At the end of each year, Dance Advantage holds a contest to see which are the Top Dance Blogs of the year, though if you look at the shortlisted blogs, you'll notice that with the exception of Dave Tries Ballet (who started blogging while studying in the States, and writes with much enthusiasm about his journey in ballet from his first classes only a few short years ago), none of them are English, and their writers are a mixture of professional dancers, and other people writing about dance. And that tells us a lot about who the people are who blog most actively about dance.

Swim across the Atlantic, and we find that it's a very different picture over here. Fairly often, people have asked about UK-based dance bloggers, but there really aren't that many, as we have few non-dancers blogging about dance, and the dancers with blogs rarely have time to update them, given how busy most dancers are with juggling work, rehearsals, teaching, performances, and everything else which eats into their time. Here on Cloud Dance Festival, we've been encouraging dancers and dance professionals to blog, but, well, we're all such busy people...

Here's a list of the dance bloggers we've found:

A Studio in Covent Garden
Twitter: @studioincovent

Written by a marketing officer who has worked at three of the leading arts venues in London, the blogs are a mixture of features on individual choreographers, thoughts on shows he's seen, and other topics of interest about dance. Also a guest blogger for The Ballet Bag.

Diarmaid O'Meara
Twitter: @DanceDialogue

Diarmaid O'Meara is a freelance ballet dancer and teacher; his recent performances include The Most Incredible Thing at Sadler's Wells and Ballet Ireland's productions of Romeo & Juliet and Scheherazade. The tagline for his blog is "Opinion. Debate. Review.", and his blogs are always thought-provoking and insightful, often contradicting established opinions with well-argued reasoning.

Lucía Piquero
Twitter: @LuPiquero
Lucía Piquero is one of the co-founders and co-directors of Diciembre Dance Group, and a very busy freelance ballet dancer and teacher! Her blogs are written from a dancer's perspective, discussing technique and other ingredients integral to dancing, her favourite dance moments, and other aspects of her work

Michael Johnson
Twitter: @mpjdancer

Michael Johnson is a Sheffield-based dance artist working with Poor Mans Dance and Adaire to Dance, among other companies, and worked with Wayne McGregor on Big Dance 2012. His blogs range from his current work and performances he's seen to musings on art and fashion.

Bellyflop Magazine
Twitter: @bellyflopmag

Bellyflop is a very popular online contemporary dance magazine which has evolved into a collaborative enterprise, drawing from the dance artists based at Chisenhale Dance Space for its main contributors. It offers a wide range of features, interviews, reviews and blogs, however it has sadly become less active since the start of 2012 due to a lack of funding.
Only a few of the main contributors are on Twitter:
Charlie Ashwell: @AshwellCharlie
Eleanor Sikorski: @EleanorSikorski
Gillie Kleiman: @GillieKleiman

Twitter: @article19

Contemporary dance's very own Marmite, Article19 is an outspoken necessary addition to the contemporary dance world, whether exposing issues some people might prefer were overlooked - whether it's low pay for dancers, or confusing allocation of funding - or heckling their favourite targets. And whenever the EvilImp gets loose, beware! Often insulted, never bested, Article19 says what many of us think but dare not say out loud.

Article19 isn't a blog, but should be avidly read anyway; they also have six dancers blogging for them, if infrequently.

The Ballet Bag
Twitter: @theballetbag

Having put a tremendous amount of energy into building up The Ballet Bag as one of the leading ballet ezines since April 2009, Linda Uruchurtu and Emilia Spitz have invited several guest writers to join their team and to give The Ballet Bag's readers a more diverse viewpoint on the ballet world, as well as to free themselves up for their new creative agency, Lume Labs. If you're looking forward to an upcoming show, then check their site, as there's a good chance they'll have written about it in advance. And if you have a spare few hours, it's worth trawling through their archives for a wealth of articles on all things ballet, and a few things contemporary dance.

Cloud Dance Festival

We've had quite a few bloggers writing for us since we first started recruiting writers in August 2011, and we'll be trying to add to their numbers for an ever-widening range of viewpoints on life as a dancer.

If you're on Twitter, our current bloggers are:
Lewis Wheeler - @lewiswheeler
Anna Pearce - @anna_louP
Rachel Vogel - @crystaldance11