East London Dance

East Wall Warm-Up, Hannah Anderson-Ricketts, 2016. Photo: Victor Frankowski
Big Dance, Olga Primary School, 2016. Photo: Harriet Guest

About Us

East London Dance is here to champion and grow east London’s dance scene.   

Our doors are open to all. Through our projects, classes, courses and events, we are here for everyone with an interest in expressing themselves through dance. From those with a simple passion for movement, to the creative leaders who go on to form professional dance companies. 

Developing Talent & Building Careers  

We invest in independent dance artists and producers. Providing space, training, time and resources, allowing them to test ideas, learn, collaborate and share work; build their careers, creativity and communities; and unlock their leadership potential.

Building Physical & Mental Wellbeing  

We give young people the opportunity to make the decisions, build confidence and become leaders, as well as developing their dance  and performance skills in a range of styles that speak to them. By building healthier lives with dance and the training that goes with it, we help develop physical health and mental wellbeing.   

Co-creating for Social Change  

We produce and champion boundary-breaking performances and events of all sizes that are led by and bring together artists, producers and participants from our local communities. Trusting in their ambition and placing them at the centre of our decision making is how we give light to the issues that matter and drive the social change we all desire.

Making Locally Rooted Connections  

We create pathways where they’re lacking or don’t currently exist. We connect communities and the cultural sector; collaborate locally, nationally and internationally; bring world renowned artists to mentor and inspire creatives; and embed positive role models within local communities, sharing valuable, confidence-building life skills. We are a catalyst for creativity.  

Providing Accessibility & Inclusivity  

East London Dance is committed to inclusivity, equity and accessibility and to representation of the diverse east London communities we serve. We welcome and celebrate all protected characteristics across our programme participants, audiences and staff.  

We are always working hard to be an anti-racist organisation.

We subscribe to the mandates set out by the #BAMEover and #WeShallNotBeRemoved campaigns. We listen to and learn from our participants, artists and communities to continually improve how we interact with and treat people, as an organisation and as individuals, and to strengthen the relevance and accessibility of our offer.

Collabo, Rugged Estate, 2016. Photo: Stephen Ambrose

Our Behaviours & Values

We believe that actions speak louder than words, so our values are rooted in our behaviours.

We lead

We’re here to grow east London’s dance scene — that means we push boundaries and make bold choices.

We champion

We back authentic expression and true representation of the diverse voices of east London.

We stand together

Like friends and family, we’ve got each other’s backs. We embed positive role models in the communities we serve.

We pioneer

We create boundary-breaking performances and events that challenge conventions and explore contemporary themes.

We welcome

We are accessible to everyone in the community who is passionate about dance. On or off the stage, we can support your growth.

East Wall Warm-Up, Becky Namgauds, 2016. Photo: Ben Stanley

Our Heritage

East London Dance has come a long way in the last three decades – we weren’t even called East London Dance when we started! But the creative energy and dynamism that emerges when artists and communities are brought together, has been a foundation of our work from those very early days right thought to the present.

Read our 30th Anniversary Impact Report here 

1987

Formed as East London Regional Dance Council by local dance teachers to enable schools and local community groups to work with professional dancers and companies

1994

Became regularly funded by what later became Arts Council England

1996

Relaunched with new name, East London Dance, becoming a regional dance development agency and registered charity

2001

Moved into Stratford Circus Arts Centre as a Founding Resident Partner and formed Leap of Faith

2002

Established the East London Youth Dance Company

2004

Began 10-year partnership with the Royal Opera House to create new work with young people and professional artists inspired by its opera programme

2006

Established London Thames Gateway Dance Partnership with Chisenhale Dance Space, Greenwich Dance, Trinity Laban and 10 local authorities to position dance at the forefront of social and urban regeneration 

2009

Became the Big Dance hub for east London, securing four-year investment from Legacy Trust UK to take dance into unusual spaces in 2010 and 2012

2012

Delivered a far-reaching and ambitious programme for London 2012 Cultural Olympiad and launched training programme The Fi.ELD (Future Innovators. East London Dance)

