Dance4 is one of seven organisations part of the Creative Pathways graduate internship scheme hosted by the University of Nottingham and funded by the Office for Students between 2020-22. Emily Tregale, the second intern to have completed a Creative Pathways placement at Dance4, has written a blog about her experience.
The 6-month Creative Pathways internships at City Arts, Dance4, Lakeside Arts, Nonsuch Studios, Nottingham Contemporary, Nottingham Playhouse, and UNESCO City of Literature offer University of Nottingham graduates a unique and valuable opportunity to kickstart a career in the creative sector right from graduation.
This scheme was designed to provide students coming to university via a widening participation route, who are typically underrepresented in creative industries, with resources, experience, and networking opportunities to equip them for a future career in the arts and cultural sector.
Blog by Emily Tregale, Creative Pathways intern at Dance4 from January to June 2021
Starting a 6-month internship at a dance organisation in the midst of a global pandemic felt like a surreal turn of events after graduating from university in 2020, but as I set up my home office ready for remote work on my first day, I knew I was embarking on a rare and exciting opportunity despite the unusual circumstances. Although it would be another 3 months before I met my colleagues face-to-face, regular tea and cake chats over Teams and Zoom soon saw to it that I felt connected to a fantastic team and ready to experience the many aspects of working in an arts organisation.
At Dance4, I feel like I’ve got an insight into a variety of roles available in the creative sector. Throughout the internship, I’ve worked with Dance4’s programme administrators in the administrative powerhouse known as Team JEF (Joy, Emily, and Freya), supporting the marketing and communications officer, Ruthba, and the producers with creating website and social media content, compiling e-flyers and newsletters, assisting with ticketing, managing Zoom webinars, and liaising with artists.
Although I have mostly been working from my kitchen table, this hasn’t excluded the possibility of getting involved with international projects. In February I supported La PP’s remote residency, giving feedback on their classes delivered via Zoom from Switzerland, which had me dedicate a dance to my armchair – a standard Tuesday morning!
In May, I assisted in the online presentation of Outdoor Dance Collection 2021 as part of Birmingham International Dance Festival, creating artist profiles and subtitling videos of artists pitching their outdoor work to international delegates. This was a great way to learn about the process behind pitching performances to be programmed at venues and left me with a very long list of outdoor performances that I’m keen to book tickets for.
As well as feeling connected to my Dance4 team, I’ve really enjoyed being a part of the Creative Pathways intern network. We met monthly for our Learning Network meetings, where we would catch up about our experiences working at our organisations, invite guest speakers from Nottingham creative organisations to impart wisdom about careers in the sector, and make time for creative or wellbeing-based sessions for very important self-care.
When I finished my internship, I was overjoyed to have been offered a job as a programme administrator at Dance4, allowing me to be on board for more in-person projects. But after months of working at my kitchen table, there’s really something to be said for the simple pleasure of having tea and cake in the office with the team that has made and continues to make working at Dance4 so wonderful.
Images courtesy of Alan Fletcher (A Shot in the Dark Photography) for Lakeside Arts.