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Linda Jasper to leave Youth Dance England

4th March 2016

Linda Jasper. Photo: Brian Slater

Linda Jasper MBE. Photo Brian Slater

Linda Jasper MBE, Founder Director of Youth Dance England, will leave the organisation at the end of March following a successful 12 years leading the first national organisation to champion and support children and young people’s dance. She will leave the organisation after working on the merger of the Association of Dance of the African Diaspora, Dance UK, the National Dance Teachers Association and Youth Dance England to form One Dance UK: a new organisation to support the dance sector.

Linda Jasper said:

It has been a remarkable 12 years setting up a new organisation, from scratch, to address the brief from Arts Council England and Department for Education to improve dance opportunities for children and young people across the country. The real joy has been meeting the thousands of young people who took part in our performances, courses, conferences and events; their energy and passion for dance has driven me on! My work for YDE would not have been possible without the support of many regional and national partners without whom we could not have reached the hundreds of thousands of young people who have engaged in our programmes. Special thanks go to my colleagues and board members who have been so supportive of the work and myself. I look forward to seeing One Dance UK’s work with children and young people develop and grow, and give Andrew Hurst all my best wishes in his role as the first Chief Executive of One Dance UK.

Richard Alston, Chair of Youth Dance England

As Chair of Youth Dance England for the past seven years it has been a huge privilege to be part of this remarkable organisation led by the truly amazing Linda Jasper. It has been my great pleasure to wholeheartedly share Linda’s joy in the creative achievements of young people- to watch with delight what young dancers do and to watch with awe what Linda and her team have managed to organise in the Nationwide Events of U.Dance and the creative maelstrom of the Young Creatives programme. The support and nurturing of talent in dance across the country has been an absolutely phenomenal achievement, touching on the lives of tens of thousands of young people. I’m proud to have been involved and feel lucky to have worked with such a tireless and generous team who have been supported all the way by their totally admirable Director. Linda is a one-off and she has changed the face of Dance for Young People in this country. We have so much reason to be grateful. Thank you Linda

Sue Wyatt, Chair designate of One Dance UK

Linda Jasper established the phenomenal Youth Dance England and U.Dance framework and the country is richer as a result. At One Dance UK we will be proud to continue this work. During my months as Chair Designate I have valued working with Linda and hugely appreciate her commitment to youth dance and care for its future."

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