Line-up announced for U.Dance 2016, the nation’s annual youth dance festival

1 Jun 2016

Cando2 & Guests performing Moving Bodies at the Lowry. Photographer Brian Slater

Cando2 & Guests performing Moving Bodies at the Lowry. Photographer Brian Slater

19 youth dance groups from across the country have been selected to perform and take part in U.Dance 2016, the nation’s annual youth dance festival, following a record number of 296 applicants being received.

After taking place in Plymouth last year, the festival heads north to The Lowry in Salford Quays. From 8 to 10 July, the venue will become a hotbed for the country’s most exciting young dance talent, as over 300 young dancers gather to showcase and develop their skills in a packed three-day programme.

 From a record number of 296 groups competing to take part, One Dance UK today announces the names of the 19 successful groups who will perform at U.Dance 2016.

Today’s much anticipated announcement is the culmination of a rigorous national recruitment campaign with regional and county platforms held in virtually every corner of England: East and West Midlands, Yorkshire, London, South East and South West, East, North East and North West. The initial applicants included 22 inclusive groups, a 47% increase on last year, showcasing the diversity and accessibility of the country’s youth dance scene.

“We’re delighted with final line-up,” said Andrew Hurst, Chief Executive of One Dance UK, “The groups selected represent a broad spectrum of dance styles and approaches, creating a fantastic development opportunity for young dancers from across England to be inspired, collaborate and learn from each other. From Kalanikethan, a South Asian youth dance company in the north east, to Ludus Youth Dance Company in the north west, to Wheelfever Projects in the south west, a dance company for young people with disabilities, there really is an interesting mix, which should make for some exciting and innovative performances.”

For the past four months, more than 3400 young people have been competing in the hope of being among the lucky few to participate in U.Dance 2016 at The Lowry in Salford Quays as well as taking part in classes and workshops at the University of Salford and University Technical College.

The groups taking part in U.Dance 2016 are as follows:

Region Name of Group Region Name of Group
East Dance2 North West Ludus Youth Dance Company
East Revolution Youth Dance Company North West Preston Youth Dance Company
East Midlands Gedling Ballet School South East B2 – Sir William Borlase School
East Midlands Tammy Tsang South East Young Anjali
London Shift South West Wheel Fever Projects
London Impact Youth South West Hampshire Youth Dance Company
North East Youth Dance Tynedale West Midlands Versus Dance Company
North East Dance Jam West Midlands Flexus Touring Company
North East Kalanikethan Yorkshire Momentum Dance
North West Eden Youth Dance Company Yorkshire Phoenix Youth Academy


One Dance UK is also delighted to announce that as part of the U.Dance 2016 festival, the National Youth Dance Company of England, The Lowry’s Centre for Advanced Training will present a full evening double bill of their works on Friday 8 July. Additionally, special guests the National Youth Dance Company of Scotland will perform on Saturday 9 July with some of the selected groups.


U.Dance 2016 is presented in partnership with The Lowry, and generously supported by Arts Council England, The Boparan Charitable Trust, Mariana Kleinwort Charitable Trust, the Robert Gavron Charitable Trust and The Granada Foundation and One Dance UK’s Principal Sponsor, Harlequin Floors.

Julia Fawcett OBE, Chief Executive of The Lowry, said;

The Lowry is very proud to be hosting U Dance 2016, an integral event in the UK’s dance calendar, which reaffirms our reputation as the home of dance in the North West. We are delighted to be partnering with One Dance UK, whose commitment to creating a brighter future for dance mirrors the aims of our extensive programme of work to nurture young dance talent in the North West. I am very much looking forward to getting a glimpse of the future of dance when more than 300 young dancers from across the UK take over our stages and spaces with their talent, energy and passion in July.

Andrew Hurst, Chief Executive of One Dance UK, comments:

One Dance UK came into being on 1 April 2016 as the new ‘go-to’ body for dance, formed by the merger of the Association of Dance of the African Diaspora, Dance UK, the National Dance Teachers Association and Youth Dance England. These four key national dance organisations together combine more than 120 years of knowledge and expertise in their various specialist fields and provide One Dance UK with the strongest possible foundations to work towards a brighter future for dance in the UK.

As One Dance UK’s first major event for children and young people, I am thrilled that U.Dance 2016 has attracted the largest number of young people since the festival was created by Youth Dance England in 2005. This is encouraging news as we develop YDE’s legacy into the future. I’m particularly encouraged that so many inclusive groups have come forward and I am very much looking forward to being inspired by high quality new work created by a diversity of groups and broad spectrum of young people.

For tickets £9 (concessions) and £12 including booking fee and detailed performance details for the U.DANCE 2016 performances please visit

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