Applications for this fund have now closed.  Details of how to apply for the DanceMakers Fund for 18/19 will be published here towards the end of 2017.


After creating and steering the development of Swindon Dance for over 35 years founding Artistic Director, Marie McCluskey has worked with, guided, mentored and supported literally hundreds of people to watch, make, perform, produce, and study all kinds of dance.

The impact of her contribution to developing dance in the UK spreads far beyond Swindon. For Marie it has always been about the people and she now takes great pleasure in gifting a special fund to support the next generation of dance makers.  Funds for this new award were raised from a collection by artists, participants, colleagues, staff and friends on Marie’s retirement in 2016.  It is planned to offer a similar award in 2018/19.

JAMES WILTONWhat is the purpose of the DanceMakers fund? 

 Swindon Dance has helped many choreographers to take time to develop their craft and to explore their own choreographic ambitions.  In terms of growing talent early on a combination funds, space, dialogue and forming positive working relationships can have real impact.  It is hoped that this new supported commission will encourage new talent to grow.  It is this next generation of dance makers that the award would like to support.  Marie reflected that “ Over the years it has been amazing to witness how small amounts of support early on can help choreographic talent to emerge and fly. I hope that this new award will encourage this to happen.”             

After graduating from LCDS I knew I wanted to choreograph my own work.  Swindon Dance offered me my first career mentoring sessions and a platform to present my early work.  The scheme became a springboard for me.  It emphasized the importance of creative play with collaborators and helped me to understand the need for critical dialogue.      Adrienne Hart, Neon Dance

 I started making work for my own company in 1996…the solo Two, which was originally made in 1997…was supported by Swindon Dance, and is still being performed and has also been filmed for Channel Four.  Without the belief and support of producers like Swindon Dance, this work would not have seen the light of day, and I would not have had these great opportunities to explore and develop works that have informed my subsequent choreographic process.     Russell Maliphant             

 Marie McCluskey has had an incredible impact and influence upon my career, both in terms of choreography but also the arts business.  This started from when I was 2 years out of training and has continued ever since. She aided me in seeing the bigger picture of what dance can be, what my strengths are and what I can do to improve. Marie has shown me massive amounts of support and I can honestly say that I would not have achieved what I have without her guidance.   James Wilton 

What does the DanceMakers award include?

  • £1,000 towards production costs of a new work suitable for live performance in small-scale or flexible spaces
  • Space to rehearse at Swindon Dance for up to three weeks during 2017/18
  • Mentoring opportunity with Marie McCluskey
  • Performance date promoted by Swindon Dance during 2018/19
  • News Release to National Dance Network and regional promoters to raise profile of successful artist