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31 May 2024

Image Credit: Alexander Ward

Working at DanceEast is a joy and this role has given me lots of new experiences. To be surrounded by exceptional artists, dance work and creativity is super exciting – whether that’s coordinating residencies, administrating the theatre programme or having a boogie at a festival!

It’s probably a cliché to say that every day is different… but it really is (although each day there’s a guaranteed laugh with work pals).


A day in this role could look like…

9.00am: Cup of tea, check emails, and write to do list…
9.30am: Welcome visiting dance company members performing in the theatre.
10.00am: Attend and take notes at the Artist Development and Theatre Team Meeting (look over artist requests, discuss theatre programming options and share ideas for how we can best support artists and connect with our audience).
11.30am: Draft an application process for Summer Makerspace (open call studio space programme)
1.00pm: Lunch and a walk in the sunshine
2.00pm: Attend a theatre performance briefing (gathering with the dance company and front of house team to check we have all the information we need for the performance in the evening).
3.00pm: Another cup of tea and type up notes from the mornings meeting.
3.30pm: Check in with the Comms and Marketing Team re promoting Summer Makerspace.
4.00pm: Catch up on emails and admin until 5.30pm (sometimes followed by chips and a pint/lemonade with the team before watching the evening performance!)

Being based at the Jerwood DanceHouse is special. The building and facilities are wonderful, but I love being able to walk along Ipswich Waterfront (even better with an ice-cream in summer!).

I really value the way that DanceEast is structured – we have a Creative Team who work on the Learning and Participation programme, Artist Development and Theatre Programme, Centre for Advance Training Scheme and Digital Primaries Programme. Being part of one team makes our programmes interconnected without valuing one over the other (sometimes described as a diamond… sometimes described as spaghetti!). This has helped me build a wide range of skills and gain knowledge from different artistic programmes – this is really unique and appreciated.


Working on the Artist Development programme means that I get to connect with incredible artists and get to know their practice and work. DanceEast supports artists working with a range of dance styles – I’ve gained a real appreciation for dance styles I hadn’t connected with before like Hip Hop and South Asian dance and there is always much more to discover! Our programme of support includes our Associate Artist scheme, residencies, artist advisory sessions, commissions, professional workshops and classes, and studio space projects like Makerspace (open studio space for artists in holiday seasons). As Programme Coordinator, I provide administrative support and have space to be creative too, such as being involved in designing Makerspace. I’m the first point of contact for artist enquiries – it’s always brilliant to find ways to support artists to realise their vision or develop their practice or just be a listening ear.

We collaborate with partners like Collusion to support artists who are interested in working with technology in their dance practice. We’re very lucky to have a Digital Suite in the DanceHouse – it’s been exciting to demystify the ways that dance artists can incorporate technology into their practice with the ART // TECH // PLAY series.

Having shared values with your workplace is important to most people – DanceEast prioritises inclusion in all their programmes. It’s a joy to work together to make the change we want to see in the arts sector – putting artists’ needs first and foremost, supporting underrepresented artists, dance styles and audiences, and being a welcoming dance ‘home’ for everyone!


There have been many moments in this role when I’ve reflected… “Woah this is my actual job!” … often when I’ve been able to watch and/or coordinate extraordinary dance performance.

DanceEast welcomes some exceptional dance performances to our theatre in spring and autumn, as well as outdoor performances in summer during festival season – part of the role of Programme Coordinator is to coordinate the theatre programme. Working alongside Lucie (Artistic Associate), Lucy (Head of Creative Programmes) and Brendan (Creative Director and CEO), I provide administrative support throughout the process of presenting performances from programming stage through to presentation in the theatre – what a great feeling when all the planning pays off and we experience an incredible performance together. Some highlights for me have been Far From the Norm’s BLKDOG, Takeshi Matsumoto’s Club Origami (Little Big Dance Commission), and I can’t wait for Rendez-Vous Dance’s The Monocle on 7 June! It’s been wonderful to absorb so much knowledge from the team, especially around understanding and connecting with our audience in Ipswich/Suffolk.

Summer season is always buckets of fun! DanceEast gets out and about at festivals and events across Suffolk. We programme a mixture of performance and participatory activity at First Light Festival (Moon Dance Tent), Primadonna, and Latitude (Waterfront Stage). Different members of the DanceEast team attend – dancing on a beach/in a field with our community is a gorgeous first-hand reminder of the joy and power of experiencing dance with one another.

Part of this role has involved building a knowledge of performance work that might be available to programme in the DanceEast theatre. This has meant taking the odd trip to theatres in London, Cambridge and Norwich – some highlights have been watching new work at Resolution at The Place and attending Breakin’ Convention at Sadler’s Wells.

DanceEast have been great at supporting my personal development – being part of the Without Walls Discover Programme was brilliant and so valued. This gave me a broad insight into what working in outdoor arts means and enabled me to connect with other artists and producers interested in outdoor arts. Visiting Greenwich and Docklands International Festival was a highlight.

It’s impossible to talk about this role without mentioning the wonderful DanceEast team! We share in the joy of dance and a love of silly hats but, most importantly, they’re friendly, supportive and have a real care for one another.

DanceEast are currently recruiting for a Programme Coordinator (Theatre, Residencies, Projects). Find out more about the role and how to apply here: