Step Up: Dance Project has announced its Open Call for recent dance graduates to apply for the 2018 programme.
Step Up: Dance Project is a partnership between Dance Limerick, Dance Ireland, the Irish World Academy for Music
and Dance at the University of Limerick and the Arts Council. It aims to bridge the gap between dance education and professional contemporary dance practice in Ireland. The programme comprises 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 your professional networks by connecting you to the Irish contemporary dance community, thereby improving your professional opportunities in Ireland.
This programme includes:
1. Creation and Performance of a new dance piece with Choreographer Catherine Young
Catherine is a Dance Ireland Associate Artist and a UK Bench Fellow. Her most recent works include 'Ultima Thule', 'Woman Stood Regardless' and 'Welcoming the Stranger' which opened the 2017 Ramallah Contemporary Dance Festival in Palestine. She is a guest lecturer/choreographer on the BA and MA programmes at the University of Limerick and has worked and studied with many international choreographers and companies including Nacera Belaza (Alg/Fr), Lacina Coulibaly (Kongo BA Tereia Dance Company (Africa), Retina Dance Company (UK/Belgium), Wendy Houstoun (UK) and Hofesh Shechter Company (UK).
Catherine has been commissioned to create a new work with this year’s Step Up participants which will be
performed in Limerick, Galway, Cork and Dublin. Further information about Catherine Young is available at
2. Learning and Performing Repertory with Choreographers John Scott and Daniel Squire
This element of Step Up 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) from Monday 30 July to Saturday 11 August. 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. In 2018, the two repertory pieces will be performed and toured in a mixed bill along with the newly commissioned.
3. Development Workshop and Information Sessions
Increasingly, independent dance artists are required to initiate their own opportunities and to manage their own projects. Running over 2 days in November, the workshop will include:
• Meeting key personnel within the dance field in Ireland
• Developing a portfolio for presenters and for funding applications
• Writing about your work
At the end of the training, participants will have a toolkit or road map for taking the next steps in their career
4. Independent Development / Study
This element of Step Up facilitates further opportunity for your professional development. It offers a menu of options from which you may choose one element (see sample menu below). Alternatively, you may initiate a development area of your own. The Step Up Programme Manager will assist with initiating the appropriate conversations with the chosen organisations.
• 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.
Time frame / Key Dates
The full rehearsal / performance period for the creation of new work with Catherine Young and the Rep Artists, John Scott and Daniel Squire, will run from Monday 30 July – Saturday 8 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 Galway, Cork and Dublin 6-8 September.
Terms & Conditions
• Rehearsals will take place 10.00 – 6.00 pm daily Monday to Saturday for the duration of the rehearsal period. Should additional hours in the evening be required, participants are expected to be available for these too.
• 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.
• Tour accommodation and tour travel as required, will be arranged and paid for by Step Up.
• A stipend of €150 weekly will be paid to each participant
• Participants must be available on an exclusive basis for the full programme.
We are seeking applications from exceptional young dancers who will graduate in summer 2018 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 personal statement describing why you would like to be involved in Step Up and confirming your availability for the full programme.
Applicants should also send web links of recent live dance footage, to include:
• 10 minutes of contemporary technique class material, ideally of you performing during the class in which you learnt it. If not, then footage of you performing the material outside of the class setting is also acceptable.
• An excerpt of a solo (performed in a studio or live performance)
• An excerpt of a group piece, in a studio or live performance
• Please identify yourself clearly (in group footage) so we know who you are
Applications should be submitted via email by 5pm Monday 5 March to firstname.lastname@example.org with
Step Up Application in the subject line.
A shortlist of applicants will be invited to audition in Limerick in March. Six dancers will then be selected from audition to take part in the Step Up 2018 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 email@example.com.
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