Thursday, 16 March, 2017 - 19:11

Step Up: Dance Project has announced its Open Call for recent dance graduates to apply for the 2017 programme.

Step Up is a partnership between Dance Limerick, Dance Ireland, the Irish World Academy at the University of Limerick and the Arts Council, which aims to bridge the gap between dance education and professional contemporary dance practice in Ireland.
Step Up Dance Project is a programme of training, rehearsals, performance and personal development for six selected dancers who have completed their professional training within the last three years. The programme will enhance these dancers’ professional networks by connecting them to the Irish contemporary dance community, thereby improving their professional opportunities in Ireland.

The programme includes:
- Creation and Performance of a new dance piece by Choreographer Gary Clarke (UK).
The rehearsal / performance period will run from Monday 31 July – Saturday 2 September using state of the art studios and facilities at the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance at UL initially, and then at Dance Limerick, before touring to Cork, Galway and Dublin. Accommodation will be provided for the first part of rehearsals on campus at UL, and subsequently in artist-friendly houses in the city for the second period of rehearsals. Performances will take place on 30 August- 2 September at Dance Limerick, Firkin Crane in Cork and DanceHouse in Dublin respectively. Further information about Gary Clarke is available

- The Repertory Programme - Learning and Performing Repertory:
This element of the Step Up programme enables dancers to work with two choreographers on the reconstruction/setting of existing choreography. Participants will gain an understanding of choreographic ideas and their historical context, and will develop their technical and performance skills through different working practices, genres and techniques, resulting in a final public sharing.

The Repertory Programme will take place over two weeks (12 days) with a prominent Irish choreographer and one other choreographer (either national or international, to be announced shortly). In addition to the training, the Repertory Programme enables participants to work with choreographers beyond what would be available in a day-long workshop or audition, thereby facilitating a more embedded connection between choreographers and participants.

- Dancers as Entrepreneurs:
Increasingly, independent dancers and dance artists are required to work in an entrepreneurial fashion, initiating opportunities for themselves and managing their own projects. This programme will run over 2 days, also in November. Examples of topics are:

• Developing a portfolio for presenters and for funding applications
• Writing funding applications / writing about your work
• Introduction to producing projects
At the end of the training, participants will have a toolkit or road map for initiating and managing their own projects.

- Personal Development:
This element of the Step Up programme facilitates further opportunity for the professional development of young dancers. It offers a menu of options from which participants may choose one element (see sample menu below).
• Working with an artist-in-residence to deliver a particular aspect of the artist’s local programme.
• Working with a company during its research period towards the creation of a new dance piece.
• Taking a series of classes or training opportunities at Dance Ireland, Firkin Crane or Dance Limerick.
• Working with the Light Moves Festival in a developmental capacity. This might be on audience development, volunteer co-ordination etc.
• Working with a mentor to develop critical writing skills with a view to reviewing dance performances.
• Developing knowledge around working with socially engaged practice by participating in events or workshops organised by Create, the national development agency for collaborative arts.
Alternatively, participants may initiate an area of their own in which they wish to develop. The Step Up Programme Manager will assist with initiating the appropriate conversations with the chosen organisations.

We are seeking applications from exceptional young dancers who will graduate in summer 2017 or who have graduated from professional level dance training within the past three years. Applicants must be born in, or resident in the Republic of Ireland and have a strong dance technique.
Please send your CV and a web link of recent dance footage, along with a one-page cover letter describing why you would like to be involved in the project. Please include an indication of your availability to participate in the whole programme.
Please e-mail applications by the deadline - 5pm Monday 24 April - to with Step Up Application in the subject line.
A shortlist of applicants will be invited to audition in May. Six dancers will then be selected from audition to take part in the Step Up 2017 programme. Letters of offer will be sent immediately following the audition.
Queries on the application / process can be addressed to Jenny Traynor, Programme Director at


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Dance Limerick exists to support the development of professional dance artists within the Limerick region and beyond.

Through a combination of performance platforms, residency opportunities, master classes, talks and lectures, Dance Limerick will advocate for artistic dialogue and exchange. In collaboration with dance artists across a range of practices, Dance Limerick will promote the creation of new and innovative work and will devise programmes of access, engagement and participation for the wider public.

Based at the premises of the former Daghdha Dance Company, Dance Limerick houses offices and a fully equipped studio space along with a separate performance venue known as the Daghda Space

Further information about facilities and opportunities for professional dance artists available from Jenny Traynor at