Dance Base Cash Crisis

Oct 9 2020 | By More

Dance Base takes Crowdfunding route

Dance Base, Scotland’s National Centre for Dance, has put out an emergency appeal on Crowdfunder to raise £25,000 so it can continue with its outreach work.

The charity is more than its studios on the Grassmarket, which have been closed since March 2020 due to Covid-19 restrictions. It actively encourages people from every corner of the community to get dancing and has offered free online courses during lockdown.

Image: Dance Base

On its Crowdfunder page, the charity estimates it could lose up to 80% of its public class income this year – approximately £300,000 – due to the closure. While it has worked hard to reduce expenditure, it still faces considerable operating costs to maintain its facilities and support its highly experienced staff.

It says: “Our perilous financial situation means that our important outreach work with communities in Edinburgh and across Scotland is in danger at a point when people need it most. You can help us to bring the joy of dance to people in Scotland and allow this work to continue.”

Dance Base moved its dance classes online during lockdown and, from April to August, offered 275 completely free classes with nearly 6,000 attendances. More recently it has started to offer paid online courses in five-week blocks, offering the chance for progression.

support for freelance artists

It continues to deliver its Dance for Parkinson’s Scotland classes and social cafés online, together with Scottish Ballet, as well as creating new digital offerings for families with young children and older adults in care settings.

It has also worked hard to support freelance artists and the dance community, many of whom lost all of their work overnight. It has both honoured their contracts and is now providing new opportunities such as rehearsal space and commissions.

Image: Dance Base

While Dance Base has been able to access some government relief funds, the Crowdfunding page says that it is not able to access any more, but still needs external funding to continue its programme.

“We are extremely grateful for the support we have received from the UK Government’s furloughing scheme and our individual donors.

“We were recently successful in an application to the Scottish Government’s Performing Arts Venues Relief Fund, allowing us to bring designated support to professional dance artists and choreographers. Unfortunately, this has rendered us ineligible for any other Scottish Government relief funding for the rest of the organisation and our work with the public.

harsh reality

“The harsh reality now is that we are having to divert all of our remaining resources into the survival of the organisation, and this will mean we are unable to continue our programme of community classes and outreach work.

“This includes projects with schools and hospitals, older people, dancers with disabilities, LGBTQI+ young people, young people from minority ethnic backgrounds, and people from refugee backgrounds.”

Dance Base is aiming to raise £25,000 to ensure the survival of the organisation and to continue its community outreach work.

The charity is not offering rewards through the Crowdfunder, but instead points out What any donations could support:

£30 – A free online dance course for an NHS worker.

£50 – A dance class for a person living with dementia in their own home.

£100 – A dance workshop for a class of children with disabilities in their school.

£250 – A person living with Parkinson’s to join classes at Dance Base for a whole year.

£500 – 1-year bursary for a young person in our Youth Dance Company.

Dance Base Crowdfunding page is here:


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