Pregnancy & Parenthood in Dance
2008 - ongoing
‘Vincent has long felt that female directors are second-class citizens in the dance world, left to mother their companies, never fast-tracked – but this feminist subtext never overpowers Look at Me Now, Mummy.’ The Observer, 2008
In December 2009, Vincent Dance Theatre published Pregnancy and Parenthood – the Dancer’s Perspective, a research report exploring the issues surrounding pregnancy and the subsequent challenges of returning to work for professional dancers and dance companies. Initiated by Charlotte Vincent and delivered with Dance UK and Creative & Cultural Skills, the research looks at ways in which dance companies and choreographers can better support female performers during and after pregnancy, and how mothers and fathers can continue to work, perform and tour.
Research activity was carried out from summer 2008 until early 2009, with more than 300 UK companies and choreographers contacted by VDT via Dance UK and Equity’s membership, companies and projects funded by Arts Council England, Scottish Arts Council, Arts Council of Wales, Arts Council of Northern Ireland and the DCMS. The research was also publicised in the dance press, with articles in The Dancing Times, online in Juice and via dance-related blogs and networking sites.
Dancers were asked about their experience of working in dance as a parent, what kinds of extra support could have helped them, and also about the career decisions they had made and why. Choreographers, artistic directors and managers were asked about their experience of working with pregnant dancers and parents, what support they been able to provide, and what else they would have liked to do.
The resulting report, available to download on this page as a PDF, draws together their responses and makes practical recommendations as to how companies and choreographers can be more family-friendly. 6 case studies detail the experience of practitioners ranging from independent artists to a large ballet company, and a wealth of information, including model maternity/paternity policies, good practice guidelines and signposts to statutory information, is contained in the report’s appendices.
Hard copies of the report are available on request – please contact VDT on 01273 911616 or firstname.lastname@example.org