is a project co-funded by theErasmus+ Programme of the European Union.
It aims to support the modernization of education and training systems,
through better use of EU transparency and recognition tools and
the exchange of good practices.


Supported by

“The European Commission’s support for the production of this publication does not constitute an endorsement of the contents, which reflect the

views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.”


“UP2DANCE – Updating professional profiles towards contemporary dance” is supported by the ERASMUS+ Program of the European Union and is being realized in collaboration between Balletto di Roma (Italy), Derida Dance Center (Bulgaria), Magenta Consultoria (Spain), Polish Dance Theatre (Poland), ICK (Netherlands) and Companhia de Dança de Almada (Portugal). UP2DANCE projects seeks to investigate the profound changes occurred in the system of contemporary dance in the last 20 years, that can be considered a “revolution” that still affects the entire world of dance.

Dance companies willing to differentiate their offer face numerous challenges, but the main ones are:

The needs of a re-definition of curricula and general update of training programs in accordance with the most recent trends;

The vision of dance in South-Eastern Europe is still strictly connected with the classical ballet, thus preventing both professionals and audience from a real shift to contemporary dance languages;

Professional working in the field must cope with new languages and methodologies that are often not fitting with their traditional training;

The situation in Europe is not homogeneous at all: Northern EU countries have almost fully embraced contemporaneity and are now drawing the change, in South-eastern Europe these new languages and approaches still lack a proper diffusion in the vocational training programs and have not led to the definition of new curricula yet.

Vocational training courses are still based on obsolete programs and models designed for other sectors. As a result, the recognition of professional figures is still scarce and fragmented, with negative consequences for professionals’ employability.

With all that being said, UP2DANCE aims to support the modernization of education and training systems, in particular through a better use of EU transparency and recognition tools and the exchange of good practices concerning the dance industry at European level, in order to boost the process of harmonization and update of curricula of the professional profiles according to the requirements of the contemporary scenario.


Balletti di Roma

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Magenta Consultoria

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Companhia de Dança de Almada

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Polish Dance Theatre

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Kick-off meeting

Poland, January 2020

The project was launched with a meeting in Poznań, Poland (January 15th – 18th 2020). The kick-off meeting started with presenting all the partners and their organizations along with the main activities related to the training programs they have been running, as well as presenting the project itself. Partners brainstormed about their experiences in the training sectors, with a specific focus on the importance of the non-formal learning and on the need of re-thinking the different definitions used for the different roles foreseen. As a result of discussion and brainstorming, the following conclusions were made:

  • Contemporary dance lowers the barriers among practices and roles and thus provokes the need of new definitions in connection to describing new roles.

  • The main objective of UP2DANCE project is to promote the collaboration exchange of good practices at EU level, in particular regarding the development of specific skill for today and tomorrow contemporary dance professions

During the meeting in Poznań, partners also attended Polish Dance Theatre dancers’ training in the main hall, to have an insight of the first morning session, and a flash mob realized in the main city square.

Based on the discussions, the partners deepened the reflection and came to the following shared definition: The main objective of UP2DANCE project is to promote the collaboration exchange of good practices at EU level, in particular regarding the development of specific skill for today and tomorrow contemporary dance professions.

Comparative Analysis

To organize the practical activities and meetings within the UP2DANCE project, Companhia de Dança de Almada presented the WP4 with the specific objective to outline the state of the art at national level concerning specific professional profiles, compare the results and draw conclusions on how to address the mismatches between qualification frameworks and contemporary professional profiles. A Preparatory Research Questionnaire was drawn up to focus the professional roles considered important or fundamental to approach in the project by each company and the stakeholders (type of organisation) expected to collaborate/participate.

