Janet Smith announced as new Principal of NSCD


NSCD is delighted to announce that Janet Smith has been appointed as its new Principal. Currently Artistic Director at Scottish Dance Theatre, Janet brings to the school a wealth of experience in education and artistic leadership, as well as strategic relationship and organisational development. Janet will officially commence her leadership at NSCD in February 2012.

Kathleen Tattersall, Chair of Governors of NSCD says of the appointment:
We are delighted to announce the appointment of Janet Smith as our new Principal. We were incredibly encouraged by the high quality of applications received; and we believe that Janet brings the relevant skills and wide experience required by the school at this stage in its development. We are very much looking forward to working with her to continue to offer high quality dance training to young people in this country, and to have a positive impact on the dance ecology both in the North of England and further afield.”

Janet Smith says:
I’m delighted to be offered this significant position in the UK dance industry. I am passionate about the development of talent and nurturing emerging dance artists. This new role allows me to bring my knowledge from working within the profession into the Conservatoire setting and the education of young dance artists. I look forward to building strong relationships within the industry and also to contributing to the development of dance in the North of England. Born and brought up in Leeds, with a strong sense of connection to the region, this move is also something of a homecoming. It’s been a very hard decision leaving Scottish Dance Theatre after 15 years, but I can’t think of a more challenging and enticing next step in my life than to lead the Northern School of Contemporary Dance into the next stage of its development.”

Janet has been Artistic Director of Scottish Dance Theatre (SDT) for the last 15 years. During this time the company has increased in size from five to 22 staff, and from £180,000 to £868,000 in annual funding from Creative Scotland. She has contributed to the development of the company’s purpose-built, National Lottery funded home, and led SDT to become recognised internationally, touring to many parts of Europe, and also to China, the Middle East and the US. SDT is also recognised nationally and for pioneering leadership in Arts and Disability.

Prior to leading SDT, Janet’s work experience includes teaching posts at Bretton Hall College and London School of Contemporary Dance. She has also taught widely for many vocational schools and dance companies.  She has choreographed for Janet Smith and Dancers and SDT as well as internationally, including for The Playhouse Company (SA), Cisne Negra (Brazil), Batsheva (Israel), and English National Ballet. Janet has also choreographed for theatre and opera including The Royal Shakespeare Company and English Touring Opera.

After training in the UK and America Janet began work as a solo artist and also performed with London Contemporary Dance Theatre and Rosemary Butcher Dance Company. She was awarded a Fellowship from Dartington College of Arts in 1999, and in 2008 was awarded the Jane Attenborough Dance UK Industry Award, honouring an individual working in dance who has made an outstanding contribution to the art form.

Author : Ceri Brierley

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