The funding we have been awarded has enabled us to set up administrative, financial and communications teams. The Dance FTF meets fortnightly with sub-groups focused on the following areas of work:

The 5 Guiding Principles 


The 5 Guiding Principles are a fair trade model for organisations working with Freelancers: a toolkit to help support the performing arts sector. Over half of our workforce are freelancers and we think it imperative that - as we collectively recover from the impacts of Covid 19 - organisations & freelancers collaborate to improve working practices. Together we can ensure a more equitable, sustainable, productive sector for all who work in it.

Freelance Dance Pay Structure

The Dance FTF team collected data to review how freelance dance artists' skills and career progression is recognised through their pay. 

Some findings were:

76.9% - are unhappy with their current rates

86% - have accepted work at a level of pay which makes them uncomfortable

Based on the data found, this sub-group has been working on a pay structures document for movement and dance related work, with an aim to address the imbalances and to work towards fairer pay with various arts trade unions and organisations.

National Portfolio Creatives

Through consultation with freelancers led by the Dance FTF Team, this sub-group drew up and presented two models for how Arts Council England could distribute grants differently to ensure greater sustainability for independents and small artistic organisations, whilst readdressing the historical imbalances of resources between institutes and individuals. We continue to advocate for better funding structures to support freelancers, who represent over 70% of the arts workforce. 

HR/Citizens Advice Bureau Model

The Dance FTF Team has been proactively having discussions and listening to the needs of the freelance dance community and the wider freelance arts networks on issues of HR and legal advice. Our research and thought showers have led a sub-group to an initial fruitful discussion with the Citizens Advice Bureau. We have also been meeting with Freelancers Make Theatre Work as well as One Dance UK, Equity and People Dancing. We hope to be able to roll out information on HR and Legal support to freelancers in the coming months. 

Anti-Racism & Inclusion 

This sub-group are working to connect with individuals and groups who feel under-represented, marginalised and discriminated against in the freelance dance and movement community. Aiming to listen and amplify their concerns and needs, as we contribute critical, cumulative steps towards fair treatment for all. Also by collating resources that can be shared regarding best practice of anti-racist and anti-discriminatory initiatives that exist in the arts sector.

Movement Directors

This sub-group are proactively meeting to address the needs of Movement Directors working across sectors. Connecting with existing Movement Director groups in the sector to strengthen our research and industry knowledge to create a series of workshops for Movement Directors/Dance Artists and the wider theatre industry, really addressing the needs of a movement directors practice, the group will hold a space of listening and exchange to inform a way to build back better. 

Early Careers Support

This sub-group will primarily act as a resource by publishing a specially-curated digital noticeboard found here, which will be found here (to follow), and is also shared via the Dance FTF fortnightly e-newsletter. The noticeboard comprises work opportunities, support and signposting for those in the early stages of a freelance career in dance, whatever form that may take. We are also investigating how the infrastructure around the entry into and establishment of a career in dance can be improved and consolidated.

Advocacy & the Freelance  Community

The Dance FTF Team continue to serve and act as a conduit for the wider freelance dance /movement community, providing sector information and opportunity updates via fortnightly Newsletters and Social media. Dance FTF also has open meetings/workshops for an opportunity to keep in more direct contact with the wider freelance sector to impact the focus of work undertaken. 

Supporting Documents 

Reports and supporting work generated by the Dance FTF

NPC 12K Model: 

The idea of Arts Council England (ACE) championing a National Portfolio scheme for freelancers hasbeen discussed and explored for over a decade, sadly, without success to date. This proposal for ACE topilot a National Portfolio Creatives (NPC) sustainability grant, direct-to-freelancers working in the artshas come via the Dance Freelance Task force, through consultation with the UK freelance artistcommunity. 

Follow the link above for more information.

NPC 80K Model: 

The National Portfolio of Creatives, gives individuals and artist-led organisations the opportunityto apply for between £50,000 to £80,000 per annum, to sustain their creative and businesspractice, ensuring sustainability and continuity between grants for projects.

Follow the link above for more information.

Making the case for a sustainability Grant forFreelancers:

‘We are in a crucial moment with freelancers in the arts. We need to change the way that they aresupported and sustained in their careers. The success of our industries depends on freelancers and atthe moment they receive the smallest share of resources”. Claire Hodgson, Joint Artistic DirectorDiverse City & Extraordinary Bodies.

 “The current crisis has placed an already financially fragile group in an even more unequal position.The creative practitioners we work with (established and emerging) are all self-employed, from lowersocioeconomic and / or from BAME and LGBTQ+ backgrounds. Some identify as disabled. Loss ofwork has become a reality, further exacerbating their struggle to develop and sustain financiallyviable careers in the arts. It is crucial that resources are distributed more equitably, and freelancersare better supported”.Fabio Santos, Executive Director Stone Crabs, Isle of Wight.

Follow the link above for more information.

Fragile Livelihoods:

A collective of dance freelancers has initiated a critical response to the fragile nature of their livelihoods. Anna Alvarez and Alister O’Loughlin say they are aiming for long term change.

Follow the link above for more information.

Dance Freelance Task Force
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