IN YOUR SHOES
We all know what an incredibly challenging time it has been for many people and especially for young graduates who are embarking on their careers. We just felt we needed to do something that would highlight the difficulties facing many young dancers and to offer an opportunity to bring them together with professionals, coaches and dance companies… welcome to GradPro, something we passionately believe in and we hope will make a difference.
Executive Director and Creator of GradPRO
Hello I’m Julie Bowers, CEO at bbodance. I wanted to share a little about myself and why I decided to create what is now known as GradPro.
I have spent many years developing programmes and schemes across the world to make ballet accessible whilst enhancing dancers/teachers training development. From being a founding member and now Patron of the Staffordshire Youth Ballet through to creating the RAD Genée Dance Challenge, I have always wanted to find new ways to encourage, support and nurture dancers.
I know from my own experiences as a professional dancer with the Royal Ballet just how demanding our profession can be. You have to be fit both physically and mentally. Along with Brandon I wanted to come up with a way of helping graduates remain positive and to experience working alongside professionals who have a genuine desire to provide a helping hand.
Throughout lockdown I worked tirelessly to provide online opportunities to support teachers and students including creating the Lockdown Challenge with Brandon Lawrence and David Bintley, Creativity Unlocked, a full CPD programme, Zoom support meetings for students and teachers, a Global Teachers Conference and adult classes to support mental health and wellbeing.
GradPro Co Creator and Co Producer
Brandon Lawrence, Principal dancer at Birmingham Royal Ballet has danced professionally since 2011. Brandon is a registered dance teacher and certified Personal Trainer as well as serving on the Board of Elmhurst School for Ballet.
‘I'm very pleased to be a part of GradPro’s journey to encourage young talented artists who are stepping onto the professional ladder. Working closely with Julie Bowers and the incredible coaches we have on-board will hopefully strengthen confidence and networking for those entering the professional world’.