South East Dance announces Rachel Gibson as Executive Director and John Struthers as Chair

South East Dance has today announced the appointment of Rachel Gibson to the role of Executive Director, completing the Senior Leadership team as well as John Struthers as the arts charity’s new Chair.

Together with Artistic Director Cath James, who was recruited in November, Rachel will co-lead the organisation as it prepares to launch The Dance Space, the south east’s new home for dance, opening to the public in Spring 2020.

Rachel says: “I’m absolutely thrilled to be working with Cath James and the passionate and dedicated team at South East Dance to realise the vision for a Dance Space that unites artists and communities. The next 18 months will be an exciting, challenging and transformational time - not only for the organisation, but the south east’s dance sector as a whole. I’m looking forward to the journey ahead.”

Rachel Gibson began her arts management career working as an administrator and programme manager in venues including The Place and the Belgrade Theatre, Coventry. She was Principal Dance Officer at London Arts Board in the mid-1990s and Senior Dance Officer, then Interim Director Dance Strategy at Arts Council England 2005-07. She spent over 20 years as a freelance consultant, working with a wide range of dance companies and organisations including Birmingham Hippodrome, Candoco Dance Company, Sadler’s Wells, The Point and Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance. Before joining South East Dance Rachel was Interim Executive Director at English National Ballet School.

John Struthers graduated from the University of Aberdeen as a qualified teacher in Speech and Drama. He has managed Festivals, Theatres and Arts Centres and worked extensively as a Consultant and an Advisor to Museums, Theatres and Arts Centres; Arts Council England and the Government. John recently retired as Director of Arts from the University of Bath, where he oversaw the planning, fundraising and completion of the multi-million-pound Edge Arts building.

John says: “Dance of all types has always been a passion and I am so pleased to be joining such a strong team with an inspirational vision at this exciting time for South East Dance. There is a lot to do in a short time but I have no doubt that we will succeed.”

For further information please contact Chloe Barker, Interim Head of Communications, South East Dance at

South East Dance announces Rachel Gibson as Executive Director and John Struthers as Chair