Creating Opportunities for Young People to Access Dance


The U.Dance National Festival

The U.Dance National Festival takes place each summer in a different host city. The festival celebrates the UK’s most exciting youth dance companies and groups, selected to attend the festival via the regional platforms, for an inspiring weekend of dance. Participants can expect workshops with leading dance professionals, choreography sessions, interactive careers talks, networking opportunities and pop up performances, all culminating in a major performance alongside other leading youth dance companies.

2020 saw the launch of U.Dance Digital, the first time the festival has been hosted online. This celebration of youth dance comprised of 30 sessions over 3 days, 17-19 July, all for free. Sessions included online masterclasses with some of the top dancers and dance companies in the country, industry Q&As, dance showcases and a special online premiere from Rambert2. The weekend saw over 5000 young people register for sessions and have their talents showcased.

Clockwise from Top Left: Dame Darcey Bussell, Layton Williams, Sir Richard Alston and Kenrick ‘H20’ Sandy MBE leading sessions at U.Dance Digital 2020


U.Dance Choreography Challenge

The Choreography Challenge is a chance for young dance companies and individuals to showcase their creative talents across the U.Dance Digital weekend. Congratulations to the hundreds of entrants on their enthusiasm and skill – the range of dance styles, backgrounds and ideas was very inspiring.

We are proud to showcase the following entries on the official One Dance UK Facebook page as part of an exclusive live stream each evening during U.Dance Digital 2020. The U.Dance Choreography Challenge was presented in association with Harlequin Floors.


Sterran Touring Company – All About The Fight
Arunima Kumar Dance Company – Mo Funk
Ceyda Tanc Youth Dance – UZAK
Cherie Coleman and Callum Balmforth – Empty Stream
Mika George Evans – Lockdown Levity
Bilborough Sixth Form College – Home
Indepen-dance Young 1’z – Reclaiming Surfaces
Shreya Das – Mi Gente
Curve Young Dance Company – …the pulse remains


Hothouse – YDance – The Hothouse Project 
Martha MacMillan – Please Hold the Line 
English National Ballet School – Cabbage Moth
Drishti Dance – Unmesh: The Rebeginnings Catherine Ibbotson | Dulwich College – Rainbow 
MeshDance  – Scattered 
York Dance Space- The Little Big Things 
Kai Harvey  – The Box 
Brooks Dance Academy  – She
Skylark School of Dance   – Dance in Isolation
CAPA College – Momentum Dance  – The Bored Room


One Dance UK Young Creatives in partnership with Royal Opera House and Rambert – Young Creatives
Dance Studio Scotland – what really happens in your dreams
James Bamford  – Dog Days Are Over
Re:Volution Youth Dance Company from Evolution School of Dance  – Re:Imagined
Scott Milne – Keep Your Heads Up
Laois Youth Dance Ensemble- A Sense of Place
Esme Cook  – Freedom
Preston Youth Dance Company – reconnecting…
Project Female Dance Company  – My Body Underneath
Madeline Irwin and Enrique Ngbokota, Elmhurst Ballet School – Spiraling
Man Made Youth Company (Midlands Arts Centre – MAC resident youth company) – Alone/Together



U.Dance Writing Challenge

Congratulations to all the finalists and winners of the U.Dance Writing Challenge 2020. After much deliberation, the One Dance UK team and Guest Panellist Graham Watts are pleased to announce that there are joint winners of the challenge.

‘Judging these reviews and essays was a tough but thoroughly enjoyable challenge because the overall standard of all the entries was excellent. Each one had different merits in terms of description, analysis and opinion and all were enjoyably written with an impressive use of language. Prospects for the future of dance writing would appear to be very encouraging.’

– Graham Watts, Chair of the Critics’ Circle Dance Section and Guest Panellist, U.Dance Writing Challenge


Read the winning entries below.


Lottie, Lucy

Highly Commended:

Mia, Vimla


AavinBeatrice, Gemma, Jonny, Victoria, Yashmita


Discover the highlights of a previous U.Dance National Festival below:

Click HERE to see other past U.Dance Festivals 
To register for updates on U.Dance events, please email  

U.Dance is supported by Arts Council England.

Arts Council England