Past YDE Programmes 

U.Dance 2015

In 2015 Youth Dance England partnered with Plymouth Dance to deliver The National Youth Dane Festival. The four day festival welcomed over 300 young people and 72 group leaders from across England. Festival activity included:

  • 3 Dance Performances at the Theatre Royal Plymouth
  • 2 Performances at the National Marine Aquarium
  • 2 Pre-show performances in the foyer at The Royal Plymouth
  • 1 Mass Dance
  • 4 CPD sessions for group pleases
  • 2 Film Screenings
  • 21 Classes and workshops
  • 4 Dance in a Day workshops
  • 2 Career Panels
  • 1 welcome event

Plymouth Dance also hosted local engagement activity in the lead up to U.Dance 2015, making the total reach for U.Dance 1600.

Videos of all the performances are now .


U.Dance 2014 

Nottingham welcomed 1000 young dancers and their group leaders who travelled from all over the country to take part in U.Dance 2014. This Midlands based festival included a special strand called U.Dance South Asian, and enabled more South Asian work to be seen at the national festival. You can see the groups performing .

Have a look to see how it went! 


U.Dance 2013

Taking place across five venues in Leeds, this festival embraced 100s of young people from across Britain and included the first U.Dance New Dimensions strand. 

See the short documentary film we made of the event .


U.Dance 2012

Youth Dance England’s flagship event U.Dance 2012 took place on 13th-15th July 2012 at Southbank Centre, London, showcasing some of the best young dance groups from across the UK, and offering the wider public the opportunity to take part in free dance workshops with renowned professionals, watch dance films made by or featuring young people, and see dancers in rehearsals. See a gallery of pictures .

View the full programme here - Open programme 

The event was made possible through YDE’s partnership with Southbank Centre, DU Dance in Northern Ireland, National Youth Dance Wales and YDance (Scottish Youth Dance); who for the first time organised selection platforms in their own nations linking to U.Dance. It also included the following new strands: 

The first-ever UK-wide youth dance company. 

In a major new development, U.Dance 2012 presented the first UK-wide youth dance company called the U.Dance Ensemble, with the internationally-acclaimed choreographer Hofesh Shechter appointed as Artistic Director. The U.Dance Ensemble performed a new piece created especially by Shechter on the Opening ad Closing nights of the U.Dance 2012. 

Plans are also underway for the Company to perform in Wales at the end August/early September this year. 

A fresh look at dance through the lens. 

U.Dance Fresh Takes is the film strand of U.Dance 2012 programmed by young curators. It involved two screenings of dance films made by our featuring young people. 

Fresh Takes is a South East Dance initiative delivered and co-produced with Youth Dance England for U.Dance 2012. 

A conference on choreography by and with young people. 

Bringing learning and discussion to the heart of the U.Dance 2012 festival on Saturday 14th and Sunday 15th July,  professionals and young dance artists were invited to join in discussions and share ideas on the theme of choreography by and with young people. 

Chris Thomson, Director of Creative Teaching and Learning at The Place and Linda Jasper, Director of Youth Dance England, led sessions centred around best practice in choreography, the importance for young people experiencing choreographic processes and the future of youth choreography. 

In partnership with The Place.


U.Dance England 2010 

U.Dance England was an outstanding success on Sunday 4th July 2010 at Birmingham Hippodrome where 150 young dancers from 12 regional dance groups gave an incredible performance including their 12 original pieces and a mind-blowing finale pulled together just a couple of days prior under the direction of choreographer Bettina Strickler. 

The participants all took part in a memorable 4-day residential beforehand during which they practised and developed their dance skills in genres ranging from contemporary to Kathak, and street to musical theatre. They were taught technique, repertoire and choreography by some of England's renowned artists including Adèle Thompson fromStompand Marc Calape fromSo You Think You Can Dance. 


Young Creatives 2013 

See a short film .

"Young Creatives afforded me a more tonally varied, enjoyable time than either ENB or Rambert's recent new work bills" - Donald Hutera, Dance Critic  

View the performance programme - Open publication- Freepublishing 

Read a blog piece on on how the young creatives 2013 got on at their White Lodge residential programme, from an observer's point of view.


