U.Dance 2016 – “What dancing in our region means to us.”

6 Jun 2016

U.Dance, the nation’s youth dance festival, is around the corner! We are proud that the festival has young people performing who have been selected from all over the country. As part of our #UDanceAnywhere campaign, three students from Phoenix Youth Academy, Leeds, have written a blog post on why they love to dance and how their home region of Yorkshire influences them. Read this interesting article by Beth Emmerson, Emily Snow and John-William Watson from Phoenix Dance Theatre Senior Youth Academy.

Dancing in the Yorkshire region will always provide a sense of comfort and sensation of home. It is where we are predominantly learning and where the unbelievable passion for moving around and being creative has stemmed from. Dancing within Leeds is not only a wonderful experience for being a dancer in training but is also wonderful because Leeds is such a cultural hub of performance in general. Through dancing within the city and region we have not only met many dancers of our age that we can share experiences with, but also older dancers to learn from and be inspired by, including countless choreographers and artists from within the industry.

Phoenix Youth Dance Company, photo Brian Slater

Companies from within the region like Phoenix Dance Theatre, Northern Ballet, Northern School of Contemporary Dance, Leeds Beckett, Yorkshire Dance and RJC have never failed to inspire the growing creativity and passion which has only developed through growing up here and partaking in the many training schemes that are available in Yorkshire. Being surrounded by such incredible companies that are so local and accessible has widened our perspective of dance and increased the drive because they are a constant source of inspiration. Knowing that so many young people are receiving high quality, creative and fantastic training through the various schemes on offer in Leeds and Yorkshire really is a wonderful feeling. Dance is flowing through the Yorkshire region and can be found in ways such as performance opportunities, being able to see up and coming shows or to simply take class to practise and improve.

Being a part of Phoenix Youth means we have direct access to and influences from the longest standing contemporary dance company outside of London. It is with this professionalism that we also have the privilege of bePhoenix Youthing right in the middle of what is bid to be in the number one city for dance outside of London. It is highly motivating and thrilling to be surrounded by professional institutions and artists that have high levels of credibility and that can give us such an inspiration to follow whichever path we want to take. Being a part of Phoenix Youth Academy allows for young dancers in the area to be active, to be inspired, and to be driven and passionate about dance.

Within Yorkshire we have created a professional family that provides support and care for one another in our career choices and achievements. We are pushed to achieve our very best and don’t ever stop until we reach it. Through guidance and experience we are lead down an exciting path into the creative world that is the dance sector. We collectively feel a great sense of pride for the Yorkshire region and the dance experiences we have gained and will carry with us throughout our lives and careers.


See Phoenix Youth and many other outstanding youth dance companies perform at U.Dance 2016 at The Lowry, from 8-10 July.