DUETS Explore & Test Programme


Delivering Unique and Exciting Training Strands

“DUETS vision is to develop a better infrastructure for dance provision in Wales, create a better supported workforce and more consistent provision for young people to develop careers in dance.”

Susanne Burns, Evaluation Consultant

The DUETS programme was a three year £139k initiative supported by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation run in collaboration with Cardiff based Rubicon Dance from 2012 – 15.

DUETS, run in partnership with Ballet Cymru and Rubicon Dance, is about addressing fundamental gaps in provision for dance opportunities in Wales. Its goal is to reach out, to engage with people and families, particularly those living in poverty and low socio-economic areas in Wales and diverse/marginalized groups, and to support people to access dance regardless of background, finances, race, belief, ability, and gender/orientation.

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DUETS enabled talented children who are living in poverty and disadvantage to engage with professional dancers, receive training, free workshops and performance opportunities, all on a scholarship basis. Many of the schools connected with this programme were in Communities First areas. All schools associated with the DUETS programme received free workshops in their school and were invited to Ballet Cymru’s matinee performance at the Riverfront, free of charge each year. The young scholars have the opportunity to gain an Arts Award which is in-corporated into the sessions.


DUETS Explore & Test Phase

Ballet Cymru have been successful in securing funding from The Paul Hamlyn Foundation and The Arts Council of Wales for this element of DUETS.

Ballet Cymru and Rubicon Dance will work together over one year to explore and test certain elements of the DUETS programme in view of strengthening our case for a potential 4-year national programme, evaluating the project fully and aim to develop a toolkit in preparation for rolling out the programme Wales-wide.

“It is extremely beneficial for Ballet Cymru and Rubicon Dance to have Susanne’s expertise at this juncture of DUETS – after completing a 3-year pilot and moving into the ‘Explore and Test’ phase of a potentially larger, national DUETS programme.  Very skillfully, Susanne was able to help us unpick and identify learning from the pilot, making it more explicit (as opposed to implicit) in order to help us form and shape the beginning of our DUETS learning/evaluation framework moving forward.

Through our time with Susanne, we are able to more clearly extrapolate learning, determine what we will be  ‘exploring’ and ‘testing’ during this phase of DUETS and identify the skills we will be looking for in future DUETS recruitment (namely that of an External Evaluator and Project Manager). We feel that this time with Susanne has helped us steer us in a clear, focused direction where we will be able to gain (and demonstrate) maximum understanding, learning and impact fro DUETS.  We very much appreciate Susanne’s expertise and the opportunity, time and resources to enable us to ‘Explore and Test’ DUETS in this capacity.”

Amy Doughty, Assistant Artistic Director, Ballet Cymru.

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