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For our performers...

We're so glad you're taking part!

We can't wait to welcome you as a performer at the 2022 Yorkshire Schools Dance Festival.

We thought it would be useful to give you some information about the Festival and to answer any questions you might have. 
Take a look at a film we shot with Kadafi Mulula. He took part in the Yorkshire School Dance Festival when he was 14. He talks about what it felt like to take part in the Festival and what he's doing now.

You'll be taking part in a finale performance at the end of the Festival. 
Take a look at this film that shows the moves. It would be great if you could learn them before your Festival day - don't worry if not... we'll have a rehearsal before you perform.

Choreography Challenge


Try this quick choreography challenge with your friends, group or even as a solo!

Get creative and have fun!


Listen to the 20 second track


Be inspired, create some movements to the song and put together your routine. 





Film it just for fun or you can add it to your socials. You must be at least 13 years old to access social media services.

For TikTok, Instagram, Twitter, Youtube and Facebook use :

@YorksDanceFest #YSDF22 #ChoreographyChallenge #YorksDanceFest


Here's two films that give you a taste of what you'll experience. Take a look at our 'IN FILM' page to see even more films!

A finale rehearsal

A taste of the day

Some answers to questions 

you might have...

Performance 6

About the Festival

The Festival takes place every year. We started back in 2012. It's a chance to celebrate all the amazing dancers and dance opportunities there are in Yorkshire's primary schools, secondary schools, colleges and out-of-school dance groups. You can read more on our 'About' page. This year will see 60 groups perform. Around 1200 dancers! The Festival will take place over four days - 12th/13th & 19th/20th November. 15 schools/groups perfom on each day. You'll take part on one of the four days. The Festival begins at 4pm but you'll be doing other things before then (see what happens on the day). You'll see a lot of different interpretations of our Festival theme, 'Picture this'.  ​ Each performance lasts up to 5 minutes. The Festival will end at around 6pm.

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What happens on the day

The shape of your day will depend on how far groups are travelling, their ages etc Your teacher/dance leader will have made a choice that's right for you. They might have gone for... REHEARSE AND RUN You might arrive early in the morning and be taken home after you've had your 20 minute dress rehearsal in the performnce space (auditorium). If so, you'll come back at 2.45pm for a finale rehearsal and warm-up with all other performers. STAY AND PLAY You might come along in the morning and stay with us until the Festival ends at around 6pm. There'll be things for you to do - take a look at 'What if my group is staying for the day'. REHEARSE AND PERFORM These later rehearsals are for groups who may have to travel a long way to get to the University or need to arrive later. You'll rehearse in the performance space (auditorium) and be given a base until the finale rehearsal at 2.45pm.


What if my group is staying for the day

If your group is staying around for some/all of the day (Stay and Play - see 'What happens on the day'), you'll have the opportunity to do some/all of these activities before you perform at the Festival at 4pm: - take part in dance workshops - watch performances - learn routines - practice the finale - create and perform your own routines - ask questions to a panel of dancers, dance leaders and dance companies. - talk to the One Dance UK Young Ambassadors - have time for breaks and lunch

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Who will perform

There'll be 1200 children and young people performing across the four Festival days! They'll be coming along to represent one of the 60 primary schools, secondary schools, colleges and out of school dance groups that will be taking part. Our youngest perfomer will be around 5 years old and our oldest around 18 years old. Around 300 children and young people will perform on each day (including you!). Some will have lots of experience of dancing but most will not. For many this will be the first time they will have performed outside of their own school. We always love how EVERY performer shows their support and appreciation for other groups and dancers.


Where you will perform

The Yorkshire Schools Dance Festival takes place at Central Hall, University of York. It's an amazing building (we think it like a space ship in the centre of a lake!) You can read more about Central Hall and take a look at some photographs by visiting our 'venue' page.


Who you will perform to

So... there will be around 300 performers at each Festival. (you'll all watch each other's performances). Another 650 people will be watching (these will mainly be the families/friends of people performing). With around 50 teachers and Festvial staff there'll be around 1000 people in total. That's quite a crowd!



It's perfectly natural for you to feel nervous both as the Festival approaches and on the day. Some people might not feel any nerves. We all work in different ways! If you feel nervous, anxious or worried, speak to your teacher or other people in the group you trust to share your feelings with and tell them how you feel. They'll help to make sure you enjoy the experience as best you can.


