100 days of being CEO’s

Vision Vision Vision: 100 days of being Creative Directors & CEOs


We wanted to introduce ourselves and say hello in our first weeks as joint Creative Director and Chief Executive. We are Tia Hassan and Kate Scanlan, independent creative producers. We share 40 years of creative practice in dance and the broader arts, and we are immensely proud and excited to have joined the incredible East London Dance Team.

Before we started, a brilliant female leader and our mentor Jacqueline Rose (Senior Manager Strategy & Programmes, Culture and Creative Industries Unit, Greater London Authority) asked us what sort of leadership did we want to bring to East London Dance? We’re sure our team, artists and audiences were wondering the same thing. Our staff and artists are the most valuable resource and without them we are nothing. This new building and this moment of change is our opportunity to be courageous, inclusive, imaginative, generous and joyful. We want to create an environment of mutual trust, create strong connections between the people and the building, that ultimately makes space for creativity and innovation and will remind us all that what we do ties us into something greater.

We are thrilled that the East London Dance Board made such a modern decision for the future leadership of the organisation. Two female working dance mums bringing a wide and deep skillset to the leadership of the organisation as a job share. Whilst we prefer to call ourselves co-directors, the coming together of two people in this role is a fresh take on leadership, and one that we relish.

In business you hear of the ‘first 100 days’, a concept around what you do in leadership to make your mark after taking on a leadership position. For us, this is a critical period of deep listening. Listening to everyone who has contributed to this organisation, to everyone who is passionate about the organisation and to those who want to discuss how we do things and who we become. We are committed to the roots and the aspirations of the organisation, its team and the communities it serves. As we open our new building, The Talent House, with music partner UD, we will be creating and innovating, developing our process as we build a future looking organisation.

Articulating a direction of travel while leading and managing huge change does not necessarily feel complimentary. However, our clear vision and passion is going to be our North Star, guiding us as we travel into the unknown and write new rules along the way to help take direction. We are holding onto this, whilst continuously asking ourselves big questions such as what does success look like? What does scale and growth look like in the organisation? How do we make this financially sustainable? 

As co-directors we are a tag team, we bounce ideas off each other, support each other and together want to lead the team to create the organisation of our dreams.

“What about me”, we hear you say? It’s critical that we listen to you too. If you’d like to come see the building and talk with us, please do get in touch. Success is about relationships, so it critical we build relationships with you so that together we build the community whilst creating future-looking opportunities. Get in touch. We would love to hear from you.

Peace & love, Tia and Kate