U.Dance 2019

What is U.Dance?
Each year U.Dance presents an exciting opportunity for the young dancers to perform onstage, but it’s not just about performance. The dancers also take part in workshops and masterclasses with industry professionals, the young dancers can hone their skills in professional dance workshops, and meet and work with other dancers from across the country.

U.Dance 2019 festival weekend
During the 2019 festival weekend in London, One Dance UK hosted a range of other events to celebrate youth dance and experienced the next generation of dancers that showcased their talents.

One Dance UK were delighted to celebrate the end of their time in London in style, by bringing the U.Dance National Festival 2019 to the iconic Southbank Centre in partnership with ISTD. On the 20 and 21 of July we celebrated a fantastically sunny weekend, with almost 500 young people dancing their way into the city of London across some amazing venues. Participants from across the UK took part in challenging workshops from swing dance to musical theatre, taking place at inspiring venues such as Rambert and National Theatre. Meanwhile BFI Southbank played host to U.Dance on Screen, showcasing an amazing array of dance films made with and by young people.

Akademi’s annual NAVADAL competition featured stunning South Asian dance work presented by young people in the Clore Ballroom in front of a panel of industry professionals, with the winners transferring to the Purcell Room for a special performance curated by Vidya Patel. Members of the public and U.Dance participants were also treated to EFDSS’s lively ceilidh and folk dance processions as well as a Jazz Jam presented in partnership with Tomorrow’s Warrors jazz ensemble!

Dance teachers and those working in dance education were treated to a special networking and social event to celebrate the end of the academic year, and in recognition of their hard work with young people. Geoff Barton, General Secretary of ASCL, provided motivational words around the power and value of dance for young people.

Young Creatives, One Dance UK’s programme for aspiring choreographers in partnership with Royal Opera House and Rambert showcased 6 original and thought-provoking pieces of choreography, with themes as wide ranging as Brexit and the pros and cons of surveillance. Across the two evenings, after a rousing introduction from acclaimed choreographer Sir Richard Alston, One Dance UK’s Youth Dance Champion, 24 youth dance groups from across the UK took to the beautiful Queen Elizabeth Hall stage to perform in front of a huge and highly appreciative audience – all wrapped up with a stunning all-cast finale, complete with glow sticks!

Laura Nicholson, Head of Children and Young People’s Dance at One Dance UK said;

“The U.Dance National Festival celebrates excellence in the youth dance sector, showcasing high quality work from schools, private dance schools and community settings in a wide range of dance styles. U.Dance provides a vibrant platform for young people to demonstrate their creativity, talent and sheer hard work, whilst raising aspirations and sharing best practice. While attending U.Dance, young people are inspired by a range of industry professionals and learn about the wide range of dance-related careers available. U.Dance provides memorable and life-enhancing experiences for participants. A special thank you must be extended to all the teachers, youth group leaders and choreographers who work tirelessly all year around to provide creative opportunities for the young people they work with.”

Planning is now underway for U.Dance 2020, which will take place in Glasgow. We are absolutely delighted to be bringing this festival to Scotland for the very first time in partnership with YDance and Scottish Ballet. See you there!

Thank you to the 23 youth dance groups for performing – you were fabulous!

Saturday showcase

Centre for Advanced Training Trinity Laban, London
Fusion, Scotland
Mayhew School of Dance, East Midlands
Matthew Rawcliffe, North West
Spark, Wales
Hampshire Youth Dance Company, South West
iDance Studios, London
Highgate Ballet School Choreographers Collective, London
Our Lady and St. Chad Catholic Academy, West Midlands
Del Toro School of Dance, London
Dance Syndrome, North West
National Youth Dance Company Scotland

Sunday showcase

Ceyda Tanc Dance Company, South East
Srishti Yuva Culture, London
Live Love Dance, East
Drishti Dance, South East
Rubicon, Wales
Street Beat Elite, Yorkshire
Next Door Youth Dance Company, East Midlands
Dope Male, North West
Sujata Banerjee Dance Company, London
D+, North East
Colchester Sixth Form #1 Group, East
Centre for Advanced Training The Place, London


U.Dance 2019 was presented by One Dance UK in partnership with Southbank Centre and ISTD

in association with

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