Closing date
Mon 29th Jul 2024 9:00am

Job Description

aKa Dance performers and the audience are all together in a large group, cheering and throwing confetti in the air. The performers are kneeling on the floor, whilst the audience are stood behind them.
aKa Dance Credit: Jake Grant Photography 2023

The Rural Touring Dance Initiative (RTDI) is a national project which supports dance artists to tour to rural venues across the UK. Our venues can range from village halls and libraries to small scale arts centres. We are currently seeking the next selection of artists to tour their existing work to rural locations during autumn 2025 and spring 2026. This year we have a new package of support for artists working with Hip Hop dance styles in their work.

Rural touring is unique, offering you the opportunity to meet audiences in intimate venues, and to transform local spaces.

“It is hard to put into words how special rural touring is. It is almost like visiting family you
haven’t yet met. In all the experiences we have had with this show, we have met people who
are doing the job voluntarily and so they are doing it with a passion. We have stayed in
people’s houses. It feels so opposite to how touring usually works where we don't even
meet the person who programmed the show. That adds to the quality of the work.”
RTDI 2, Touring Artist

From this call out, RTDI curates a national 'menu' of dance productions, featuring a selection of up to eight exceptional shows. Rural programmers will have the opportunity to handpick shows from this menu for their programmes.

The project is run by Highlights, National Rural Touring Forum (NRTF), Sonia Sabri Co, Take Art & The Place. In 2022 the project was awarded grants from Arts Council England and Esmée Fairbairn Foundation to continue to support dance touring from 2022 to 2026. RTDI is committed to nurturing dance talent and fostering vibrant cultural exchanges in rural spaces.

Previous artists supported by the project include Joan Cleville, Joshua Nash, Lost Dog, Protein, Aakash Odedra Company and Uchenna Dance.

What We Are Looking For

Touring Show Requirements
  • Tour-ready work that will have premiered by end-August 2024.
  • Productions that can deliver a full evening of entertainment ideally an hour(+) in length or to have considered additional activity surrounding the show to extend it, or to offer a post-show element after an interval.
  • High quality dance of all styles and forms.
  • Shows that have minimal technical requirements or tour with all the technical equipment required.

  • Artists who are keen to meet new dance audiences and embrace performing outside of a traditional theatre.

We encourage applications from artists with a range of lived experiences and from a range of backgrounds, and we particularly welcome applications from those who are underrepresented in the dance sector, including artists from Global Majority backgrounds, artists who identify as LGBTQIA+, disabled artists and artists from lower socio economic backgrounds.

We anticipate including at least one family-friendly production and one digital work on the menu.

Hip Hop Productions

The Rural Touring Dance Initiative (RTDI) invites applications from artists working in Hip Hop dance who are interested in touring to rural locations. We want to increase the number of dance shows rooted in Hip Hop dance touring to rural & market town communities across the UK, in response to enthusiasm from programmers & audiences to see a greater diversity of dance styles in their local venues, and to develop new audiences for dance. RTDI has previously toured work by artists including Joseph Toonga and Joshua Nash, which were incredibly well received by our audiences.

Through this strand of RTDI we will support Hip Hop artists to develop and adapt shows for rural audiences who may not have had the opportunity to experience their work otherwise. The support offered includes the opportunity to work in residence in a community space to make your work rural touring ready. This may mean extending a work (village hall promoters want work which is 60 mins long or more); or creating a new short work to accompany an existing piece.

We are interested in hearing from artists working under the Hip Hop umbrella or close relations including, but not limited to, Breakin, Hip Hop, Popping, House, Krump, Vogue, Locking, Lightfeet, Afrodance, with work they would like to adapt for rural touring in Spring 2026. We will be offering support to one production (this can be created from a bill of multiple artists but please note maximum tour fees will remain at £1500). The number of tour dates is undetermined though our menu shows perform on average 7 - 12 dates.

We have developed this new strand of support in conversation with Just Us Dance Theatre, and will jointly host an information session for artists interested in this strand, the date for which will be confirmed shortly. Please email if you are interested in being sent information about the session.

What Successful Applicants Will Receive

RTDI Artist Benefits
  • Performance Fees: On tour performance fees ranging from £1,200 to £1,500, inclusive of VAT. These fees are determined based on the scale and production costs of your show.

  • Adaptation Bursaries: Up to £2,000 to facilitate the adaptation of your show for the distinct challenges and opportunities of rural touring.

  • Residency Opportunities: The opportunity to undertake an immersive residency at an RTDI venue, where you can fine-tune your existing production or develop new and innovative work for Rural Touring.

  • Rural Touring Expertise: A funded spot, plus £500, to attend our 'An Introduction to Rural Touring' residential course, offering invaluable insights into the nuances of touring in rural settings. (Attendance to this course is compulsory.)

  • Marketing and Producing Support: Assistance in marketing and producing your show, with £1000 available for creating marketing materials, ensuring maximum visibility and engagement with rural audiences.

  • Accessibility Development: Guidance and financial support to enhance the accessibility of your touring show, fostering inclusivity and engagement with diverse audiences.

  • Environmental Sustainability: Guidance to minimise the environmental footprint of your production, aligning with our ethos of responsible touring practices.