Knowing there are many very important roles in the dance industry, for the purpose of the UP2DANCE project – that is: “to outline the key professional profiles involved in the contemporary dance industry and boost a process for the recognition and validation of their knowledge, competences and skills” – it was decided to concentrate the study on the roles of Dancer, Dance Teacher, Choreographer and Dance Rehearsal Director / Repetiteur

Ca.DA, with the contributions from all the partners, produced a comparative analysis of dance professional profiles and corresponding educational paths in partner’s countries participating in the project: Bulgaria, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Spain and the Netherlands. The conclusion of the analysis were:

  • in all the countries the most regulated dance profession is that of dance teacher, which is usually addressed differently whether it refers to professional or educational teaching, but it is always required specific education for the job;

  • in all countries it is possible to train as a dancer in different schools but in most companies dancers are chosen based on auditions. The requirement of a certificate or diploma varies from country to country and depends on the type of institution;

  • in what concerns the role of the choreographer, we can find higher education level courses that address the role of the choreographer, but it is understood that companies engage choreographers based on the recognition of their artistry than on academic qualifications

  • referring to the profession of rehearsal director or repetiteur, we could not find any course or degree that addresses the specific role in any of the countries under study.

Round Tables 2020

The main activity of the project, during 2020, was to undertake the conduct of round tables, organized with local, regional and national stakeholders aiming to detect the state of the art on the recognition of roles, discuss the competences and the type of training at different levels, discover gaps and make a comparative analysis.

What is a round table?

Round tables are a form of academic discussion. Participants agree on a specific topic to discuss and debate. Each person is given equal right to participate, as illustrated by the idea of a circular layout referred to in the term round table. Questions are asked in an informal group setting where participants are free to talk with other group members and where respondents are free to give views from any aspect.

Within UP2DANCE, the round tables aim more specifically to gather the opinion of the target groups of the project: staff, professionals and experts, as well as key external stakeholders. Carrying out these round tables was essential to gain insights into the needs of these groups, gain insight regarding specific problems and challenges and identify gaps in order to have a sound base for the design of the different resources that this project aims to develop.Due to the pandemic of COVID-19, the round tables were organized online in order to guarantee the health security of all the participants and they were curated by the partners from Italy, Bulgaria, Poland, Portugal, Spain and Netherlands. Each of them addressed a different profile within the dance industry.

Companhia de Dança de Almada

Round Tables, July/October 2020

Professionalization of the Dancer: The role of Schools of Artistic Training Specialized in Dance


Facilitators: Ana Macara (artistic director Ca.DA) with presentations by Albino Moura (Lugar Presente Dance School), Carla Albuquerque (Ca.DA School), Susana Rodrigues (Ana Mangericão Dance School), Madalena Xavier (Escola Superior de Dança), Iolanda Rodrigues (1st Position Association).

Activity: The round table started with a short presentation of the Up2Dance project and objectives of the meeting. It was followed by a presentation by Ana Macara about the state of the art in what concerns the training and professionalization of dancers in the 6 countries involved in this project. This was followed by the presentations of 4 directors of Portuguese Schools of Artistic Specialization in Dance who addressed the main topics of concern in their schools concerning the training and professionalization of dancers. The presentations were followed by open discussion and at the end we had the presentation by the representative of “1a Posição” Association for dance schools and professionals. As a conclusion everyone saluted the organization of the meeting which brought into contact several institutions that work for the same purpose but which are usually not very much connected, wishing it will start good possibilities of collaboration for the future.

Classical and Contemporary Dance: The role of the dance teacher


Facilitators: moderated by Kátia Mortari with presentations by Bruno Duarte (Ca.DA School), Elisabete Monteiro (FMH – University of Lisbon), Luísa Carles (EVC – National Ballet Company), Pedro Fidalgo Marques (Plataforma Dança Portugal).

Activity: the meeting started with a short presentation by Ana Macara, with an incidence to the results of the comparative analysis underwent. Next, the participants were presented by the moderator Katia Mortari, underlining the main aspects of their careers as dance teachers and educators. Each of the participants were able to present their points of view concerning some of the proposed topics: fundamental knowledge, techniques and skills for practicing the profession of classical or contemporary dance teacher today; role and existing difficulties in the training of teachers in the dance area; training models for dance teachers; recognition of the profession of dance teacher and regulation on the necessary qualifications for teaching. The discussion involved the importance of the education of dance teachers in the university versus the experience gained by working in a professional dance environment, focusing on vocational training.

The role of the rehearsal director/repetiteur in the dance company: Relationship with choreographers and dancers


Facilitators: The table was moderated by Kátia Mortari and we were able to count with presentations by Cláudia Sampaio, Maria João Lopes, Vítor Garcia, Rui Reis Lopes.

