As part of our Dance Transports regional professional development programme, we have identified twelve artists from across Yorkshire to make up the Regional Twelve. These artists have been receiving individually tailored support and advice from Hannah Robertshaw, our Youth & Community Dance Director, and other members of the team.
One of the Regional Twelve is Tara Baker, an independent artist living and working in Sheffield. She has been striving to establish a Dance Network for Sheffield for the past 12 months and Yorkshire Dance identified Tara as a catalyst individual to support and develop.
Tara took part in three of the four Dance Transports CPD weekends earlier this year, working with Stopgap Dance Company, Dance United and 2Faced Dance Company. Yorkshire Dance then supported Tara to achieve her first grants for the arts bid ‘Cityscapes’, which will build on The Dance Network Sheffield and deliver a site-specific project linking with local festivals including, Sheffield Design Week and Tramlines Music Festival.
Tara says, “My involvement as a Regional Twelve artist has had a positive impact towards my development as a professional artist. My personal aim at the start of the year was to attend more professional performances that reflected my areas of interest within performance, including physical theatre, site-specific work, and theatre based productions. It has been great to have my own little pot of money to fulfill these aims and ambitions.
“The recognition of the Regional Twelve programme has been particularly useful at networking events, and as a result I had the opportunity to join professional artist, Gerry Turvey in the creation and performance at Leeds City Gallery in March. The performance involved working with other professional dancers and other Regional 12 artists, together with music students from Leeds College of Music towards a collaborative public performance.
“Furthermore, my connection and involvement with the Regional Twelve programme has provided me one-to-one mentoring and support from Yorkshire Dance in writing and successfully receiving my first Arts Council England bid. I have really valued the support and feel I have developed a key set of management skills needed to operate the activities of the Dance Network.”