Mills to Dance Base

Aug 17 2021 | By More

Tony Mills follows Morag Deyes at Dance Base

Edinburgh’s Dance Base has announced Tony Mills, of Room 2 Manoeuvre, as its artistic director designate. He will take over from founding artistic director Morag Deyes MBE in 20 September, 2021.

Dance Base say that Tony Mills’ appointment marks a “generational shift” for Scotland’s National Centre for Dance and the first time that artistic leadership has changed since it was founded almost 30 years ago.

He will join the organisation as it prepares to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the opening of the National Centre for Dance facility in Edinburgh. Deyes will bid her final farewell after delivering the organisation’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe programme in 2022.

Tony Mills

Dance Base said in a statement: “The role of Artistic Director is central to the delivery of Dance Base’s vision to get the whole of Scotland to experience dance and build national and international success for dance artists based here.

“Tony’s personal experience of making a career as an independent dance artist here puts him in a strong position to understand the challenges facing dance artists. His track record of engaging people across the country with dance will be invaluable in helping engage many more people with dance as a source of health, wellbeing and community.

“As the sector emerges from the enormous challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, Tony’s role will ensure that Dance Base is supporting the talents and the needs of the diverse range of dance artists who choose to live and work in Scotland, and for making the country a place where dance fulfils its potential across society.”

Speaking of his appointment, Tony Mills said that he is “more than thrilled” to be taking on the role of Artistic Director of Dance Base.


“I first stepped into a breakin’ class back in 1999 when the organisation was based at the Assembly Rooms. It became the highlight of my week. I got so into dance I almost quit Veterinary Medicine school. I didn’t quit, but dance did win in the end.

“Now over 20 years later, I am grateful and excited to be in a position to use my knowledge and experience (of dance, not animals) to contribute to the future of an organisation that has supported my development as a professional dance artist based in Scotland.

The entrance to Dance Base on the Grassmarket

“In my opinion, Dance Base has emerged as an organisation that has responded to the challenges of the past 18 months in a responsible, caring and robust manner. I’m looking forward to joining the team at Dance Base and working with these values to create opportunities, support and develop the careers of Scottish dance artists and get more people dancing in Scotland.”

Morag Deyes added: “Over three decades Dance Base has grown from a rehearsal room above the Kings Theatre to a function suite in the Assembly Rooms to an institution in a bespoke award-winning building with a national remit and an international reputation.

“Tony Mills has witnessed that story and danced at many events that have celebrated the ongoing journey. His own company has been run for many years with an original, entrepreneurial spirit and deep connection to hip hop. I am sure Dance Base will continue to embrace change as Tony steps into this important and fantastic role of artistic director.”


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