Activity: Each of the participants were able to present their points of view concerning some of the proposed topics: fundamental knowledge, techniques and skills for practicing the profession of classical or contemporary dance teacher today; role and existing difficulties in the training of teachers in the dance area; training models for dance teachers; recognition of the profession of dance teacher and regulation on the necessary qualifications for teaching. Each presentation was followed by discussion among participants who agreed on the importance of these meetings for the support of professionals in the field, since the subject of this meeting is very rarely addressed. All professionals feel they were self-taught, and need to exchange views and experiences with other specialists in the field. The main conclusion of the meeting was the common understanding that the profession should be more valorized in the dance community and the importance of the experience as a dancer to be able to be a good repetiteur.

ICK Dans Amsterdam

Round Tables, September/October 2020

Roundtable #1 Profile Dancer


Facilitators: Suzan Tunca (head of ICK Academy and researcher); ICK Dans Amsterdam facilitated the roundtable with the invited participants (choreographer, artistic director, dancer, dance teacher, dance researcher, production manager, rehearsal director).

Activity: brief introduction UP2DANCE project sharing results comparative analysis of profile dancer in partner countries and discussing ideals participants about the profile dancer. Discussion around “the ideal dancer” according ICK artistic philosophy and in relation to Dutch National competencies for BA Dance.

Other points of concern related to the contemporary state of the art of the profession of a dancer: artistically and socio-politically.

RT# 2 Profile Dance Teacher (for professionals)


Facilitators: ICK Dans Amsterdam with the invited participants (dance teacher in various contemporary techniques, former dancer, Eurytmicist and Eurythmy teacher and performer, Dance teacher from Amsterdam Dance teacher education, production manager, dance researcher).

Activity: brief introduction UP2DANCE project and outcomes of comparative analysis of the dance profiles in the partner countries. Discourse with participants about the ideal dance teacher also in relation to the Dutch National competencies for the BA Dance. Other points of concern related to the state of the art of the profession of the dance teacher (for professionals): artistically and socio-politically.

RT # 3 Profile rehearsal director


Facilitators: ICK Dans Amsterdam with the invited participants (a dance researcher/teacher/occasional stager, a dancer/dance teacher/rehearsal director and a choreographer, former stager of repertoire).

Activity: discussing together the ICK ideals for rehearsal director and creating competencies in dialogue for the not yet formalized profile in the NL.

Wrap up, ideas and ideals for the future of dance in NL and EU


Facilitators: ICK Dans Amsterdam with the invited participants (dancers, rehearsal directors, dance professor, head of MA Choreography AHK, former managing director of Netherlands Dance Theatre, young and more experienced freelance choreographers, dance researcher, production manager).

Activity: In line with ICK’s artistic vision of audacious idealism for the coming years, and as an opening for the discussions, we shared an informal sketch of a list of some ideal characteristics, skills and competencies for each profile. In line with the dance research at ICK on dance language development in body and words via dance (an)notation, documentation and knowledge transmission, the overarching idea is to cultivate a discourse about the verbal articulation of the tacit, unspoken and mostly yet unrecognized knowledge of various facets of the dance profession. To continue to bring the swiftly evolving working modes in contemporary dance in dialogue with national and international dance education. ICK RT also aimed at evaluating the potentials of this knowledge in relation to the collectively shared challenge of the Corona crisis, the high mobility of securities triggered by it, and in relation to the future of dance.

Polish Dance Theatre

Round Tables, September/October 2020

Choreographer vs. Polish Dance Institutional and Educational Environment


Facilitators: Alicja Hafke representing the Polish Dance Theatre (project partner). Participants: Aleksandra Dziurosz (vice director of the Music and Dance Institute, Warsaw, Poland; professor at the Fryderyk Chopin Music University in Warsaw), Monika Myśliwiec (director of L’Art de la Danse Non-public School of Dance Art in Cracow, pedagogue, choreographer), Anna Piotrowska (acting director of the ROZBARK Theatre in Bytom, Poland, choreographer), Maciej Kuźmiński, choreographer, founder and director of the Polish Dance Network). Guests (additional interviews, before and after the roundtable): Jacek Przybyłowicz – dancer, choreographer, pedagogue, Weronika Pelczyńska – dancer, choreographer, freelancer, Agata Życzkowska (director, performer, actrice, president of the “New wave” Foundation of Theatre Development).

