We’re here to help.


The competence centre for the career development of performing artists


Performing artists, especially freelance dancers, have faced particular challenges since the Covid-19 pandemic. The SSUDK Transition Centre helps them to help themselves. The need for counselling sessions, information on changing careers, coaching, financial support for retraining and one-to-one discussions to develop a future perspective is increasing. Our aim is to give performing artists the opportunity to channel their creativity and labour into new directions.

Many performing artists are unable to pursue their profession until their normal retirement age. This may be for health or economic reasons or because they are no longer able to cope with the physical demands of the profession. For dancers in particular, a career change is an inherent part of their career. Due to the physical demands, they have to reorient themselves at an average age of 35. Some artists are able to find another position in their traditional field, but many have no choice but to leave the stage and retrain. Due to the low wages during an artist’s career, it is often not possible to build up savings for retraining purposes. The entry into professional life is made even more difficult by the often unrecognised professional qualifications of many performing artists.

We are convinced that performing artists, especially dancers, are highly specialised experts in their field and that their outstanding skills should also be put to good use after their stage career so that they can flow back into society. In order to avoid long-term unemployment or even social cases, artists must be actively supported during this vulnerable phase of professional transition.

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The SSUDK encourages performing artists to use the time for their transition for self-reflection and as an opportunity for inspiration for new professional development.  „The Dancers‘ Survival Guide to Transition“ published by the SSUDK, can serve as an additional source of inspiration during this challenging time.
To overcome mental challenges, we recommend the Mental Health Guide.


Initial assessment and information on retraining opportunities.


Grants can include both tuition fees and contributions to living expenses.


Imparting practical knowledge to raise awareness of the problems of changing careers at an early stage.


Networking with partner organisations and former performing artists who are successful in their new profession.


Jason Beechey Leitung Tanz ZHdK


EAIPA Career Support

EAIPA CAREER SUPPORT Online Event, 18.01.2024


Career development workshop (online) for dancers


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Olivia Lecomte

The SSUDK has successfully guided me through my transition as a professional dancer to a student in retraining. From figuring out who I am when I’m not a dancer, to helping me research and apply for universities that would support my new career vision, the SSUDK’s advice has always been helpful. I am so grateful for all the tailored work that you have put into helping me reach my new goals. One year ago, I would never have imagined that I would be where I am today without your support.

Andrea Thompson

With just one counseling meeting (and endless email support) the SSUDK pointed me toward a fantastic MAS program, in which I am now enrolled. Beyond that, the foundation advised me on how and where to find financial support during my career transition, as well as offering support directly. There is no doubt that the financial and informational resources offered by the SSUDK are important, necessary aides to dancers who are broadening their horizons.

Catherine Habasque

I cannot say enough how important the support of the SSUDK has been for me and how important it is for our profession. When a dancer stops performing, those qualities of discipline, emotional empathy, analyse of the movement he has been developing through harsh work get very often lost in a job that doesn’t require half of what he is able to give… a frustration for him and a loss for the society.
The support of the SSUDK is not only giving talented people the possibility to use all their abilities for a cause they believe in but it also gives the society the chance to profit from their talent, empathy and incomparable discipline.
I wish the longest life to the SSUDK and its work. May it help many dancers like it did for me.
With my sincere thanks.


Many thanks for the generous support of the following foundations: Schweizerischen Interpretenstiftung SIS/ Swissperform, Stiftung Corymbo, Ernst Göhner-Stiftung, SzeneSchweiz , Sophie und Karl Binding Stiftung and Stiftung Anne-Marie Schindler.  

The SSUDK cooperates with the following committed partners for workshops, awareness-raising measures and networking activities:

Cooperation partners: Schweizerische Interpretenstiftung SIS/ SWISSPERFORMSzeneSchweiz, Danse Transition, Opernhaus Zürich, Danse Suisse

Partner: Tanzbüro Basel IG Tanz Basel, Ballett Zürich, Ballett Basel, BA Contemporary Dance ZHdK
BETA Verein Berner Tanzschaffende, Biz Oerlikon «Netzwerk Spitzensport, DanzaSIA (Danza Svizzera Italiana Associazione), Dampfzentrale Bern, Konzert Theater Bern, MAS Dance Science Institut für Sportwissenschaft, Universität Bern, Reso Danse Suisse, Tanz Akademie Zürich ZHdK, Tanz Luzerner Theater, PilateSWISS

In addition, the SSUDK has been a member of ProFonds, the Swiss umbrella organisation of charitable foundations and associations, since 2019.

Schweizerische Interptretenstiftung
Ernst Göhner Stiftung
Stiftung Corymbo
Sophie und Karl Binding Stiftung
Beisheim Stiftung
Szene Schweiz
danse suisse
Stiftung Anne-Marie Schindler

The Foundation SSUDK 

The Foundation for the Retraining of Stage Artists was established in 1993 by the Swiss Association of Stage Artists “Schweizerischer Bühnenkünstlerverband (SBKV)”. In 1997, the foundation opened up to non-members and since 2013 it has operated under the name Swiss Foundation for the Retraining of Performing Artists “Schweizerische Stiftung für die Umschulung von darstellenden Künstlerinnen und Künstlern SSDUK”.
In 2016, the “Transition-Center SSUDK” was established to support and advise performing artists before, during and after their career in German-speaking Switzerland, Ticino and Liechtenstein. This applies in particular to dancers during their professional transition.

Our Team

Schweizerische Stiftung für die Umschulung von darstellenden Künstlerinnen und Künstlern
c/o SzeneSchweiz
Kasernenstrasse 15
CH-8004 Zürich

Tel. +41 78 718 15 01

Elisabeth Graf


President of the board

Dominique Cardito


Board member

Ingo Anders


Vicepresident of the board

Oliver Dähler


Managing director

Dr. Monika Gugganig


Head Office

Schweizerische Stiftung für die Umschulung von darstellenden Künstlerinnen und Künstlern
c/o SzeneSchweiz
Kasernenstrasse 15
CH-8004 Zürich

Tel. +41 78 718 15 01



Schweizerische Stiftung für die Umschulung von darstellenden Künstlerinnen und Künstlern

8004 Zürich

IBAN CH17 0900 0000 8913 6523 8