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Engage & Inspire: Extending the experience for young dancers at YSDF19

Updated: Sep 18, 2019

Engage & Inspire
Engage & Inspire: An extension to the 2019 Yorkshire Schools Dance Festival:

We're delighted to announce that the experience for the young dancers taking part in the 2019 Yorkshire Schools Dance Festival will be significantly enriched following confirmation of a successful funding application to Arts Council England.

'Engage & Inspire' is an extension to the 2019 Festival (16th/17th & 23rd/24th November). Over the course of the four festival days, children & young people will have the opportunity to engage with professional dance artists through performances, workshops & digital dance interactions.

Our ambition is to further develop young people as artists and nurture their understanding of progression in the creative & cultural sector. A proportion will achieve Arts Award to further reward & recognise their achievements.

In addition, professional dance artists will have the opportunity to access opportunities to explore the artist’s role within education & community settings, refine practice & enhance the potential for future work in this sector.

We are grateful 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.

2019 Yorkshire Schools Dance Festival poster
2019 Yorkshire Schools Dance Festival poster

The Yorkshire Schools Dance Festival is a not for profit event. It provides a wholly inclusive platform to celebrate achievement & raise the profile of dance provision for children & young people aged between 4 and 19 years of age across the region. Around 1200 young creatives take part each year.

Children & young people engage with the Festival through extra curricular clubs, dance lessons, examination courses and with community dance companies. ‘Engage & Inspire’ 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!

Through this additional strand of work, children and young people taking part in YSDF19 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 the 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'll be issuing further news and updates in the lead up to the Festival.


For more information about the Yorkshire Schools Dance Festival visit or contact us via email


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