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Professor Veronica Lewis MBE to Retire as Principal of London Contemporary Dance School

After 19 years as Principal of London Contemporary Dance School (LCDS) and a 50 year association with The Place, Veronica Lewis MBE has announced she will to retire from her position in December at the end of the academic term. 

Speaking about her decision, Veronica Lewis MBE said:

‘I’m so grateful to have had the privilege of leading one of the most vibrant, creative higher education institutions in the UK. However, after 19 years, it’s time for a new energy to build on the School’s success and enjoy the benefits of working alongside the wonderful staff and students, which make it such a special place. I’ve had one of the most fulfilling and rewarding jobs in dance education.’

Veronica Lewis is a firm advocate for educating students alongside practising artists and being part of The Place enables this to happen every day of the week. The broad range of backgrounds and influences that London Contemporary Dance School students come from has, in turn, supported The Place to grow and develop.

During her time at The Place, Veronica has enabled people from all backgrounds to access dance education. She was the brainchild behind the founding of the Conservatoire for Dance and Drama (CDD), now a thriving Higher Education Institution comprising specialist schools delivering world-leading education and vocational training in the performing arts. Assisted by the staff and students, London Contemporary Dance School is now a forward looking, risk-taking and innovative conservatoire which, as a part of CDD, was judged world leading by HEFCE last year. Veronica was a pioneering force in establishing the national Centres for Advanced Training (CATS) in Dance which enable aspiring young dancers to attend regular classes with their peers from the age of ten.

Clare Connor joined The Place as Chief Executive in August 2017 and will take on the role of Interim Principal of LCDS from January 2018. Alongside Clare’s impressive track record in arts leadership, fundraising, entrepreneurship and business development, most recently at Southbank Centre, she brings a wealth of experience in dance. After completing her degree at LCDS she worked as a lecturer in both further and higher education, collaboratively producing performing arts programmes for the University of East London, as well as supporting the validation of new arts programmes in several universities.

Clare Connor, Chief Executive of The Place said ‘Veronica’s contribution to dance and dance education and to the many young dancers who have benefited from the highest level of training is immense. It was at LCDS where I discovered my love of learning. As Interim Principal I’m looking forward to working with the outstanding team of lecturers and visiting artists to help future generations of dance makers unlock their passion for embodied knowledge.’

Jason Clarke, Acting Principal of the Conservatoire, said ‘Veronica was instrumental in establishing the Conservatoire for Dance and Drama in 2001, enabling young people from all backgrounds to access the world-leading education and training delivered by this outstanding group of schools. She served as Joint Principal for CDD until 2014, and more recently has championed the development of student engagement across the schools. We are hugely grateful for her vision, commitment and support over the years.’

---ENDS ---

Notes to editors:

Image attached is of Veronica Lewis MBE (standing centre) with the recipients of the Principal’s Award Alethia Antonia and Frankie Hickman at London Contemporary Dance School leavers Ceremony 2017. Photo by Alicia Clarke.

About London Contemporary Dance School

London Contemporary Dance’s School’s vision is to be an international leader in dance education, driving discovery and developing the art form. Its mission is to create innovative and inspiring learning programmes that develop dance artists to the highest standard, preparing them to lead and shape the art form. Through an intensive and rigorous dance education that combines high levels of studio work, with contextual studies, students are supported to go beyond what they currently know, to embrace risk and develop the physical, technical, creative and reflective skills needed to forge their individual artistic voice. LCDS cultivates deep-rooted connections with the dance industry, high calibre practitioners and international conservatoires to ensure that the curriculum is forward thinking and supporting the artistic voices that will lead and shape the art form and the world beyond. lcds.ac.uk

About The Place

The Place is a creative powerhouse for dance development that is leading the way in dance training, creation and performance. It is one of Europe’s most exciting, innovative dance spaces, where artists from all over the world come to push creative boundaries, to experiment and to perform outstanding new work for audiences who expect to be surprised, inspired and delighted. The Place is home to London Contemporary Dance School, Richard Alston Dance Company, a 280 seat theatre, an extensive range of classes, courses and participatory opportunities for adults and young people and professional development programmes for artists. theplace.org.uk

About the Conservatoire for Dance and Drama

Located at the heart of three vibrant cultural centres in Bristol, Leeds and London, the Conservatoire for Dance and Drama is a group of specialist schools delivering world-leading education and vocational training in the performing arts. We train the performing artists and production professionals of the future: actors, circus artists, dancers, stage managers, technical theatre practitioners, choreographers and directors. cdd.ac.uk