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The Dance Leaders Group (DLG) is a network of dance professionals across the West Midlands who share a collective passion for inspiring and involving young people in dance and movement and ensuring that opportunities are open and accessible for all. 


The network enables members to work together to develop bold, ambitious and unique projects and activities, through partnerships and joint working that extend and share expertise, resources and capacity.  


What is unique and special about the DLG is the collaboration, co-production and generously shared learning that happens on a region wide scale and invites people, at all stages in their career and across the spectrum of organisational contexts and dance styles, to contribute and develop ideas on an equal basis. 


This makes DLG a unique, responsive, ambitious approach to dance development regionwide, creating the conditions for the dance community to connect and thrive. DLG represents a model of culturally democratic innovation which is unique to the region and envied in other parts of the country.  


We wish to build on its position as independent of any one dance organisation and not an organisation in its own right. We see this as integral to its effectiveness, power and success so far. 


  • Bring together dance leaders to support practice and infrastructure for collaboration.

  • Develop creative enquiry/ action research projects.

  • Raise the profile of members' work.

  • Advocate for investment and resources.

  • Enable dance organisations within the Midlands region to do the best work and learn from from each other.

  • Include different demographics, types of dance and abilities.

  • Connect people from the dance community with an equal voice.

  • Strengthen the region as a united force and create opportunity.


  • To provide a collective to connect the dance sector across regions.

  • To harness the power of collective bidding to draw funds.

  • To support the connection between dance practitioners and leaders.

  • To encourage professional development and talent retention.

  • To understand the wider context we are are working in as dance leaders.

  • To facilitate, up-skill and strengthen the work of dance leaders in the region.

Current Work

The DLG & Critical Mass What Next 2022-2024 project comprises four interlinked strands which realise Investment Priorities alongside DLG’s strategic goals over a two-year period. These are: 

  • Network Leadership and Advocacy 

  • Learning and Skills Development 

  • Practice, Innovation, Research – #DanceConnect 2 

  • Sustainability and Resilience 


As part of these strands, we have already achieved the following during the pilot phase delivery: 

  • Set up of three Sub-Regional Hubs with a dedicated Project Leader, Senior Ambassador and Youth Ambassador. 

  • A series of online access drop in sessions, and ‘In Conversation With’ conferences, with Critical Mass key player guest speakers.  

  • Investment in the DLG Brand Identity and how we wish to share our story to world. 


We are now embarking on the second phase of this work.

The DLG Sub-regional Hubs Are:

Coventry and Warwickshire
Convened by Mercurial Dance

Black Country

Convened by Black Country Dance

Hereford and Worcestershire

Convened by Dancefest

Burton & East Staffordshire

Convened by Brewhouse Arts Centre

Stoke on Trent & North Staffordshire

Convened by FRONTLINEdance

W Mids South Asian Dance Network

Convened by SAMPAD

This project is funded by Arts Connect and Dance Hub Birmingham with additional support from Birmingham 2022.

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Experimental Exchange Sequence - 2018/19

An action research project support the evolving network of DLG and facilitating increased connections, awareness and collaboration across the region.

#DanceConnect - 2020

An online collaborative project between dance professionals, young people and a digital artist, from across the West Midlands.

Beyond Borders - 2021

A region wide participation project that brought together dance artists, aspiring young leaders, young people, digital artists and a variety of specialists to collaborate and produce original work in response to #OnewithNature.

Critical Mass - 2022

Birmingham 2022 Festival’s flagship participation programme, bringing together a fully integrated cast of young people to perform at some of the regions largest events.

DLG & Critical Mass What Next - 2022-24

Four interlinked strands which aim to strengthen and diversify leadership and infrastructure across the region and create the conditions for future audacious ambitious collaborations.

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