Performance advice

It's a BIG SPACE! You might not be used to performing in such a big space or to as many people. The audience at the back are higher than the stage. This means you'll need to get used to looking and performing with your energy and focus aimed upwards and right to the back. This will make sure everyone sees everything you're doing. It's about pushing your energy right to the back of the hall. The audience are also on 3 sides. This means you'll need to think about making a contact with everyone... no matter where they're sitting.


The finale

As well as performing with your school/group you'll also have the opportunity to take part in our Festival finale. This final performance, involving all the dancers who have performed on that day, is an AMAZING end to the event. You can a rehearsal from last year through our 'In film' page. The dance isn't complicated and you can practice it before you arrive at the Festival by taking a look at the video tutorial. It'll be at the top of this page. Teach your friends! Teach your family! We'll get the audience involved as well.


Is it a competition?

Absolutely NOT! This is a chance to enjoy every performance - whether it's a primary school or a college or anything inbetween. Whether it's someone who has never performed before or someone who dances a lot - everyone's a dancer! We'll all support and enjoy their individual creative talent.

Performance 3


Tickets will be on sale from 1st October. You can buy them through this website. Adult tickets are £8 and child tickets (under 16) are £6. There's also a booking fee. The Festival sometimes sells out so make sure your friends and family get theirs as soon as possible. You won't need a ticket to watch the Festival - you're one of the stars!

Performance 10

The theme

Your teacher or dance leader may have told you that we ask schools and groups to create performances from a theme. This year it's 'Picture this'. You'll get the chance to see how 14 other schools and groups have interpreted the same two words. That's pretty creative!



What to wear

Your teacher/dance leader will tell you what to wear when you arrive at the performance. It's often very cold in November so make sure you bring a warm coat and outdoor shoes. S/he will also have told you what to wear during the performance (your costume). Because each group will not have their own dressing room it's important that your costume is easily put on over a base layer of clothing that doesn't require a full change of clothing.


Food & drink

You might be at the Festival for all or most of the day. Make sure you bring enough food and drink with you to last. The Festival finishes at 6pm. You'll be able to get water from one of the water points in Central Hall or Exhibition Centre. There will be a snack bar where you'll be able to buy snacks and drinks if you run out. Older groups might decide to visit one of the cafe or shops on the University campus. If you are allowed to go to the cafe/shop without the rest of your group and/or teacher/dance leader please make sure they know you're going before you set off. Performers should walk to the shop/cafe with at least one other person.


Filming & photographs

We don't stop people taking photographs and filming THE FESTIVAL. We think it's a nice way to remember a special event. Filming and photography during the rest of the day is allowed but only of children and young people NOT WEARING a smiley yellow badge. If the rest of your group are happy with photographs and video then feel free to snap away (check with your teacher first). Watch out for the yellow smiley badges if taking shots that include other groups. If you post any images to social media do not tag other schools/groups.


Social media

If you're 13 or over you might like to join the social media 'buzz' across the two weekends. We'll be setting up a social media station for selfies and group shots as well as some TikTok activities. Tag us (Instagram, Twitter, Facebook) - @YorksDanceFest Hashtags - #YSDF22 #YorksDanceFest If you post any images to social media do not tag other schools/groups.


Festival staff

There'll be lots of people around on your Festival day to make sure everything goes smoothly. You'll be able to spot the YSDF team members - they'll be wearing a blue YSDF t-shirt. You can ask them any questions you may have about your Festival day.


The poster

You can download and print the 2022 Festival poster by cutting and pasting this address:



Festival hoodies are available to buy. They're available in both child and adult sizes. You can find out more on our 'Hoodies' page.

Performance 1

If there are any problems

We always want the day to run smoothly but sometimes things don't go as planned. Your teacher should be your first point of contact if you have any problems /worries / concerns/emergencies. There'll also be members of the Festival Team. These people will wear blue t-shirts. There are two first-aiders in the event of any accidents. If you get separated from your group or you need to speak to someone then look out for the blue t-shirts. They won't speak alone with you. They'll get someone else from the team so we can see if we can help out. You should not approach anyone else when on the University campus. There will be people around who are not connected with the Festival.

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