2013

Produced a special performance for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee performed in the gardens at Buckingham Palace and broadcast to over 3 million viewers on BBC1

2016

Formed Dance Cluster East with Sadler’s Wells, English National Ballet and Studio Wayne McGregor to create a world-leading hub for dance in east London 

2018

Produced East Wall in the moat of the Tower of London, with Hofesh Shechter Company, Historic Royal Palaces and LIFT, which was later named in the top 10 best dance of the 21st Century by The Guardian

2021

Established a new home for East London Dance and our creative communities at The Talent House as part of Sugar House Island alongside music partner, UD

1000 Pieces Puzzle, 2016. Photo: Carmen Klammer

Our Team

East London Dance has a small, committed and dynamic staff team.

We also regularly host work placements

We have a strong and experienced Board of Trustees:

Moira Sinclair (Chair)

Moira is Chief Executive of the Paul Hamlyn Foundation. She is Vice Chair of the London Mayor’s Cultural Strategy Board, and also a member of the British Library Advisory Council, of the Investment Committee for the Arts Impact Fund and of the Governing Council for the European Foundation Centre. Previously she was Executive Director London and South East at Arts Council England.

Graham Ambrose

Graham is a Managing Director at Goldman Sachs. He advises institutional investors with regard to equity investments, and specialises in the Asia-Pacific region, where he lived for 8 years during the 1990s.

Jairaj Amin

Jairaj is a finance, property and private equity specialist, and he is the Founding Partner of Bruton Capital LLP working in both the UK and EU.

Fionnuala Hogan

Fionnuala heads strategy and investment for alternative asset classes for a family office led boutique, in addition to working as an independent consultant with companies on business strategy, organisational growth and funding. She brings over 20 years experience of corporate advisory, restructuring and financing to companies she works with, with previous senior roles spanning larger corporates and start-up environments. In addition to ELD, she is also a governor of the Southbank Centre and was previously a Trustee of Tomorrow’s Warriors.

Laura Jones

Laura is a Senior Dance Artist and Interim Artist Director of Stopgap Dance Company. As well as performing globally, she was a Dance Captain for the London 2012 Paralympic Opening Ceremony, and choreographed the 2016 Heritage Flame Ceremony. She has extensive teaching experience and a growing range of advocacy and consultancy work within the field of disability dance.

Yemisi Turner-Blake

Yemisi is a Grants Manager at Paul Hamlyn Foundation. He has extensive experience as an Artist Practitioner having led and produced participatory arts projects in the UK and internationally with organisations including Southbank Centre, Sadler’s Wells and The British Council.

Paul Woodmansey

Paul is a communications professional currently heading up the PR for digital film, music and video games at Amazon.co.uk. Paul most recently led the communications for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games Opening & Closing Ceremonies, the Cultural Olympiad and associated the education programme.

We also work with a vast range of freelance artists, practitioners, producers, technicians and consultants.

Dancing Landscapes. Photo: Hugo Glendinning

Support Us

As a registered charity, we are based in the most deprived borough in London and the third most deprived in the UK. We must fundraise half of our annual turnover from private sources, including individual donations and corporate sponsorship.

Visit here to find out how you can support us.

East Wall Warm-Up, Erion Kruja, 2016. Photo: Ben Cooper-Melchiors

Work With Us

Vacancies

We advertise all our job vacancies on our Opportunities pages.

Work Experience and Internships

We offer work experience to young people who live in east London. There is high demand for this so we set up opportunities through local schools and offer several work experience opportunities a year.

We also offer internships through the Creative Employment Programme, higher education institutes and occasionally on individual request.

Teach for Us

We have an Artist Bank of dance teachers and practitioners that lead our classes and projects. If you would like to join this Artist Bank and be considered for teaching opportunities, please email your CV to office@eastlondondance.org. We review CVs quarterly and will be in touch if we would like to meet you.

Volunteering

We often offer volunteering opportunities on our projects. If you are interested in volunteering with us please visit our Opportunities pages to see if there is anything on offer at the moment.

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