Trinity Laban appoints new Dean of Dance

Wed 23 Jan 2019

Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance is pleased to announce the appointment of education specialist and dance alumnus Frances Clarke as Dean of Dance.

Frances trained at Arts Educational Schools before completing a degree in Dance Theatre at Trinity Laban and a PGCE in Dance at Bedford College of Higher Education. Her varied and successful career in dance has encompassed three decades as a performance artist, a tenure as Artistic Director of Springs Dance Company, extensive experience of programme delivery and development in further and higher education – most recently as Senior Lecturer in Dance at the University of Wolverhampton – and multiple advisory roles at intuitions such as the University of Cambridge, University of Oxford, the BBC and Birmingham Royal Ballet. In recognition of her leadership in Higher Education, she has been awarded a Senior Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy.

In Addition, Frances is Chair of the Publications Committee for the International Association for Dance Medicine and Science, and regularly publishes academic papers and presents research at international conferences.

Ahead of her new role Frances comments:

“I am thrilled to be taking on the role of Dean, Faculty of Dance, and very much look forward to working with the faculty’s superbly gifted team. Trinity Laban’s programmes are recognised as world class and I look forward to working with the Faculty in continuing to develop and cultivate a creative environment of excellence for future artists.”

Officially taking up her new position in mid-April, Frances succeeds Sara Matthews – now Trinity Laban’s new Director of Dance – in the role of Dean and will be working alongside her predecessor to shape the faculty’s future.

On Frances’ appointment, Sara comments:

“Frances brings a wealth of knowledge and experience with her, and will be an immensely valuable addition to the senior management team at the Faculty of Dance. I am delighted that she is joining us and look forward to welcoming her into our community.”

As a leading centre for the training of professional contemporary dance artists and practitioners, Trinity Laban has the largest team of specialist artists and teachers in the world. Find out more about our new BSc (Hons) Dance Science programme, launched for September 2019, and visit our Dance pages for more information on studying at Trinity Laban.

Frances Clarke, MSc, BA (Hons), PGCE, SFHEA

Frances joins Trinity Laban from the University of Wolverhampton where she has been Senior Lecturer in Dance since 2004, served as Subject Leader for the University’s undergraduate dance degree courses, and led modules on the institution’s MA Dance and MSc Dance Science programmes.

For a number of years Frances has been a member of the Board of DanceHE, an external examiner and advisor for a number of UK universities, including the University of Oxford, and currently has a long term role as advisor for a Visiting Scholarship in Dance at the University of Cambridge. Her previous advisory roles have included projects for the BBC, Birmingham Royal Ballet, and Centres for Advanced Training.

In recognition of her experience in leadership in Higher Education, she has been awarded a Senior Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy. She is also involved in strategic arts leadership at a national level, and in 2018 was appointed Chair of Rosie Kay Dance Company, a National Portfolio Organisation voted Best Independent Dance Company in the 2015 National Dance Awards.

Prior to her work in Higher Education, Frances founded and led a number of secondary and further education dance departments in the UK, and enjoyed a performance career as a dance artist that has spanned over three decades.

During her five-year tenure (1992-1997) as Artistic Director of Springs – one of the UK’s longest running contemporary dance companies – she created multi-media works for film and international arts events, founded Springs summer school, commissioned new works, and developed learning and participation programmes.

Alongside her education and advisory work, Frances is also a PhD researcher in the field of dance science, having previously gained an MSc in Dance Science from the University of Wolverhampton. Her current research examines balance and performance within dance populations. Other research interests include performance enhancement, the use of performance profiling, imagery and self-talk in dance training and performance, and mentoring for professional teachers and artists. She regularly publishes academic papers and presents at international conferences, and is the Chair of the Publications Committee for the International Association for Dance Medicine and Science.