About the the largest event of its kind in the UK

The Yorkshire Schools Dance Festival is an annual event that celebrates, supports and promotes dance in primary schools, secondary schools, colleges and in wider communities.

Staged across two weekends and presented annually at the University of York, around 1200 young dancers representing 56 schools/groups from across Yorkshire perform to an audience of over 2500. The dancers range from just 4 to 19 years of age.

The event is non-competitive. Each school/group choreograph and perform a 5 minute dance piece in response to an annual theme. For 2021 it's 'The Power of Together'.

We see fresh new performances that showcase the creative talents of children, young people and their teachers/dance leaders. No two performances are the same!

2021 =


The 2021 Festival will be staged across two weekends - 13th/14th & 20th/21st November at Central Hall, University of York.  

Arrangements for 2021 are a little different from previous years. We appreciate that, even if things are back to normal, there may still be some apprehension about attending and participating in large-scale indoor events.This is why we'll be splitting the usual single event on each day and replacing it with two smaller Festivals - one at 12.00pm and one at 5.30pm.

Delivering the Festival in this way will allow us to maintain social distancing both backstage and in the auditorium and to more easily implement any necessary Covid planning. In the event of indoor events not being able to run because of further local or national Covid restrictions, we'll refund the registration fee and tickets purchased for the event (minus any booking fees).

We believe passionately in inspiring the next generation to find their love of dance.

Between 2012 and 2020 we've worked with 105 schools/groups and over 5700 young dancers. 

We aim to:

  • Get young people dancing

  • Raise the profile of dance provision in schools and wider community settings

  • Celebrate creative achievement

  • Produce a prestigious, large scale performance opportunity for children and young people

  • Promote progression in dance

  • Provide training and professional development

    opportunities for staff

  • Be a voice for dance at regional and national level

Watch the films below to give a taste of what we're about and what you can expect. 

About the Yorkshire Schools Dance Festival 

A look back to 2019

A look back to 2017

A look back to 2016