Reconnect: Artist Development Days

Monday 16 December | 11am – 5pm
Remote Mentoring Sessions (two one-hour sessions) during November and December

Reconnect: Artist Development Days are an opportunity for early-career artists from the East of England to dance together, collaborate and refine skills. Aimed at recent graduates and those approaching the end of their professional training; this programme will include professional classes and sessions tailored around the career development needs of newly graduated Dance Artists. The programme will develop a peer support network of like-minded individuals and identify opportunities in the Eastern region.

Artist Development Day | Monday 16 December 2019, 11am – 5pm
Guided by Tom Hobden and Cathy Waller (with Yukiko Masui), this full day will feature a morning class followed by sessions exploring the needs of the participants, looking at being entrepreneurial and a Contact Jam. Participants will receive a £5 lunch voucher and the day will end with mince pies and refreshments. This is the second Artist Development Day; new participants do not need to have attended the first day of the programme.

Remote Mentoring Sessions | November and December
Each participant will be offered two bespoke mentoring sessions with experts who can tailor advice and guidance on pathways and opportunities in the dance world. These sessions will take place remotely via Skype/FaceTime/Zoom, or any other method that suits both the mentor and the mentee. The two 1-hour sessions will take place in November and December and will be arranged after booking.

New participants to the programme will sign up to the remote mentoring sessions and the Artist Development Day.

For further information, please contact Nilima Banerji – or call Box Office – 01473 295230


About the artists


Tom Hobden:

Originally from Sudbury in Suffolk, Tom trained at De Montfort University and continued his dance education at London Contemporary Dance School with a MA in choreography, and a PGCE at Suffolk University. He a is a choreographer, dance educationalist, mentor and national leader in community dance practice. Tom is most known for his never-ending energy, enthusiasm and ability to work and connect with anyone. Tom has had the pleasure in leading and supporting work for organisations including: New Adventures, DanceEast, Royal Ballet School, Ballet Boyz, Stopgap Dance, Studio Wayne Mc Gregor, Gecko Theatre, ISTD, Trinity Laban, Suffolk Art link, Dance United, Suffolk University.

Tom has also collaborated with artists including Alexander Whitley, Matthias Spurling, Tom Dale, New Art Club, Darren Ellis, and Etta Murfitt. Tom was an associate artist at Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds and at DanceEast from 2015 – 2017, a Clore graduate in June 2017, and Questlab artist for Studio Wayne McGregor between 2018 and 2019.

Some of the most significant accomplishments of Tom’s career include leading five large scale intergenerational performances with more than 250 participants, curating the New Adventures ‘Overture’ Programme (a national CPD programme for young leading community artists) and being a lead artist for The Royal Opera House.



Cathy Waller:

Cathy completed her professional training at Trinity Laban Conservatoire for Music and Dance, graduating with a BA Hons in Dance Theatre. Cathy co-founded Surge Dance Theatre in 2006 which toured around the U.K for 4 years in over 25 venues, including Sadler’s Wells, Hammersmith Apollo, Wembley, and The Barbican. Cathy has choreographed pieces for Breakin’ Convention for 4 years in succession and for the BBC, Move-It, and the Tate Modern. In 2007, Cathy became Resident Choreographer of Dance Offensive working with young offenders.

After being awarded the Blueprint Bursary in 2012, a commissioning fund given by Sadler’s Wells and East London Dance, Cathy created Cathy Waller Company, a touring company of dancers and live musicians. The company have since toured over 30 venues in the U.K, including the Peacock Theatre, the National Theatre, West End Live, Stratford Circus, Lilian Baylis, Greenwich and Docklands Festival, Stockton International Riverside Festival and successfully gaining commissions from Gi20 and Without Walls. Cathy became the recipient of the London Dance Award 2012, after being shortlisted alongside six other choreographers and dancers in the U.K including Wayne Mcgregor, Akram Khan, and Lloyd Newson.

In 2015 and 2016, Cathy was the Movement Director for Graeae’s award winning production, ‘The Solid Life of Sugar Water’ ending their National Tour with a 3-week run at the National Theatre. In 2018, Cathy was the Associate Choreographer for the comedy musical Thor & Loki, produced by Vicky Graham Productions in collaboration with House of Blakewell.

At the end of 2012, Cathy became disabled. Whilst continuing her original vision for the Company, and continuing her choreographic work, Cathy has adapted her way of working to make the Arts world more accessible for her. Cathy works extensively with other disabled artists and prominently advocates for more exposure of disabled dance artists and their work in the arts sector. 2019/20 will see the first work by Cathy Waller Company that draws on Cathy’s personal experiences of living with an invisible disability.


Previous Artists

Mathieu Geffré:

Mathieu graduated from Paris Conservatoire in 2006. Since then, he has had a celebrated dance career dancing with renowned companies including National Dance Company Wales, Dansgroep Amsterdam and Noord Nederlandse Dans and working with choreographers including Didy Veldman Itzik Galili and Theo Clinkard.

In 2012, Mathieu started to explore making his own choreography. He took part in the NDCWales emerging choreographers programme (Alternative Routes) which led to his first commission from the company in 2013: Songs of Deeds. Through the years, Mathieu was selected to take part of many young makers platforms and competitions including Internationales Solo Tanz Theater Festival in Stuttgart, Mermaid Dance Platform in Bray, Competition for Choreographers in Hannover, Resolution in London. He received the 3rd Prize Choreography at the Copenhagen International Choreography Competition in 2016 where he presented the duet What Songs May Do. Mathieu has also been commissioned by National Theatre Mannheim, Rambert School, Eliot Smith Dance, 3rd EDGE, Phoenix Dance Theatre and DanceCity CAT Scheme.

As an LGBT artist, he is now a strong advocate of values like inclusivity, togetherness and harmony that are at the roots of his activities as the artistic leader of his own company Rendez-Vous.


Neus Gil Cortes:

Neus comes from Valencia in Spain, where she trained at the Professional Conservatorium of Dance, followed by the Carmen Roche School in Madrid and the Rotterdam Dance Academy in Holland.  For over ten years, Neus has worked with outstanding choreographers and companies such as Hofesh Shechter Company (2014-2015), National Dance Company Wales (2009-2013), and Dance Works Rotterdam (2006-2009) as well as creating her own work.

Neus conceived, developed and coordinated the project Triple Bill Organic Entity, a collaboration with other two choreographers funded by Arts Council of England and East London Dance Ideas Enterprise, which toured the South East of England in June 2017.

Her pieces have been performed in Holland, Spain and U.K. in programmes and festivals such as One Night’s Dance, Wales Dance Platform, World Stage Design, Feedback Festival, Ignition Dance Festival, Emerge Festival, Resolutions!, Dance Springs, Ellas Crean, and Offbeat Festival.

Her work has been supported by Dansateliers Rotterdam, National Dance Company Wales, Arts Council of Wales, Arts Council of England, La Zona Kubik, Dance West, Kingston Council, C12 Dance Theatre, The Space, University of Hertfordshire, Dance East and South East Dance.



Book your place
Dates and Times

Monday 16 December | 11.00am – 5.00pm


Price: £20 per person (includes 1 professional development day with refreshments and two online mentoring sessions)

Ability Level

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