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© 2012-2019 Yorkshire Schools Dance Festival

The experience for the young dancers taking part in the 2019 Yorkshire Schools Dance Festival will be significantly enriched. 'Engage & Inspire' is an extension to the 2019 Festival and supports our ambition is to further develop young people as artists and nurture their understanding of progression in the creative & cultural sector.


Children & young people engage with the Festival through extra curricular clubs, dance lessons, examination courses and with community dance companies. The project will be a first encounter with professional artists & dance companies for the vast majority of participants. We want to cultivate a conversation - to Engage and Inspire! 

Over the course of the four festival days,

children & young people will have the opportunity to:​


  • Watch professional dance work from two renowned companies from the North of England - Northern Rascals and Hawk Dance Theatre. For many this will be their first encounter with professional dance performance. For the professional companies this will be a rich exposure to a diverse range of young people and further support audience development.

  • Take part in high quality participatory workshops delivered by artists from Yorkshire & the North of England & representatives from One Dance UK and Northern School of Contemporary Dance.

  • Engage creatively with media arts via an interactive digital dance installation. Brink Dance Company will promote fresh approaches to dance and allow young people to see how technology can be used to enhance & excite performance.

  • Listen to One Dance UK’s Young Ambassadors, Northern School of Contemporary Dance students and sector leaders talk about potential progression routes into the creative sector.

  • A proportion of participants will also have the opportunity to complete the Arts Award Discover level.

  • York Dance Space will choreograph a spectacular finale involving all 300 performers on each day.

Through an artist development strand, dance professionals from Yorkshire & the North of England will be offered the opportunity to work across a full day with Hannah and Drew Wintie-Hawkins from York Dance Space, both highly experienced dance educators, and with the Festival's producer and cultural education consultant, Colin Jackson. The day will inform & develop the artists' engagement with schools as workshop leaders & providers of extra-curricular activities. They'll receive guidance & resources to shape effective engagements with schools. Anyone interested in attending and/or finding out more are encouraged to contact us.


We are grateful to Arts Council England for funding 'Engage & Inspire' and to our partners for supporting this exciting development: York Conferences, One Dance UK, Northern School of Contemporary Dance, York Dance Space and Children & Young People's Dance Network North.