creativeopportunityprogramme | A FOOT IN THE DOOR
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Jade Leatham 

Winner of the 2016/17 Apprenticeship Award for the Best Work Placement/Intern Jade Leatham, tells us how participating in last year’s Creative Opportunity Programme, helped her land a role at Sadler’s Wells as Community Engagement Intern.

“I’m from Walthamstow and went to De Montfort University in Leicester to study a degree in arts and festival management.

Dance has always been my driving force. When I left uni I picked up bits of work and I was getting interviews but just couldn’t get a full-time role. Then I came across the Creative and Cultural Opportunity Week and managed to get a place. It started at Sadler’s Wells and then moved to places like Whitechapel Gallery, Stratford Circus and Here East.

There was amazing moral support and really focused on everyone’s individual needs. A lot of us needed that – it was really insightful to have mentors to help you figure out what to do next. It was good to talk to people in similar situations. You create a network just by being there.

The hardest thing about the arts is getting a foot in the door. The creative opportunity programme led to my internship at Sadler’s Wells for a six-month community engagement role. My role involved going into local communities and schools and introducing them to dance in different ways. It was impossible not to enjoy it.

After my internship I’ve now secured a role as an international examinations administrator at the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing. The internship gave me the confidence I needed to push myself to the next level. Lots of people are capable of doing the jobs that are out there – you just need to prove you can actually do it.

I’m really passionate about getting people engaged in dance and I want to get my enthusiasm across. In the long-term I want to use all my skills and set up my own thing, although I’m not sure what that will be yet.”

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