Apprenticeship Toolbox for Artists

with Int. Prof. Isaac Spencer




    The Apprenticeship Toolbox is a collection of tools and materials intended to facilitate the transition from studies to the professional dance and performance world. It includes three tools:

    • Mentorship Toolbox for Artists: a collection of activities to engage in a mentoring or guidance relationship,
    • Messy Talk: a format from Whistle While You Work/ Frances Chiaverini, Robyn Doty, for dancers to practice speaking, brainstorm without judgment, and make the mistakes that are natural for growth through conversation to occur,
    • Anti-Discrimination Handbook: a publication from the Frankfurt University of Music and Performing Arts with information and role play exercises to contribute towards a safe and equitable working environment.


    This webinar will introduce the contents of the toolbox and then expand particularly on the activities from the Mentorship Toolbox for Artists, offering participants practical exercises that can be utilized to enter a mentoring relationship.

    The webinar was produced in 2023 and provides basic knowledge. Please note that there may be changes to specific dates or details. We will always endeavour to keep you as up to date as possible with any updates.



    When you enter the professional dance world after graduating, it might be helpful to find a mentor who accompanies you on your journey. The following interview from the Mentorship Toolbox for Artists is intended to open up thinking on finding a mentor and which parts of your artistic practice you would like a mentor for. You can perform the interview yourself or with others.

    • What is a mentor for you? Who is the first person you go to with an artistic concern? Is this your mentor? Could they be? Could your family, collaborator, colleague, employer, friend, role model, teacher or supervisor be your mentor? What could they be mentoring? How are you being mentored?
    • What are you sharing with them? Is this your artistic material? What do you take with you when you are working? What is the material you are working with? Is it an idea, an object, a performance, bodies, light, sound or space? Where is it? What is your ideal world, space, studio, universe?
    • Could the people around you contribute to your work? How does time spent with them affect your process? Have they been there from the beginning? Are they a constant support or a burst of inspiration? Can you map them in relation to each other and what they provide?
    • Is your artistic work for a public, a specific community or yourself? What if it was? And to what end? Is it for personal development, the production of a performance or installation, research, or a political goal?
    • What parts of what you produce do you preserve? What are its byproducts? What is waste? Where are you going? Who are you going with? And who knows the way? What landmarks could you imagine seeing? Could it be unexpected?





  • FAQ


    Seeking help can be challenging. How about approaching someone knowledgeable in my workplace, such as another dancer for guidance?

    It takes courage to seek assistance, so be clear about the specific help you need. Moreover, it is crucial to understand that a mentor does not necessarily have to be older or have more professional experience than you. When starting a new job begin with tasks within your capabilities and keep in mind that you already possess skills and abilities for that job. Choose a starting point and build from there. This could start by simply asking questions or conducting an interview. Find effective channels of communication to support your progress.