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Déda has appointed a new director to drive forward its development as a cultural organisation that enriches people’s lives through dance and the arts.

Steve Slater is a well-known and respected arts leader with 30 years’ experience working with companies across the UK including the internationally-renowned Tramway arts venue in Glasgow and Citymoves Dance Agency in Aberdeen.

Born and educated in Wirksworth Steve has returned to the county to live and work and said that he is excited to re-engage with the regional cultural arts community.

“My decision to move back to my roots and now to join the great team at Déda has been a happy coincidence and I look forward to building on the organisation’s reputation as a standard bearer for excellence in culture, entertainment and education.

“Déda has a national reputation for delivering an exceptional programme of dance, contemporary circus and outdoor work and for outstanding contribution in the field of dance development and learning with partners including the University of Derby.

“My vision for Déda is to build on the partnerships established in the city and county so that we are fundamentally intrinsic to cultural life as well as playing an active role in this area’s profile, prosperity and identity.”

He continued: “I spent my formative teenage ‘punk’ years hanging out in Derby and playing in a band at venues such as the Old Bell on Sadler Gate so I was delighted to see how much of the city’s heart has been preserved and to learn more about its ambitions for the future.”

Steve’s appointment was welcomed by Déda’s acting Chair of the Board Graham Lister: “Steve has a broad skill-set and has been at the forefront of developing contemporary dance and wider arts across the UK and particularly in Scotland.

“These developments perfectly mirror his commitment for working in partnership and his passion for how the arts can inspire people to express themselves.”

Professor Keith McLay, Pro Vice-Chancellor/Dean for the College of Arts, Humanities & Education at the University of Derby, added: “Steve joins Deda at an exciting time. Arts and culture in Derby is flourishing and Déda’s exceptional programme of classes and events continues to enhance the cultural vibrancy of the city.

“The University has a long-standing partnership with Déda, delivering our BA (Hons) Dance and MA Dance and Contemporary Circus courses from its purpose-built facilities and hosting our annual School of Arts end of year Degree Show. Our Dance degree achieved 100% overall satisfaction in the National Student Survey 2019 and we look forward to working with Steve and the team to continue to offer dance students an excellent learning experience.”

Déda’s new Director arrives just in time for the organisation’s #inwiththenew campaign, including brand new classes, a new-look website and inspiration and encouragement for those who have never tried dance before to be brave and #givedanceachance!

Media enquiries: Sarah Jenkin-Jones, JJPR, Tel: 01332 515102/07951 945665; [email protected]

Photo credit: Hazel Hutchison


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