Graduate Artist Scheme

ProDanceLeeds are launching a new mentoring scheme! The scheme is an opportunity for recent graduates and emerging artists interested in developing their teaching skills to teach two days of professional level class for ProDanceLeeds. Spread out over 4 rounds across 2018/19, we will select 8 emerging teachers to share the practice in a professional environment. We are currently looking for 2 artists for our fourth and final round, who will be mentored by Tiia Ourila.

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What you get:
- An opprtunity to teach two professional classes for ProDanceLeeds, for a total fee of £90.
- Guidance and mentoring support from a highly experienced teaching professional in the field.
- Help in marketing the classes through ProDanceLeeds website and social media
- A follow-up meeting with a member from the ProDanceLeeds team

What we need:
To apply please send a C.V. and an expression of interest (up to one side of A4) which includes the following:
- Short bio (100 words) and description of your class (75 words)
- Why you are applying for the scheme and how this will benefit your professional development
- Why you are interested in this particular mentor

All expressions of interest to be sent to hello[at]
For those that want to, questions can also be answered in a video format (no longer than 5 minutes). For any access needs or queries please get in touch.

We are particularly interested in artists based in the North of England. Candidates must have graduated in the last five years and be available to teach in Leeds w/c 22 July. We will prioritise candidates who are available for at least three out of four days so they can take the other Graduate Artist’s class.

One graduate artist will teach Monday and Wednesday and the other Tuesday and Thursday.

Extended Application Deadline: 9 June

Looking forward to hearing from you and good luck!

Read more about our mentors:

Tiia Ourila


I am always interested in creating and working with a playful and curious approach to movement, physicality and mind set. Curiosity drives and inspires our desire to move and express, leading the discovery for full movement potential and access to enriched qualitative range. Creating awareness of the internal space, how our being and moving can be enriched by images to encourage freedom, spaciousness and expression into movement. Communicating through movement whilst connecting with space and people invites humanity and presence into dancing. I look for the dancer to be involved and invested. Key factors for me include:

- Creating positive, supportive environment
- Personal attention
- Building a yes- culture (rather than no I can’t)
- Building confidence
- Encouragement
- Flow of class
-Appropriate build up/warm up to exercises
- Finding artistry in class context
- Use of imagery

Tiia Ourila trained at Rambert School of Ballet and Contemporary Dance and has worked with Jazz xchange (Sharon Wray), Eske Holm (Denmark) Phoenix Dance Theatre, Beth Cassani and Mad Dogs Dance Theatre. She has taught professional company classes across the UK and Europe, including, Phoenix Dance Theatre, New Adventures, Scottish Dance Theatre, Skånes Dansteater and DV8. Professional Activity and Research Interests includes: Embodied Dancer Pro 60 Dance-specific yoga teacher training (Spring 2016); Feldenkrais (attend workshops regularly): and Yoga Teacher Training, at Yoga Kula Leeds, to be completed by Summer 2019. Tiia is a founder of Mad Dogs Dance Theatre (Assistant Artistic Director and Rehearsal Director) and Barking Productions.

Gianluca Vincentini


“Working with repertoire companies has really informed my professional practice and my approach to what we call “technique”.  I have always been interested in how a body moves and the approach of individuals to someone else’s way of moving. I define myself as a curious mover; therefore also in class I am always looking for other possibilities, which sometimes are offered by the people in front of me. Use of our body weight, efficiency and dynamics are few of the elements I like to play when creating a class. Improvisation, imagery and structure are often my starting point.”

Gianluca has performed, taught and directed dance throughout the UK, Europe, Asia and USA and now offers freelance Artistic Direction and curation across the industry internationally. Performance credits include; Henri Oguike, IJAD Dance Company, Efrosini Protopapa´s Lapsus Corpi, himherandit productions and Iceland Dance Company. 2006 – 2010 he was Assistant Artistic Director and Rehearsal Director for Iceland Dance Company and collaborative Rehearsal Director for Carte Blance. He also held Artistic Directorship of Spiral Dansflokkur. Gianluca has assisted over 50 choreographers including; Lea Anderson, Ben Duke, Alexander Ekman, Damien Jalet, Anton Lachky and Luca Silvestrini. In 2011 Gianluca became Artistic Director for VERVE and in 2014 Head of Professional Development and Riley Theatre programmer at NSCD.  

Jennifer-Lynn Crawford

Photo: Camilla Greenwell

Photo: Camilla Greenwell

“Where does teaching/learning happen in dance? Can we have great teaching but learn little because the content is stale? Is great content undermined through lack of clarity in delivery? What about everything else: bodies, space, timing, mood? We are often concerned, as teachers and learners, about having enough: experience, content, enthusiasm, skill... I think if we stay focussed on sharing our passion/curiosity wherever it might be, fearlessly if possible, maintain a sense of what is/is not landing with the others we are with, then there is plenty scope for 'enough' to happen anywhere at anytime. My interests are in possibilities rather than achievements and trying to engage difference as endlessly interesting and fruitful for learning. I prefer biomechanics that make sense.”

Jennifer-Lynn Crawford is a freelance dance artist and Certified RolferTM. A transatlantic transplant, she trained in Canada at Quinte Ballet School and the School of Toronto Dance Theatre before joining the postgraduate group EDge at London Contemporary Dance School in 2002. She has a long-standing involvement in the UK’s conservatoire system for HE dance training and was on faculty at the Northern School of Contemporary Dance 2007-2016. She has taught and performed throughout the UK and internationally, working with choreographers such as Charlotte Spencer, Siobhan Davies and Hofesh Shechter. She is currently working with Hagit Yakira, developing her new work ‘If One Keeps Walking’.”