PiPA Dance Research

PiPA are running a series of focus groups investigating specific barriers to career progression for dance professionals with caring responsibilities. This research will be split in two, with one side focusing on parents and carers in Contemporary dance, the other in Ballet. Both research projects will lay the foundations for a series of practical trials by dance organisations in 2022, culminating in a PiPA Dance Best Practice Charter. Like PiPA’s current Best Pratice Charter, this Dance Charter will provide strategies to support dance professionals, and encourage the development of more flexible and supportive dance organisations.

Ballet Project Information:

Conducted in partnership with Birkbeck University of London, this part of the project will be led by Professor Almuth McDowall and PiPA CEO Anna Ehnold-Danailov. The aim of this study is to better understand the lived experience, challenges and needs of classical dancers.

Take part in our Ballet Focus Groups

We are looking for professional ballet dancers, or those who have recently left their ballet careers, to participate in PiPA's upcoming focus groups, which will form the first stage of wider research project that aims to investigate supportive working practices that would benefit dancers with caring responsibilities to successfully continue their careers.

While these focus groups are open to all classical dancers, PiPA is particularly keen to hear from dancers who are parents (including adoptive and foster parents) and/or carers (e.g. for children and/ or ill, disabled or elderly relatives) or those considering becoming parents, undergoing IVF, or currently pregnant.

Focus groups will be held in between the 8th and 21st of November at a convenient time for participants, using Teams or Zoom. You will be able to indicate your availability in the sign up form. Each focus group will take around 90 minutes.

For any questions about the research project please get in touch with Anna Ehnold-Danailov anna@pipacampaign.com.

To take part please sign up below by 1st November 2021:

Contemporary Dance Project Information:

Funded by Dance Professionals Fund and led by Dr. Angela Pickard Professor of Dance Education, Canterbury Christ Church University,

PiPA is investigating the specific barriers to career progression faced by contemporary dance professionals with caring responsibilities.

PiPA ran a series of Focus Groups in September 2021 with Dancers, Choreographers, Dance Practitioners, Artistic/Rehearsal Directors & Dance Teachers with caring responsibilities to understand specific barrier to career progression they face.

The data collected will be combined with data from the Ballet Focus groups to help identify specific interventions and strategies needed by parents and carers working in the dance sector in order to meet work and family commitments.

Why is PiPA conducting this research?

Very little research exists on professional dancers, and what there is tends to concentrate on either the physicality of dancing, or dance education.


PiPA’s exisiting research, and insights from our Dance partners and Ambassadors, indicates that dance practitioners with caring responsibilities face unique challenges that need further investigating and addressing.
Through this project, PiPA aims to ensure that these dancers are properly supported, and to foster an inclusive culture where dancers deciding to start a family is the norm rather than the exception.


If you would like any further information on this project, or are an organisation interested in taking part, please contact anna@pipacampaign.com.