DanceEast supremo Brendan Keaney, Artistic Director/CEO has been awarded an Honorary Fellowship of the University of London.

The award, in recognition of Brendan’s service to the UK dance industry and dance education, was made by Goldsmiths, where Brendan began his career as a dance student 45 years ago.

East Anglian Daily Times: Brendan Keaney in his ceremonial gown, at the presentation of the Fellowship of University of London.Brendan Keaney in his ceremonial gown, at the presentation of the Fellowship of University of London. (Image: Goldsmiths, London)

In his acceptance speech at the ceremony, at the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre in London, Brendan said, “Goldsmiths was a life-changing experience for me. It was an amazing hothouse of ideas. I met fantastic people, some of whom became lifelong friends.

"Most critically, I think it was the first time in my life I genuinely experienced confidence, and that was because people I respected seemed to respect me. It was that confidence that made me believe that I could translate aspirations into reality, and that I could and should become a dancer.”

Brendan has previously described himself as “Remarkably unremarkable” with a “properly working-class” background. He is dyslexic.

He said: “Dance felt like the perfect job for me. It is, however, a great sense of frustration that although we now acknowledge and understand so much more about neurodiversity and the importance of creative thinking in growing our economy, subjects like dance and drama remain marginalised on the schools’ curriculum.”

Brendan joined DanceEast in 2013 after a highly successful and varied career in the UK dance industry.

He began working as a dancer in 1979. Before joining DanceEast in 2013 his career had shifted into management and leadership roles working at Arts Council England and then as Director of Greenwich Dance.

By joining DanceEast as Artistic Director/CEO he followed in the footsteps of Assis Carreiro, MBE, who established the charity’s iconic Jerwood DanceHouse headquarters on Ipswich Waterfront.

DanceEast is the home of dance in the East of England.

It is a registered charity, funded by Arts Council England, Suffolk County Council, Ipswich Borough Council, and donations from individuals, businesses, trusts, and foundations.

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