About the project

STW phase graph.png

Surf The Wave is a three year project that is broken down into three distinct phases.


Surf The Wave fundamentally believes that developing relationships is at the heart of creating change for the dance sector. Phase one of the project is all about connecting artists and programmers through a series of events and intensive workshops. The aim of these events is to provide a safe space for artists and programmers to meet, discuss issues and barriers that may be facing them and build meaningful relationships that will lead to more opportunities for dance to be presented in the UK.


As part of Phase One, Surf The Wave will be holding intensives across the UK. These intensives include facilitated discussions and opportunities for artists to reflect on their individual practices, and for programmers to think about their own practice of presenting dance. These ground-breaking events are designed to create moments of exchange and reflection on both sides of the table.


Artists and programmers who attend the intensives will be eligible to apply for seed support to help develop ideas and burgeoning partnerships that are formed at the events. This support is designed to help carry forward any practical solutions, creative projects and touring opportunities identified during the intensives.


The Curatorial Voice programme consists of a bespoke set of events that will run in each area of the UK. Events will be specifically for programmers to discuss, and increase knowledge of, dance programming. They will also serve to highlight Surf The Wave to increase awareness of the project and draw programmers towards the showcase and other networking opportunities. Events will be delivered in partnership with local organisations or ambassadors to take advantage of existing networks, current programmer engagement strategies or partner priorities.

 Through this programmer cultivation strategy, we aim to:

  • Encourage new programmers to consider dance

  • Encourage programmers to attend the Artist as Entrepreneur and Surf the Wave in Scotland and Wales intensives events

  • Encourage programmers to attend the Showcase

  • Build networks of programmers who want to work with dance

  • Increase programmer’s confidence in presenting dance in their context


Phase Two of Surf The Wave is the showcase itself. Stretching across four days, the showcase will provide programmers the opportunity to see work presented in a variety of contexts, as well as hear pitches from artists and producers and network with programmers and artists from across the UK.


Phase Three will look at how Surf The Wave can support opportunities that arise from the Showcase. Surf the Wave aims to give time, space and resources to ideas and opportunities that are generated by the Showcase in order to develop the dance sector and keep companies touring in the UK.