Job Description – Dance Development Officer

North West Highlands ‘Dance For All’ Programme – Dance Development Officer

Job Description

The Dance Development Officer will plan and implement the content of our North West Highlands ‘Dance For All’ Programme which builds upon the success of the Ullapool Dance Festival. Details of the development programme are included in the Business Plan extracts downloadable here: Ullapool Dance Company Business Plan 2017-2021.

The DDO will deliver a wide range of dance classes, create performance opportunities and be involved with dance events in Ullapool and the surrounding area up to about a 40 mile radius (Including Lochinver, Achiltibuie & Dundonnell).

This is initially a one year contract but it is expected that funding will be continued for at least another two years subject to review of targets at the end of year one.

About Our Area

Inaccessible geography, historical events and a poor economy have dictated a pattern of small settlements scattered in a wild and vast landscape. The fishing village of Ullapool has 1500 permanent residents at most – far fewer than the surrounding wider area of around 7700 people.

There are long travel times between communities and public transport links to the East coast are poor.  Many people have low-income lifestyles based around crofting (agriculture), fishing and tourism and the only dance styles available regularly have been traditional Highland and Scottish Country Dance (ceilidh dancing). But we are an eclectic mix of folk including many who have moved here to ‘get away from it all’. We have a great quality of life with a relaxed pace, negligible crime and a supportive community which is naturally intergenerational and generally welcoming, polite and respectful. Small numbers have the benefit of low pupil/teacher ratios providing rewarding high quality learning situations.

About Us

Over the last five years our small grass-roots voluntary organisation Ullapool Dance Ltd has provided a broad range of short-term dance experiences to the people of the North West Highlands, mainly through the very popular annual Ullapool Dance Festival.  The main aim was to encourage dance participation, introduce new styles and provide opportunities for performance. We have generated a lot of enthusiasm and an appetite to try anything new and different. Now it is time for us to deliver dance all year round.

About You

You will be very experienced in dance development and a skilled teacher with a friendly, enthusiastic, positive and outgoing personality. You will have strong social skills that enable you to engage, inspire, build confidence and empathise with all ages and sectors of the community be it a toddler group, care home residents or a serious youth dance company.

We are open-minded when it comes to your training, we expect you to have a range of techniques which could derive from pro-workshops or intensives as well as formal education.

You will be endlessly flexible, tolerant and able to adapt to sudden changes of plan. In the North West Highlands we have no dedicated spaces for dance; you may turn up to find a coffee morning in your planned venue, mud all over the floor or a pipe band playing in the next room! You will maintain a sense of humour and be diplomatic with all involved as you find a way to make sure things get sorted out. You will promote our aims of inclusivity and equality, always be alert to barriers to participation and seek imaginative ways to combat them. You will have your own vehicle, a suitable driving licence and good spoken English.

How we will support you

We plan to provide administrative back-up so you are not bogged down in budgeting or paperwork and can concentrate on teaching. Part-time staff will support you along with a strong Board of Directors and an enthusiastic team of volunteers. You will link to the Dance Outreach team at Eden Court and have opportunities to meet with them for your own professional development.


Person Specification

Criteria Essential Desirable





A training in dance

Degree/vocational equivalent in a dance/arts discipline.

Able to demonstrate considerable experience in delivering creative dance workshops.

Experience of running dance workshops in different community settings

A proven track record in programming dance education projects.

Experience of working with diverse client groups such as people with disabilities, older people and disadvantaged young people.

Experience of developing dance/art-form at a strategic level.

Training in contemporary dance

Experience of working as part of a geographically widespread network.

Experience of inputting into funding development and applications.

Experience of choreographing amateur performance.

Experience of providing dance training workshops to dance teachers, youth/care leaders and school teachers

Experience of partnership working to generate additional resources

Experience of working with a Committee and/or Board or other advisory group such as stakeholders or volunteers.





Extensive knowledge of traditional dance styles, streetdance styles, social dances and developments in contemporary dance.


An understanding of the cultural context of the North West Highlands

Knowledge of dance training infrastructure in Scotland including formal and higher education.

An understanding of the Scottish Curriculum for Excellence in relation to dance.

Knowledge of national dance networks and forums

Knowledge of Child Protection and Protection of Vulnerable Adults policies and principles

Interest in, or knowledge of, Gaelic language & culture

Skills and Abilities


Skilled in at least three dance forms including the ability to teach ballet

Excellent time-management, organisational and communication skills.

