Faculty of Media and Performance

ian dolan

Early Career Academic (Dance) – Faculty of Media and Performance


Ian joined AUB in 2018 and comes from a largely vocational background. Having spent the last thirteen years working as a professional dancer and then later as a rehearsal director, choreographer and Dance Artist he has a comprehensive range of professional skills which he uses to contextualise his teaching and connect to current best practise in Dance.

Before joining AUB, Ian worked professionally with a number of artists and companies, including Enrique Cabrera, Earthfall, Retina, Willi Dorner, New Art Club, Lea Anderson and Gary Clarke. He was on the lead artistic team for two Cultural Olympiad projects as part of the 2012 Olympics and a frequent teacher for a number of community and youth projects

As well as his work at AUB he also performs with and makes work for his ACE funded company ‘dirtmarket’ and has relocated his practise to the south-west where he will continue to work as a freelancer both in the UK and abroad. He is currently the rehearsal director for Cie Willi Dorners internationally acclaimed show ‘Bodies in Urban Spaces’ and guest lectures at other UK universities.

Teaching & professional practice

Ian lectures predominately on vocationally focused units and is the Unit lead for a number of modules:

– Dance Industry (Level 4 industry contextualisation)
– Dance Core 2 (Level 5 Dance Technique)
– Dance Core 3 (Level 6 Dance Technique)
– Dance Production (Level 6 Collaborative Choreography unit)

He is also the personnel tutor for level 6

Research Specialism

As an early career academic my research profile is still developing but is centred around two main areas. Primarily I’m interested in how we can design survival and development strategies for early career artists and recent graduates (especially in dance). A difficult task under any circumstances, but more so when we have to acknowledge the rapidly evolving ecosystem of the arts in the UK.


There is a wealth of embedded knowledge in the current artist population and a lot of the most useful information surrounding best practice (or even just strategies that allow artists to do more than simply survive) exists in a qualitative basis, but the lack of integrated, appropriate networks for reporting this, as well as trying to understand the meta-lessons that can be extrapolated from the range of artists currently working are my primary points of departure, with an eventual aim perhaps exploring how this can be implemented into semi-vocational/vocational training.


I also have an interest in current pedagogic approaches to delivering ephemeral subjects – especially non-classical dance techniques and performative movement disciples. As well as the more theoretical exploration of how we can consider dance audiences as ‘fans’ (by a socio/cultural definition) and what this might imply for the audience/performer and audience/creator relationships. 

Back to results