, their recently launched My Family Care pilot scheme and future plans. PIPA have been championing parents in performing arts on and off-stage across theatre, music and dance since 2016, and have enlisted many major companies and organisations across the sectors to their Best Practice charter with enormous success.
I will then round off before Q&As by giving an overview of Dance Mama and future plans. This will include frank conversation about my Dance Mama journey and some highlights of featured case studies to date – in particular Lucy Balfour, Rambert. I was honoured to connect Lucy together with Dr Steve Ingham earlier in the year before her maternity leave – they shot this great podcast. I will be guiding delegates through as an interactive task based on conversation prompt resources devised during Lucy’s pregnancy.