DanceXchange is committed to encouraging and supporting inclusivity within the creative arts sector. We want to use our platform to ensure a variety of voices and experiences within the industry are heard. Meet some of our staff and the amazing people we work with across a variety of our projects and discover their story and experience of working with us.
Introducing Shekinah Yuhanna
Shekinah worked as DX’s Digital Marketing Apprentice before joining full-time in 2020 as Digital Marketing Coordinator.
Hear what Shekinah has to say about her experience as an Apprentice working with DX.
After graduation I decided I was interested in a career in marketing, specialising in digital marketing, however I felt that I did not have enough experience in the workplace to get a graduate job. Through Creative Alliance, I became aware of the opportunity of an apprenticeship which for me represented the perfect mix of training and workplace experience.
I joined DanceXchange in July 2019, which also involved my love and appreciation for dance. Previously I had been a dancer in a crew, so it was perfect to now join the dance world again but from a different angle and perspective.
I experienced so much more than I anticipated during my apprenticeship, DanceXchange really allowed me to contribute to a range of things in the workplace and always welcomed my perspective as well as supporting me with their own.
Right from the start I was made to feel welcomed and comfortable, I remember being able to take part in five classes DX offered as part of their programme and asked to five reviews. I got to take part in the wider community of DX outside of the office setting and experience it for myself as well as go out of my comfort zone and try something new.
Half-way through my apprenticeship the country went into lockdown. However, this did not hinder my experience at all and DanceXchange really allowed me to initiate and support a variety of online content, this was both new for me and the organisation as a whole and allowed us to develop and adapt together.
During this period, I grew professionally due to the wide range of opportunities such as doing radio and TV interviews talking about our new online classes, this not only allowed me to gain experience in PR but also showed DX’s confidence in my abilities and capability to do something like this.
I felt I became more entrenched in the wider team especially being able to present the new digital report at the Board meeting, this prompted their consideration of future investment in this area of work and really showed the impact of the work I had been a part of and the ethos of organisation in constantly being open and moving forward within the industry and overall growth of the organisation.
Continuing with that theme, in the events of the death of George Floyd and BLM movement, DX moved forward with introducing a focus group – a space for all team members to share their stories, grow and make change within work and the industry and personally. As a black woman this was a major development for me as I have never seen or experienced a quick and meaningful reaction to Black Lives and our experiences in the workplace and It has positively contributed to my experience here at DanceXchange.
As well as working and gaining my apprenticeship grades, DX included me as an individual. I enjoyed many studio sharings, staff birthday’s (with lots of cake), work drinks, a Christmas pizza party and dance performances I would probably never seen or experienced. Even during the lockdown, we still felt as a team, having regular Microsoft teams ‘tea talks’ and even a DXmas Zoom Quiz.
DanceXchange is really a family, and I have been able to gain and celebrate academic success, personal joys, and achievements here that are such a big part of my career and life.