JADE AITCHISON

Learning & Participation Co-ordinator

Upper Second-Class Honours BA (Hons) Dance Studies (Choreography) – Middlesex University

Additional Qualifications
2 Day Foundation Training Course in Safeguarding - SSCP
Keeping Children Safe Online - NSPCC
Cache Level 2 Mental Health First Aid and mental health advocacy in the workplace.
Arts Award Adviser: Discover and Explore, Bronze, Silver and Gold – Trinity College London
Management & Leadership Training - Leadership Development Programme

Role and responsibilities
Jade is part of the Learning & Participation Team to support, identify and develop projects and activities. Engaging, educating and widening the participation of young people and adults in dance. Her main responsibilities include coordinating, planning and administrating the delivery of our in-house community classes, schools outreach, community activities and partnership projects.

Who am I?

I was the first in my family to study at university and the first to pursue an artistic career, growing up in a rural village I sought out opportunities from further afield. My dance teacher at Secondary School connected me with placement opportunities at Matthew Bourne’s New Adventure’s and supported me to apply for the Young Creative’s programme, previously ‘Youth Dance England’, being the only Northern choreographer offered a place on the programme that year.

These key experiences, role models and influences in my later teen years shaped my ambition to progress into a career, which could help develop and support opportunities for young people, who didn’t have easy access to the arts and dance.

I’m passionate about creating access and opportunity within the arts, whether this through enriched engagement projects, mentoring and consultation with young and emerging artists/ leaders or developing creative initiatives and partnerships that expand access to the arts.
Within all areas of my work, I maximise as an opportunity to empower people through movement and remove barriers surrounding dance.

Career History

Jade gained a BA Honours Degree in Dance Studies from Middlesex University specialising in Choreography, alongside which and upon graduating she worked and performed as part of an emerging Hip Hop & Contemporary Dance Company Blanc Canvas Dance.

Following this she worked across various freelance roles; performing for stage, site-specific, television and online platforms, working within marketing/ audience development, teaching/ mentoring, choreographing and project managing events.

In 2015 she became Youth Dance Coordinator at The Lowry Theatre in Salford, later taking on the Maternity Cover role of Centre for Advanced Training (CAT) Manager. Recognized for her contribution to the growth and development of the North West CAT Programme, Regional Outreach work and advocacy for access to dance. Including leading on and coordinating key projects for festivals such as; the Regional Youth Dance Festival U.Dance NW, the National U.Dance Festival and Dance:Sampled part of The Movement Partnership with Sadler’s Wells, The Lowry and Birmingham Hippodrome, focused on developing new audiences for dance and creating access across different dance forms. Jade also sat on regional and national panels relating to youth dance.

Jade joined Northern School of Contemporary Dance as Learning and Participation Co-ordinator at the start of 2021. Alongside her role at NSCD, Jade independently choreographs and produces her own work and continues to support the development of other artists as a consultant, dramaturg and collaborator.

Performance and research artefacts

Recent work includes:
2021: LOST // FOUND, a collaborative project commissioned by Theatre Témoin. Creating digital, home-made, mixed-arts self-portraits & curiosities, exploring the theme of loss amidst a global pandemic.

Jade worked as a lead artist developing and performing a series of her own moving images and poetry, as well as producing and supporting work by writer Nana-Kofi Kufour & visual artist Chloe Jones.