Additional Hip Hop Support Package
  • 2 weeks of residency in a rural touring / small scale venue in Autumn 2025 (£1,200/person up to four people, plus travel, accommodation & per diems)
  • £4000 for adaptations of the work to be spent as required e.g. technical development for small scale, dramaturgy, additional composition
  • Mentoring on the rural touring experience

  • What we are looking to come from the above support:
  • A production ready to tour with RTDI in Spring 2026
  • Production or a proposed evening bill that is a minimum of 60 minutes in length
  • A show that can be delivered for fees of up to £1500 per show on tour
  • A production that can be technically self-sufficient with get in times of 4 hours or less

How to Apply

Key Dates
  • Deadline for applications – 9am Monday 29th July 2024
  • Artists notified that they have been selected for the 2025/26 menu - w/c 8th October 2024
  • Practical Introduction to Rural Touring Lab w/c 11 November 2024.

Application Process

Our application process can be completed using an online form. The deadline for both the regular RTDI Application and the RTDI Hip Hop Application is 9am Monday 29th July 2024.

RTDI Application Form
RTDI Hip Hop Application Form

You can download a Word Document to see the application questions. We recommend writing your questions in the word document, and then copying your answers over into the form.

RTDI Application Questions

RTDI Hip Hop Application Questions

Please also complete one of our Equal Opportunities monitoring forms. The Equal Opportunities monitoring form is optional and will help us to monitor whether our Call Outs are reaching groups that are currently underrepresented in our programmes. These forms will be reviewed by our HR team and will not be seen by the selection panel. Please follow this link to the form.

If you plan to apply, and there are opportunities to see your work live from June to September 2024 then please invite us to see your work by emailing We cannot guarantee that someone will be able to attend.

If you have any questions, please email

Application Guidelines

For detailed guidelines and application information follow the link below. We recommend reading all the guidelines fully prior to submitting your application.

Application Guide

Online Q&A Information Sessions

We will hold online Q&A sessions for anyone considering applying.

  • RTDI Call Out Info Session - Tuesday 18th June, 6pm

  • RTDI Call Out Hip Hop Info Session - Thursday 27th June, 6pm

To sign up for the following sessions, artists should email and will be sent the link directly.

These sessions offer an opportunity for Q&As with an RTDI producer and an artist/ producing team who have toured with RTDI in 2023/24

These sessions will be BSL interpreted and have captions available. The recording will be available to watch after this date.


If you require any support during the application process including the writing of the application or if another format or application process would be more accessible for you, please contact and we will make the appropriate arrangements.

A unformatted version of this call out for text readers can be found here

This call out and application guide are available as an audio versions below.

Call Out Text [Audio]

Application Guide [Audio]

Application Questions [Audio]

Hip Hop Application Questions [Audio]

Selection Process

Shows for the regular RTDI menu will be selected by a panel made up of a rural touring promoter and representatives of 3 of the RTDI partners (The Place, NRTF, Take Art, Sonia Sabri Co and Highlights Rural Touring).

For Hip Hop applications, the selection panel will be joined by Just Us Dance Theatre.

Artists will be notified of decisions during w/c 8th October 2024. Feedback will be offered to all unsuccessful applicants.

From this Call Out RTDI curates a national 'menu' of dance productions, featuring a selection of up to eight exceptional shows. Rural programmers will have the opportunity to handpick shows from this menu for their programming.

Next Steps After Selection

Rural Touring Dance Lab

The Lab is an opportunity for one representative, who will tour with each company, to meet people from all aspects of the rural touring ecology and think about how we can make better dance shows for rural venues/village halls and audiences. You will learn about how rural touring schemes and promoters work, think about how to adapt your work within the constraints of touring to village halls and non-traditional spaces, and how to make shows for communities in rural locations.

This lab will be accompanied by online resources, which you can share with other members of your company.

Accommodation and travel for the lab will be covered by RTDI and you will receive a fee for taking part in the lab of £500

If you are selected for the menu with an online work depending on the format of how it will be shared you may not be required to attend the lab, but you may if you wish, and you will be paid a fee if you attend.


If required, you will make adaptations to your show so that it is suitable for rural touring.

There are bursaries of, on average, £2,000 available for artists to make adaptations to shows to make them more appropriate for the practical challenges of rural touring. If you are selected to tour your show, we will talk to you about whether this is required for your show.

National Dance Menu

Your show will be featured in the ninth national dance menu.

The menu will be distributed to rural touring schemes in January 2025. A ‘menu’ is a selected group of shows which is offered to rural touring schemes and their local promoters, to choose which show they want to put on in their venue. A Producer and Coordinator will broker potential interest from schemes and local promoters alongside the availability of the dance companies they are interested in.

There is no guarantee that your show will be chosen for touring. However, we expect that each show on the menu will be booked for seven to twelve performances. The touring fee is subsidised through the scheme, and will be negotiated on a case by case basis. In 25/26 fees will range from £1,200 to £1,500 per performance. This is inclusive of VAT . Any wraparound activity linked with your show should be costed separately.

We aim to book touring for each show which minimizes travel and reduces the ecological footprint of each tour.

Touring will take place between September 2025 and June 2026.