What is Overture?

Overture is our professional development programme for practitioners from a variety of genres who have been working in community or education settings for less than five years. Each year, the group of artists are chosen for their diverse range of work and experience within the community dance sector that spans a full scope of settings from across England.

Over the course of the programme the selected artists meet for residential weekends at the Company’s base at Farnham Maltings, Surrey and visit New Adventures on tour with the current production. Facilitated by Take Part Creative Director Kerry Biggin and Unit Artistic Director Tom Hobden, each residential comprises of practical workshops, class and skills-sharing as well as inspirational guest teachers from a variety of dance backgrounds sharing their practice.

With workshops in areas such as personal development, advanced community dance skills, business development and networking, we aim to provide the cohort with a range of skills to support them in reaching the next level of their careers as community dance artists and to support the impact and value of this work on the industry.

'Overture is a programme that I hold close to my heart. It is a space to allow ambitions, confidence and dreams to grow. We inspire our cohorts with stories of exceptional community practice, new ways of thinking and tools to create a network that builds confidence and a strong voice in their own practice. Although our weekends are a simple blend of speakers and conversations, the potent mix of support, belief and accountability has created over 7 cohorts of exceptional community dance leaders across the country. We have dance advocates for health, inclusion, diversity, artistry, environment and technology all seeding their magic in communities and shaping the future of dance. Overture is magic, but magic created by people with a passion for dancing.'

- Tom Hobden

I joined Overture as a dancer who teaches. I left Overture as Dance Teacher, capital D, capital T. Thank you to everyone who contributed to making Overture the transformational and joyous experience that it was.

Kath McGuire, 2021/22 Overture Cohort


Since 2016/17, we have worked with 122 professionals though Overture, who live and work all over England, spanning Cornwall to Cumbria. Members of the Overture alumni have gone on to successfully further their careers in the industry, building their own community practices and regional networks. We have seen many of them take up roles as dance development managers for national organisations and others realise their own project ambitions, securing Arts Council funding to develop their artistic vision.

It's hard to explain how much of an impact the programme has made on me, but I know that it has definitely changed me as a practitioner, and as person, and will continue to influence the choices I make as I continue with my career.

Amber Calland,  2019/20 Overture Cohort 

Overture grew my self belief and gave me confidence that my ambitions will become a reality. I left with inspiration from a variety of artists, support as a freelancer, rooted values I could work by, and with the drive to share my practice.

Emily Orme, 2021/22 Overture Cohort

Dance Artist Overture

Currently in its second year, our Dance Artist Overture programme is our cohort of New Adventures dancers and Dance Artists who deliver our workshops and engagement projects.

All at different stages of their artistic and teaching journeys, the programme offers 6 development sessions that will focus on different areas of the New Adventures methodology along with opportunities to hear about other artists' approaches and a chance to develop their own practice.

Recent guests and workshops have included Empowering Environments with Carrie Taylor Johnson MSc BSc PDTD ARAD, Global Butterflies - Trans and Non-binary 101, Stopgapdance and Inclusivity in professional dance with Performer Hannah Raynor. The programme is facilitated by Take Part Creative Director Kerry Biggin.

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