Activity: the meeting started with a project introduction then each person has time to shortly present her/his opinion about the choreographer profession. The facilitator asked additional questions to find as many conclusions and recommendations as possible.

Dancer-Teacher: role, competences, professional development opportunities


Facilitators: Alicja Hafke with the participants Aleksandra Dziurosz, Krystyna Frąckowiak (vice director of arts subjects at the General Ballet School in Poznan, dance teacher). Guest: Paweł Malicki (choreographer, pedagogue at the Polish University of Physical Education in Poznan, Department of Dance and Gymnastique; former artist-dancer at the Polish Dance Theatre)

Professional development of a dancer in the context of educational and institutional offer in Poland


Facilitators: Alicja Hafke with the participants Monika Kaszewska (dancer, pedagogue and choreographer, coordinator of the Dance Professionals Transition Program at Music and Dance Institute), Dobrosława Chorynska-Chudy (career councillor of the Dance Professionals Transition Program at Music and Dance Institute), Katarzyna Rzetelska (artist-dancer at the Polish Dance Theatre, graduate of the Łódź Ballet School in Poland, she coordinates work of the PDT’s dancer team), Julia Hałka (artist-dancer at the Polish Dance Theatre, she perfects her dance skills among others at the Codarts Rotterdam).

Activity: the meeting started with project introduction than the participants discussed topics like dancer carrier building, perspective for development after ending stage carrier. Guests focused on physical and psychological aspects of dancer development and how it is important in the context of proper education. The meeting ended with a list of recommendations.

Balletto di Roma

Round Tables, October/November 2020

Round table discourse on the roles of dancer and dance teacher. State of the art in Italy


Round table discourse on the roles of choreographer and rehearsal director. State of the art in Italy


Facilitators: Francesca Magnini (Artistic Director of Balletto Di Roma), Emanuele Burrafato: Teacher And Choreographer Balletto Di Roma. Guest: Stefano Cascino (Regione Lazio, Programming Area of the Training and Orientation Offer. Direction of Education, Training, Research and Work).

Stakeholders/Target group: professionals in the sector, renowned artists and researchers in the field to make the discourse more articulated through the dialogue between multiple expressions of the art of dance and points of view coming from personal experiences; Emanuele Burrafato (Bdr Teacher), Letizia Piccione (BdR Teacher), Valerio Longo (BdR Choreographer And Deputy Director), Valeria Diana (Accademia Nazionale Danza), Adriana Borriello (International Master, Pedagogue), Christophe and Jonathan (Directors of Sine Qua Non Art Company).

Activity: each of the participants contributed to the discussion by reporting experiences and details on the role within the institutions represented. They talked about the two figures in question starting from the certified recognition conditions and then from the needs of any shortcomings and holes in the sector. The added value of the discussion was linked to the intersection of the needs relating to the two roles, since one (dance teacher) benefits from some more details of recognition, while for the figure of the dancer there is still a lot of confusion with respect to the specificities required for the profession, especially in the contemporary field.

Derida Dance Center

Round Tables, December 2020

Round table discourse on the roles of Artistic Director and choreographer. State of contemporary dance in Bulgaria


Round table discourse on the roles of dancer and dance teacher. State of contemporary dance in Bulgaria


Facilitators: Atanas Maev, Project manager of Derida Dance Center/ Art Link Foundation, Jivko Jeliazkov, Artistic Director and choreographer of Derida Dance Center/ Art Link Foundation, Isabel Mitkova, Assistant Project Manager and dancer.

