© Zoe Manders

THE JAMIE WATTON FUND: Creating a home for dance in the south east

An inspirational leader and passionate advocate for dance, former Artistic Director/CEO Jamie Watton’s tireless tenacity and vision has for more than a decade been the driving force behind the creation of The Dance Space: a home for dance in the south east.

So, when Jamie passed away after a short illness in July 2018, the completion of The Dance Space took on a new significance.

Jamie wanted to create a Dance Space where artists and the community come together to experience and celebrate the joy of dance, and where the next generation of dance artists thrives. Jamie wanted to create a home for dance in the south east.

To ensure this legacy, South East Dance is establishing the Jamie Watton Fund to:

  • help us complete The Dance Space to the highest possible specifications

  • allow us to create bursaries for new and emerging artists and choreographers

  • offer vital financial support to young people at the start of their career – particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds


Artistic Director and Choreographer of New Adventures, Sir Matthew Bourne, says: “Jamie holds a very special place in my heart as one of the original six dancers in my first full-length piece, Town and Country in 1991. We were all at the beginnings of our careers and I’m so proud that most of us went on to have very important roles to play in the UK dance scene over the following decades. Jamie’s vision for a space in which dance artists can create and rehearse work under one roof is such a vital one for the industry, and I share that passion. I’m looking forward to seeing his vision become a reality.”



Every donation made to The Jamie Watton Fund before 31st October 2020 will be redirected to provide emergency funding for South East dance artists and practitioners affected by COVID-19.

© shedkm
© Zoe Manders
Zoe Manders

Our Aim

is to raise another £100,000 before The Dance Space's full public opening in early 2021. To help us achieve that we’re asking for a commitment of at least £25 a year for the next three years, which we can then direct where it’s most needed.

For example, an annual donation of £25 will allow us to buy essential equipment for the Community and Participation Studio such as mats, benches and mirrors; £100 could provide lockers for the changing rooms; £250 will help us support a young person through our Young Talent Programme; £1,000 could help fund retractable seating in the Creation Studio or an artist-in-residence programme; and, £5,000 will allow us to invest in high quality technical kit such as state-of-the-art lighting, sound and digital equipment.

Alongside making sure that you are suitably credited for your generosity, we will keep you updated on all the latest Dance Space news, and invite you to join us at key events throughout our Opening Season.

If you have any questions, or if you require more information, please e-mail us: development@southeastdance.org.uk or call 01273 696844

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