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Guildford School of Acting, Guildford

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2Faced Dance Company presents

The BENCH Bitesize

Supported by People Dancing


Now in its fourth year, The BENCH is going on the road…

Are you a female choreographer looking to power-up, progress and make a change? Join 2Faced Dance Company and guests at Guildford School of Acting at the University of Surrey this June for a one-day, bitesize edition of their game-changing programme: The BENCH.

Together we will address issues, make actions and leave with enhanced skills, confidence and knowledge to make the next move.

Set up in direct response to serious concerns about the lack of equality faced by female choreographers within the dance sector, The BENCH Bitesize features an inspirational key-note speaker, invited contributors and sessions from BENCH Alumni talking about their own experiences and careers, and group problem-solving / change-making exercises.



Dr Shantel Ehrenberg / Gender Equality in Dance in Higher Education

Dr Ehrenberg leads a debate about gender equality issues for choreographers and those working for dance degrees in higher education. Dance programmes often attain positive institutional gender equality with staffing, however there still remains questions about the gender equality relationship between training and employment, similar to what is seen in the choreographic realm.

In addition, while the number of dance degree programmes has grown significantly in the last decade, particularly in the USA, UK, and Australia, dance still struggles to be regarded as a serious subject in terms of knowledge in the larger scheme of the university economy. These issues impact on a number of related concerns, such as programme & research esteem and funding, promotion and advancement, and health and well-being. 

Louise Katerega / The Art of Access

Information, inspiration and conversation around the importance of making dance performance accessible - both as a route to fresh audiences and as refreshment for the roots of our practice.

In Conversation with Tamsin Fitzgerald, Xie Xin and Alleyne Dance / Internationalism – Opportunities outside of the UK

Three leading choreographers share their knowledge and experience of touring, teaching and securing choreographic commissions outside their home base. Hear vital insights and discussions around cultural mobility whilst working across UK, Europe and Asia. Chaired by Ian Abbott.

Ella Mesma / Dealing with conflict in the dance studio

Looking at the psychology of conflict resolution within a dance context; learn some of the interpersonal skills and mediation techniques needed to manage complex relationships. 

Rebecca Evans / Digital Collaborations

How to utilise the skills you have as an embodied practitioner to understand their relevance and worth in digital spaces. We’ll introduce tools and ways to re-evaluate the collaborative process with digital artists/creative technicians and break down barriers if people are feeling intimidated about introducing digital elements in their practice.


The BENCH Bitesize runs from 11am to 5pm at Guildford School of Acting at the University of Surrey on Saturday 1 June and costs £20 to attend*. 

*Attendance fee includes a light lunch and refreshments. A small number of dependence bursaries are available upon request. For more information please email [email protected]

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Guildford School of Acting

Stag Hill Campus




The BENCH gratefully acknowledges support from: People Dancing and The Elmley Foundation.

Image credit: Hemabharathy Palani



2Faced Dance Company

The first of its kind in the UK, The BENCH was a programme established in 2015 by Artistic Director of 2Faced Dance Company, Tamsin Fitzgerald, in direct response to serious concerns about the lack of equality faced by female choreographers within the dance sector. The BENCH 2018-2021 will feature three key strands that will enable a step-change for artists and the industry: Commissioning National Roadshows Reverse Mentoring Each element has been designed for maximum impact; we want to enable female artists to build momentum and ensure those with programming and commissioning responsibility offer the same opportunities to women as they do to men.