Dance Futures: Creating Transition Schemes for Dancers – Brussels Working Seminar

EU Social Dialogue Dancers, Singers, Circus artists & Child performers EuroFIA

The first working seminar of our new European project “Dance Futures: Creating Transition Schemes for Dancers and Promoting Sustainable Mobility in the Dance Sector” took place on the 22 and 23 of March 2017, in the Muntpunt library, in Brussels, Belgium.

This project focusing on the dance sector addresses two issues: transition – whether it is caused by a personal choice, injury or the age – and mobility within the European boarders. This working seminar was part of the transition component of the project. Organised by FIA and IOTPD – the International Organisation for the Transition of Professional Dancers – the seminar aimed to put in motion the establishment of a transition scheme for professional dancers in Belgium by bringing together all the relevant stakeholders to discuss the issue and review the possibilities. Belgium was selected by FIA as one of the targeted countries as several initiatives were already ongoing in the country.

The first day of the seminar was devoted to dancers’ testimonies including an inspiring speech by Cynthia Loemij and to a panel discussion about the challenges of dancers’ transition. This first day was also the occasion to present the current initiatives in Belgium – the INTER.MEZZO career counselling programme in Flanders and in Brussels and the burgeoning transition scheme of the Ballet of Flanders – as well as good practices coming from the Netherlands, the UK and France. The second (half) day was entirely devoted to the discussion about the establishment of a transition scheme for professional dancers in Belgium.

Despite a few absences, it seems that most of the people and institutions having an interest in the issue of dancers’ transition in Belgium were present: unions, Belgian dance companies, social funds, dancers & former dancers… The discussion was lively and several interesting ideas were mentioned, including a meeting of the companies and a better organisation of dancers by the unions. The roadmap towards the establishment of the scheme that is currently being drafted will reflect on these ideas.

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