Activity: The round table started with a short presentation of the project and the partners involved in its implementation and continued with a short presentation of each participant in the discussion. The results of the preliminary study were briefly presented in order to outline a general framework of the state of dance professional profiles in Europe and in particular in the partner countries.
The meeting continued with a discussion on the identified issues:
Lack of professional orientation in the profiled schools – namely in what profession according to the national classifier the student could develop. Who is who and what obligations/privileges he or she in the field of performing arts. According to the National Classification of Occupations, there are two profiles – ballet dancer and folk artist. The profile of an artist in the field of contemporary dance is missing: this is the founding problem. There is a need for categorization by the state in terms of dance artists working in the field of contemporary dance, as such is currently lacking. Increasingly, when hiring a choreographer/dancer, his or her experience is taken into account rather than his or her higher education diploma. The creation of a register for independent artists at the Ministry of Culture is forthcoming. The existence of such a register will lead to a relaxed regime of existence, purely economic, in this area.

Magenta Consultoria

Round Tables, December 2020

Updating professional profiles: dancers


Facilitators: María Sol Alvarez from Magenta Consultoría Projects. Participants: Xevi Dorca, Pablo Dávila, Yoshua Cienfuegos, Melanie Lopez Lopez. Participants are all involved within the dance world in different ways. There were several professional profiles such as dancing students, dancing teachers and freelance

Dancers; also the president of the Dance Professionals association from Cataluña took part in the round table.

Activity: the round-table started with an explanation about the project and its goals. The facilitators let the participants introduced themselves and talk about their professional situations in order to get to know each other better and analyse the different realities of dancers and dance professionals. The participants highlighted the fact that many of them have had experiences around Europe and some of them are also involved in teaching activities regarding the dancing world. They talked about the issue that is the lack of regulations within the dancing world and also regarding the joining of the labor market once you finish your studies. As teachers, some of the participants also explained how their students are trained to be competitive professionals but the lack of regulations, even within Europe, make it difficult for them to enter the workforce within a dancing company for example.

Manual of good practices

During 2021, partners worked together to collect all the information elaborated through the round tables, the project meetings and the Peer Learning workshops during the overall length of the project, with the ongoing support of local, national and international stakeholders. All the knowledge gathered was included in the Manual of good practices.

Main deliverable of the project, the Manual of good practices provides a detailed overview of the state of the art of the dance profiles addressed, an analysis of the competences and skills needed, a comparison amongst the different Countries, as well as recommendations to address the mismatches between national qualification frameworks and contemporary professional requirements.

The Manual focuses on the key dance profiles: dancer, choreographer, dance teacher, rehearsal director/repetiteur, providing for each one:

  • a definition of the professional role;
  • an analysis of the most updated competences needed;
  • a reflection about the most updated education and training paths;
  • national and international recommendations for the profession.

An additional chapter is dedicated to the Dance Management, with key findings and practices from participating partners.


The Manual of good practices is designed to support both individual professionals and dance organisations in the management of programs and individual careers, as well as to contribute to passing awareness and understanding about the importance of developing and regulating national and European performing arts systems. On this regard, thanks to the ongoing networking activity held by partners during the project, the Manual has been made available to a relevant number of stakeholders at local, national and international level, and it will contribute in the further development of the discussion about the dance professions and the dance sector in general. Amongst the main fields in which it will be further exploited we can mention:

  • the policy – making level (for ensuring a better recognition and regulation of the dancers’ careers);
  • the education system (to harmonise the professional paths in sight of a better employment and circulation of dancers and dance professionals);
  • the professional level: practical tools that can enable dance schools and professionals to update curricula and introduce contemporary dance languages starting from different elements, representative of each area of origin with its history and tradition, with an eye to the future but without cutting the roots with the past.

The Manual is an accurate and useful tool to start with in forthcoming steps towards the dance profession regulation.

The Manual is not intended to be a definitive document, but rather to contribute as a guide that brings an approach to a subject that is in deep need for further research and sustenance.

Final partners’ meeting

The last partner meeting was held at the Balletto di Roma facilities from 10 to 13 November 2021. The event involved the main representatives of the partner companies, present in the capital to summarize the good practices and results of the project, carried out even ‘remotely’ in the most difficult months of 2020/21. These were intense days, full of ideas and also of lively confrontation between directors, choreographers, professionals of important international structures dedicated to dance. The project meeting ended with the awareness that the good practices exchanged will also spill over into future collaborations.

In these images, group shots at Balletto di Roma’s headquarters and some moments of the third day, with the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding to mark new arrival and departure points through shared visions.