The Discover Dance programme was run by Arts About Manchester between 2005 and 2009. This evaluation provides Acorn profiles of dance attenders and a useful insight into some of the key barriers to engagement for first time attenders with the dance sector, as well as an evaluation of the development work that was undertaken.
Dance audiences in Greater Manchester typically demonstrate an over representation of 'Wealthy Achiever' and 'Urban Prosperity' types, an average representation of 'Comfortably Off' types and a significant under representation of 'Moderate Means' and 'Hard Pressed' types. Socio-economic profiling of the respondents from the individual Discover Dance initiatives showed that Alice in Wonderland, Urban Moves 08 and Big Dance 08 were particularly successful in attracting atypical dance audiences, as were (to a lesser degree) the MEN Reader Events.
Cost was revealed to be the most significant barrier to attendance for the majority of dance audiences. However, ticket cost was perceived to be more of a problem for those who already attended dance than for first time audiences. This implies that other barriers are more significant, and that offering cheap or free tickets will not necessarily engage new audiences for dance.