Performer and Choreographer Adie Dove talks about being a Pavillion Dance South West’s Women Leaders South West Associate

Over the next 18 months, one of the UK’s leading dance-led venues, Pavillion Dance South West will run their inaugural Women Leaders South West initiative, a network of 16 talented associates who’ll help to change, innovate and inspire the voices of tomorrow. Recently announced as one of the associates taking part and helping to shape the programme, performer and choreographer Adie Dove will receive mentoring and support from various influential women within the arts. Adie tells us more about what she’ll bring to the network, what she’s learned from running her dance school KBSK and what she hopes to take away from the programme.

Hi Adie! You’ve recently been announced as Pavilion Dance South West’s inaugural Women Leaders South West. How are you feeling? 

Hi, I mean what can I say! It’s an amazing feeling and I am truly honoured to be on this wonderful programme. I’m surrounded and supported by the most incredible humans and I am just so excited for the journey ahead.

WLSW aims to build a network of diverse talented women to make change, innovate and inspire. As the pioneering group of associates to help steer the initiative, what do you believe you’ll bring to the network?

Each of us associates are from such diverse backgrounds and experiences that it’s actually really powerful and kind of beautiful when we all come together – even if that is just virtually at the minute! I believe I bring a strong and passionate working-class voice to the network which I hope will encourage other working-class artists to use their voices too.

You’re the founder of KBSK, a performance arts school created in 2012. What inspired the creation of the school?

My family’s reality was the drive behind it all. My mum worked so hard to be able to afford my dance tuition and often we had to go without the necessities. It was really challenging, and my family sacrificed so much for me to be able to do what I loved. The arts aren’t accessible in the way they should be so one way I could give back was to teach the other young people living on my council estate the dance I learned. With my mum’s support, KBSK grew to become what it is today.

What within the nine years of running the school have you taken away from the experience?

The arts are a powerful tool. Many young people use KBSK as an escape: their mental health and wellbeing has shown significant improvements by simply having the opportunity to feel safe. I see KBSK as a preventative and creative measure – through new projects I have begun to use the arts to ‘redirect’ a young person from crime, addiction and deteriorating mental health. Over the last nine years the most important lesson I’ve learnt is how the arts can heal us and connect us. Making my mission to make it accessible even more important.

You’ll receive both social entrepreneurship and business training from Southampton Business School and mentoring from Women of the World Director Jude Kelly. What does it mean to be able to receive this support?

It means everything. I believe we never stop learning and growing but at 24 I know I have SO much to learn. I couldn’t be more grateful for such an incredible opportunity to grow. This programme is giving me the opportunity to expand my knowledge, to be inspired and to be challenged in so many new ways. I couldn’t ask for more. I want to be the best version of myself for the young people I teach and mentor.

WLSW will be an 18-month programme that will witness associates create either a programme or project. You’ll be creating a documentary within this time. What will this entail?

I couldn’t be more excited about this piece of work! It’s really going to be an opportunity to not only tell my story as a dancer through working-class eyes, but to share the questions that I’m so passionate about finding the answers to. It’s still very early stages but my aims are to explore the beauty of the arts world but to also expose the “poverty safari” system running through the culture.

What are your hopes for the programme?

The programme is so much all wrapped up into one. I hope I will make some incredible friendships throughout the journey. I already know I will have been inspired but one of my main hopes is to finish the program making a difference, in any way that may be.

Questions by Lucy Basaba.

To find our more about the Women Leaders South West Associate Programme, visit here…

Written by Theatrefullstop