Last weekend I excitedly headed over to the world’s largest dance expo in Earls Court, London – MOVE IT! I was there to be interviewed on The Sofa where esteemed fellow professional dancers including the likes of Sleek Supporter Adam Garcia, Darcey Bussell, Arlene Phillips and Kimberley Wyatt had sat! Alongside the lovely Ellen Chambers, I was there to talk about the Dancers Career Development, a unique and essential charity who helped my Sleek partner in crime, Victoria Marr and I transition from our careers as professional dancers to Sleek Technique founders.
When I first approached my life long friend Victoria two years ago with an idea to bring ballet fitness to women the world over we were both still fully immersed in our dance careers. Victoria’s career as a First Soloist with The Birmingham Royal Ballet and mine as one of a handful of leading West End dancers were flying high. A dancer’s life isn’t necessarily a long one and despite both our 17 year careers we knew looking to the future would be part of the territory. Easier said than done. Dance to dancers is their first love and moving away from that can often be traumatic for many, not to mention expensive and confusing – the ‘what next’ is never easy. But support came our way both financially and emotionally from the incredible DCD team. The DCD has been supporting professional dancers for over 40 years and by helping provide skills and instill confidence into those moving away from a performing career. For Victoria and I the support went even further as we secured invaluable bursaries to help start our business; the one that is now taking the fitness world by storm and that you know as Sleek Technique. (Sleekers please note, when we submitted our business plan to the DCD we had a very different name which makes Victoria and I smile when we think of it now!) And the DCD’s services aren’t just about finding new careers. They include mentoring, workshops, professional and personal development, outreach programs… or just a cup of tea and a chat. Whatever you need as a professional dancer looking to the next chapter, Jennifer, Ellen and the amazing team are there.
Without the support of the Dancers Career Development Victoria and I wouldn’t have been able to realise our dream of bringing Sleek to life. Last weekend I got to thank them for their help in front of thousands of next generation dancers and spread the DCD word. If you know of any professional dancers who you think may benefit from this organisation then please pass on the details or put them in touch with me and I will direct them to the right DCD spot. After all, you never know what professional dancer business the DCD will help next that may benefit us all!
See you in class Sleekers!