Equity and Inclusion Policy
Independent Dance (ID) is an artist and female-led organisation, with a staff of four part-timers, all of whom are practicing artists. We are based at Siobhan Davies Studios (SDS), an accessible building.
ID champions dance as a significant and extraordinary art form, with the capacity to communicate complexity of human thought, feeling and sensation through the language of movement; we work to promote and strengthen the role of dance and dance artists within contemporary culture and society.
We strongly value collaboration, working in partnership with artists across wide-ranging dance and movement backgrounds, specialists from other disciplines and other organisations to ensure that there is diversity of influence and practice across our organisation and all of the work we support. This is embedded in our programming, recruitment, management, governance, communications and development practices, and reflects a positive and creative approach to inclusion.
ID’s aim at all times is to work towards being an organisation which is future-thinking, inclusive, anti-racist, and environmentally responsible, working proactively towards positive change and justice both within ID and the wider arts field. We recognise the positive values of diversity, promote equality and challenge all forms of discrimination. We also actively advocate for positive change in systems and working conditions in the wider field.
ID’s approach to equality and inclusion acknowledges that various different characteristics intersect in any individual person and that plural identities co-exist in individuals. We recognise that underprivilege and under-representation in the arts often works in a layered, intersecting way across race, gender, socio-economic class and dis/ability.
Taking an intersectional approach, we value differing and multiple identities equally. Rather than working with a notion of including difference into a perceived ‘centre’, our approach aims to recognise meeting points where different ideas people and practices can intersect through reciprocal valuing and sharing of new ideas and positions.
Our aim is to model systems of transparency and equity, collaboration and exchange at every level of the organisation, working towards positive change multi-laterally and incrementally within ID and advocating for change in the wider arts field.
We engage proactively in audience development and public engagement to ensure that our work is reaching the widest and most diverse audiences and participants. As an employer, we are working to implement systems to ensure that we are attracting a diverse staff and freelance workforce and creating a positive working environment for all.
Our ethos is to develop trusting, meaningful relationships in all spheres of our work, which is by necessity a process/journey. In the spirit of this, we welcome feedback in how we can do this better.
ID’s co-directors lead on the ongoing development and review of this policy and accompanying detailed action plan, with annual goals set, reviewed and updated together with our Board. Specific, measurable and timely actions and commitments will be developed on an ongoing basis to ensure proactive fulfilment of the policy.
How ID works with artists and partners
ID values and nurtures leadership by artists. The collaborative interactions that happen when we work with freelancers and individuals, be they artists, teachers, technicians or consultants have been essential to ID’s approach throughout our near-40 year history. We work with a sense of porosity, where there can be listening and exchange between individual initiatives and organisational structures. Our programme is a fluid combination of responding to initiatives and approaches from artists in the field, and ID’s own proposals and curiosities which fit our remit to provide public benefit. As a result there are many different ways in which we work with artists and other organisations. For a list of artists we have worked with to date, please see here.
In a spirit of transparency, here is more information on how to approach ID for those who would like to :
Proposals to teach Morning Classes or Monday Night Improvisation either in the building or online can be directed initially to email@example.com, describing the practice you want to share, and why you think ID might be a good context for you. Please bear in mind that we have a pool of nearly 100 artists that currently lead classes and we run classes for 30 weeks a year. Within these we encourage a supportive community of practice-sharing and discourse, hence all programmed artists get free access to all other classes in the season they are teaching in.
Workshops at ID tend to be led by artists we invite from an international field. We are always interested in finding out about artists and practices which are new to us and to hearing suggestions for who to invite.
Research Space is a more tailored initiative through which we collaborate to run participatory activity. Research spaces are often a mix of private research and public labs, showings and talks. They take various forms, and may form part of an artist’s larger project or funding bid. We work to co-create an appropriate delivery and financial model that both the artist and ID are able to manage.
We also engage in longer term research initiatives and are open to suggestions for new ones.
Please note that ID does not currently have core budgets that can support commissioning or residencies. As an organisation with core funding of £70k a year, our programme has to generate income in order to cover its costs unless we are able to raise project-specific funds. ID is resident at Siobhan Davies Studios as a tenant/partner paying for subsidized studio and office space, and has no access to free studio time.
Our commitment is that anyone who approaches ID with an idea or proposal to either firstname.lastname@example.org or to the co-directors will get a response. Our ability to respond quickly and our openness to new things depends on what else is going on at the time or is coming up, whether we can achieve it well within our resources, and whether we think we can reach the right audiences to make the idea viable. If you don’t get a response immediately please bear with us.
To see a list of artists we have worked with please see here.
Partnerships and networks
ID is happy to be an active member of UK Dance Network, One Dance UK and Moving for Change network.
Partnership working is integral to ID’s ethos and enables us to learn through and with colleagues and to work more expansively. In recent years we have worked with project-funded organisations, artist-led initiatives, larger-scale NPOs and academic institutions. ID also forms a rare bridge between professional and academic spheres through delivering MA Creative Practice at SDS and through delivering a number of HE-oriented research projects.
Partners since 2019 have included Contemporary Dance and Whiteness project, TanzFabrik Berlin, Tanzquartier Vienna, Candoco, Sadler’s Wells, Trinity Laban, Fest en Fest, Dance HE, C-DaRE Coventry University, Centre for Performance Philosophy University of Surrey, Theatre Dance and Performance Training Journal, Dance HE, CPR-Center for Performance Research (New York), Dance North, University of Roehampton, Middlesex University, Groundwork Pro, The Workroom, Siobhan Davies Studios. If you are interested in discussing a potential partnership, please get in touch.
Environmental Responsibility Policy
Protecting the environment is vital for the conservation of precious natural resources and the continued health and survival of our planet. Independent Dance recognises its responsibility to protect the environment and is continually working to reduce the environmental impact of the work we do across our operations and programme. We commit to supporting work which raises awareness of the climate emergency and to doing all we can as an organisation to reduce and limit our negative impact on the environment.
Independent Dance is based at Siobhan Davies Studios (SDS) as a resident organisation. We liaise with SDS in order to comply with their building and environmental policies.
With specific regard to Independent Dance’s own environmental responsibility policy and plan, we aim to reduce any negative impact on the environment and to:
- Ensure products and services are sourced from sustainable processes
- Use local suppliers and resources wherever possible
- Ensure energy and water consumption are as efficient as possible while running our operations and activity
- Turn computers and lights off when not in use
- Reduce data storage where it is not necessary
- Reduce, reuse and recycle whenever and wherever we can
- Increase accountability by appointing a team of staff to lead on environmental issues
- Encourage artists to consider the environmental impact of their work
- Reduce the environmental impact of local travel by staff and artists by encouraging use of bikes and public transport
- Reduce the environmental impact of travel by using trains and not planes within the UK and wherever possible between the UK and Europe
- Form partnerships with other organisations to make the most of any long-distance travel by artists; e.g. by sharing travel schedules
- Advocate for audiences to consider the impact of their travel to our events and provide information and guidance on how to reach our events by public transport
- Ensure the events and activity we produce is as environmentally friendly as possible
- Raise awareness and promote discussion on environmental issues through our work and specifically through supporting work which focuses on eco-somatics and environmental awareness
- Practice ethical fundraising and not seek or accept funds from sources which damage the environment
- Contribute to industry benchmarking
- Communicate our objectives, activities and achievements
- Monitor and evaluate our impact in order to identify further improvements we can make
- Review this policy on an annual basis at board level