Ability to work independently and with initiative.

Able to engage stakeholders in order to generate their views, identify their needs and facilitate and communicate these within the organisation and workplan.

Able to produce reports for senior staff.


Main Duties and Responsibilities


  1. Work in consultation with the staff of Ullapool Dance to plan to set measurable, timed targets for the objectives in the Dance for All Programme. Draw up a workplan and deliver agreed content.
  2. Raise the profile of dance across the area.
  3. Liase with schools, care home staff and healthcare workers etc to plan sessions appropriate to the needs of each client group.
  4. Support the traditional dance of the area to maintain and grow its profile and status. Support traditional dance teachers and students.
  5. Set up and deliver classes in a wide range of dance styles within the Dance For All objectives.
  6. Work towards qualification to teach Higher Dance if not already qualified.
  7. Develop opportunities for participants to showcase work.
  8. Liaise effectively with colleagues to support and provide input to reports, evaluations and marketing material as required.
  9. Reflect and feedback on the progress, objectives and outcomes of projects.
  10. Keep up to date records and documentation.
  11. Attend regular meetings with the Line Manager and the steering group and provide regular progress reports.
  12. Liase with other agencies (including Health Promotion, Community Education, Sport and Health etc) and work in partnership where appropriate.
  13. Keep up to date with national dance initiatives; work with bodies involved in the development of dance (in particular Eden Court) and have an awareness of the current professional dance sector.
  14. Implement key policies including Equal Opportunities, Health & Safety and Child Protection Policy.


Post Duration












Responsible to


Probationary Period



This post is a one-year contract with likelihood that funding will be extended, potentially to at least three years, if targets are met.  Starting as soon as possible or preferably September/October 2017 at the latest.


37.5 hours per week working flexibly by scheduling own hours to enable the delivery of regular classes in day time, evenings and weekends.




22 days annual leave and 10 public holidays.


£28,000 per annum


Named Line manager on Board of Directors


The post is subject to an eight week probationary period ending in a satisfactory review.



The successful candidate would be required to relocate to Ullapool

Other Requirements The post requires a full UK driving licence and own vehicle which must be appropriately maintained to avoid failures on rural roads or in wintry conditions. Mileage will be paid.


The successful candidate will be subject to Disclosure Scotland PVG Scheme checks and membership.


Must be able to prove legal right to live and work in the UK.

Other Duties The job description is a broad picture of the post at the time of preparation. It should not be seen as an exhaustive list of all possible duties and will be subject to review from time to time. The post holder may be required to undertake such other duties as may be required which are related to the general job description.
Recruitment Process Initial selection will be from the application form – download and complete the Word document here: Ullapool DDO Application form May 2017


Selected candidates will be interviewed firstly by Skype or similar. From this the final shortlist, a maximum of three candidates, will be invited to visit Ullapool for a minimum two night stay. During this visit each candidate will be required to teach a test class under observation by the interview panel and also evaluated by the participants. This will be a creative dance session for an intergenerational class.


The visit is also to allow candidates to learn about the area and its people and give time for the many questions which may arise. Accommodation will be provided. We can pay limited travel expenses and these must be agreed IN ADVANCE with Ullapool Dance Ltd. We may choose to arrange and book the travel for you to reduce costs. Should you be offered the job and turn it down, expenses will not be payable. You will not be paid for your time during your visit.


If you are outside the UK please contact us to discuss the limits on travel costs before submitting your application.


We cannot provide relocation expenses for the successful candidate but would give support with finding accommodation and other related matters.

DEADLINE           Friday 14th July 2017 5pm

To arrange to discuss the position please email your enquiry in the first instance to:

Becky Thomson on

Our apologies for the lack of information on our website, it was hacked and is due for a complete rebuild.

This post has been made possible with financial support from The Robertson Trust and Creative Scotland and professional support, mentoring and encouragement from Eden Court and Dance Base – we are very grateful to all involved.

There are three documents available in total for you to download:

Job Description – North West Highlands Dance For All – Dance Development Officer June 2017

Application Form: Ullapool DDO Application form May 2017

Company Business Plan Extracts with Development Programme: Ullapool Dance Company Business Plan 2017-2021 For DDO