Rural Touring Dance Initiative

The Rural Touring Dance Initiative (RTDI) is a national project that supports dance artists & rural promoters to make great dance performance events happen in rural spaces. It was launched in 2015 and was made successful by using established rural touring schemes.

The Partners 

Take Art is one of five current partners within the project alongside The Place, who is the lead partner, the National Rural Touring Forum (NRTF), Highlights Rural Touring, and Sonia Sabri Company, a Birmingham-based dance company presenting Kathak dance in a contemporary context.


The Take Art Effect

Since 2015 the scheme has worked with 40 companies, promoting 140 shows to just under 13,000 audience members in rural venues across the UK. 

RTDI Phase 3: 2022-2026

In July 2022 the partners were awarded funding of £400,000 from Esmée Fairbairn Foundation and £450,000 from Arts Council England. These two funding awards ensure RTDI continues its important work over the next four years, building on its success by working with and supporting more rural touring schemes, venues and dance artists across England, Wales and Scotland. 

The funding will support ten new associate venues to programme dance in rural areas and market towns, many of them in Levelling Up for Culture places. It will also enable RTDI to support eight dance artists & companies per year to tour their work to rural areas, with over 200 performances and 90 workshops expected between autumn 2023 and summer 2026. 

RTDI partners announced a national open call in July 2022, for dance makers with tour ready shows. Artists who wanted to tour their work to rural areas applied, and the shows on this menu were selected by a panel which, for the first time, included an artist and a promoter. 

We are excited to support these eight incredible productions to develop tours and meaningful relationships into rural communities. 

You can view the full menu as a PDF here. 

“Establishing a network of Rural Touring Scheme Dance Ambassadors is a key development for the next phase as is greater involvement of children and young people. We are excited to be part of this ground breaking audience development initiative and are determined to make it a great success”

Alison Lord, Director of Dance, Take Art

In Phase 3, RTDI now has a network of regional Co-ordinators. Take Art has recently welcomed Beccy to the team as RTDI Co-ordinator for the South-West region. She works with rural touring schemes and Associate Venues in the area to produce six tours between Autumn 2023 and Spring 2026. 

Alongside exciting performances across the region, we will welcome artists for workshops, residencies and much more to develop audiences, dance networks and participation in dance and creativity through movement. 

The South-West region Rural Touring Schemes include:

Artsreach (Dorset), Carn to Cove (Cornwall), Villages in Action (Devon), Beaford (North Devon), Theatre Orchard (North Somerset), Air in G (Gloucestershire), Pound Arts (Wiltshire and South Gloucestershire), Take Art (Somerset). 

Find out more about RTDI  

Please visit the National Rural Touring Forum's website where you will find a wealth of project information including news, archives, resources, previous menus, and programmes, and full UK listings.


Alison Lord, Director of Dance 


Beccy Lloyd, RTDI Coordinator


Watch our two original feature films below, which show what we successfully achieved within the first (2015-2017) and second stage (2018-2021) of the project.