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The 2022 Yorkshire Schools Dance Festival is ready to roll!

Updated: Jun 23, 2022

Performing dancers
Photo credit: @Studio8Steve

The 2022 Yorkshire Schools Dance Festival has launched! The weekends of the 12th/13th and 19th/20th November will see Central Hall, University of York, come alive once again as an estimated 1000 children and young people take to the stage to take part in the event.

We're inviting schools, colleges/FE providers and community dance companies from across Yorkshire to take part.

Now in its 10th year, the Festival has grown from strength to strength. It celebrates dance in primary schools, secondary schools and college/FE settings as well as community dance companies from across the Yorkshire region.


The impact of the Festival is clear. Participating schools are working increasingly more frequently with dance artists to both offer extra-curricular classes and to further develop curriculum dance provision. Secondary schools and colleges have built the event into their programmes and pathways to provide students with an opportunity to perform, often for the first time, at a large scale event. Teachers and dance artists benefit from practical professional development opportunities and networking.

On top of this, we know there are positive impacts on emotional, physical, mental and creative health as well as shaping creative abilities, collaborative skills and artistry. We highlight progression in dance. For many children this will be the first time they will have performed outside of their school. Some older dancers are on the cusp of furthering their career in the dance industry.

We welcome them all and aim to provide an inspirational experience that will live with them for years to come.


We’ve forged links with Northern School of Contemporary Dance to provide their students with an opportunity to develop a performance and workshop package for primary aged participants to take part in during the mornings of the Festival days. We’ve teamed up with CAPA College, Leeds City College, Mechanics Performing Arts (Wakefield College) and York College to provide workshops for secondary aged young people. We’ve worked in partnership with the Children & Young People’s Dance Network North to consult with young performers about the value of dance and their thoughts and feelings about taking part. One Dance UK bring along their Dance Ambassadors to inspire and shape participation. York Dance Space have long been closely associated with the event and have shaped our finale with online instructional videos and on the day rehearsals.

This year we are grateful for the financial support from Yorkshire Dance, Make it York and the Shepherd's Community Support Fund. Significantly increased production costs means that we wouldn't be able to deliver the Festival without our partners and sponsors.


Our theme for 2022 is ‘Picture This’. We always aim to offer starting points for choreography that allow for a diverse creative response. Perhaps something inspired by Munch’s ‘The Scream’? An exploration of self identity on social media? Perhaps a family holiday snap? Who knows where our choreographers and performers will take us.


Just a week after opening, 50 schools, colleges and groups have registered their interest. Registration will remain open throughout June. We’ll confirm performance slots in early July. The selection of performance groups will be based upon our ambition to promote progression. We want to ensure a balance of primary schools, secondary schools, college/FE providers and community dance companies on each festival day.

In 2021 we made necessary Covid adaptations to ensure the event ran safely (and within the guidelines at the time). This year we return to a single Festival on each of the four days. We’ll return to capacity audiences of over 1000 people and a full programme of performances.

To register your school/college/community dance group just click on the link below. We hope to see you in November!


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