Young Creatives 2012  

The twelve met at the Skill Boosting Weekend in January 2012 wherethey learned about choreographic processes, lighting for the stage, choosing costumes for a performance and other production aspects. They were also paired up with a professional mentor who they met with three times over the course of the programme to help them develop and refine their piece in preparation for the premiere performance of their work at the Royal Opera House. The performance took place on 4th May and was a sell-out success - you can see pictures of it on .  

“I thoroughly enjoyed the Skill Boosting Weekend as it gave me a lot of insight into how different choreographers go about making new works.  I was really happy with the fast pace and physicality of the weekend which I was not expecting. The balance of technique and choreographic based workshops/classes really suited and challenged me” - Young Creative 2012 


Young Creatives 2011

YDE Young Creatives 2011 took place from November 2010 to April 2011. Fifteen young choreographers, aged 16 to 19 created fourteen new pieces during the course of the project with support from mentors including Kerry Nicholls, Katie Green and Wayne Sables. The choreographers and their dancers attended a four-day choreography residential at the Royal Ballet School’s White Lodge in Richmond Park and then came back to London a week later to perform their pieces in The Linbury Studio Theatre at the Royal Opera House.

See a short film about Young Creatives 2011 .



Young Creatives 2010

In 2010,13 highly talented young choreographerswere selected to showcase their diverse selection of 12 pieces of work at a one-off, public performance inLinbury Studio Theatre at the Royal Opera Houseon April 9th. 

The young choreographers went through rigorous 4-day training residential at the Royal Ballet School's White Lodge, where they were challenged to create two new dance pieces in two days to help further their choreographic skills. These new works were premiered alongside their original 12 pieces in this once-in-a-life-time opportunity at the famous Royal Opera House in London. 



YDE Stride! wasan annual leadership and development programmeaimed at young people wishing to explore the many career opportunities available within the dance sector. 

YDE Stride! offered a rare opportunity to participate in an action-packed residential, devise projects with skilled and professional guidance, and develop experience and knowledge of the dance sector through a work placement and support of a mentor, all of which aimed to help participants get a head start with their career in dance.  

I just needed the opportunity to get out there and explore...YDE Stride! helped me do this and see what I could be involved in. Participating in Stride! made me see the different rolesI could playin dance and the areas I could specialise in, and realise that just because I dance I don’t have to become a dancer, I can still be involved in dance in other ways. - Stride! 2009 participant 


YDE Conference 2010: A Shared Vision for the Future 

A very successful YDE Conference took place 23-24 September 2010 at the Mermaid Conference Centre in London, where over 300 delegates exchanged their ideas, knowledge and aspirations for the future of young people's dance. 

The firstTen Year Vision for Children and Young People’s Dancewas launched at the Conference where it was championed by guest speakers Ed Vaizey, Wayne McGregor and Tony Hall amongst others. The Vision identifies needs in high quality teaching and workforce development, increased opportunities for participation and performance both in and out of school settings, dance space development, and strengthening the national young people's dance network. You can nowdownload the Ten Year Vision for freeand   to share your views on the next steps. 

The YDE Conference also featured a number of specialist speakers in more than 30 different subjects, who talked about areas including education, careers, teaching development and disability dance for young people. Speakers from Australia, Finland, The Netherlands, Canada and Germany gave an international perspective and a comparison of youth dance in their respective countries, their aims and objectives and the challenges faced. 

A new teaching qualification for practitioners and a new teaching guide were also launched at the event.The Diploma in Dance Teaching And Learning (children and young people)was presented by Linda Jasper, Director of Youth Dance England and Maggie Morris, Head of Acting and Dance Qualifications at Trinity College London. The qualification is set to change the future of dance teaching in England while the new guide,Dance In and Beyond Schools will support teachers as they deliver dance.


Dance Links

Dance Links was a YDE initiative that aimed to strengthen links between schools and out-of-school dance providers in order to overall improve dance experiences for young people.

The project started in 2004 from YDE’s partnership with the National Dance Teachers Association (NDTA), following an increased awareness that schools did not know how to identify and access dance providers to work with their students, and that there was a lack of dance specialists available to work in schools.
Dance Links was funded by the Physical Education Sport Strategy for Young People (PESSYP) through the Department of Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS), as part of the government’s plan for every child and young person to participate in five hours of physical activity per week.

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