Accelerate: Skills Development Lab

A talent development opportunity for early career artists.

Call out for applications to Accelerate, led by Yorkshire Dance in partnership with Northern School of Contemporary Dance, supported by Leeds Dance Partnership.

The Programme

Accelerate is a new artistic and professional nine-month development programme for early-career dance makers.

The programme is designed to support eight dance artists who have been practising professionally for up to three years, and who wish to develop their artistic and professional practice in the North of England. Accelerate aims to equip participants with the necessary skills to develop as independent artists. This is a paid opportunity and each artist will receive £100 per day for up to 20 days of development (a total stipend of £2000 to cover attendance of labs, a research residency week in the studio, mentoring and other development days) across the duration of the programme.

The programme will be delivered in Leeds and includes:

  • A week-long residency for initial research into your project idea.
    Please note: you must be available either the week commencing 17th February 2020 or the 3rd, 6th, 7th, 8th and 9th April
  • Fee to enable up to two additional dancers to collaborate with you during your research week
  • Access to mentoring from industry professionals
  • Opportunity to work with independent producers
  • 3x professional development Labs*
    (Scheduled for 26th & 27th September 2019, 30th & 31st January 2020 and 4th & 5th June 2020). Please note you must be able to attend all three Lab events.

Workshops over the Labs will include developing skills in:

  • Fundraising
  • Goal setting and visioning
  • How to increase engagement with your work
  • How to develop a captivating biography
  • Marketing and communications
  • Building relationships with producers/venues/ other relevant contacts for your work
  • Administration: tax, insurance, safeguarding, legal compliance etc.

*Labs are an opportunity to learn from independent artists and producers, helping you to build a career in the arts.

Who can apply?

For this opportunity we are seeking applications from early-career artists across all dance forms. We want to hear from recent dance course graduates (vocational/university) or those who have completed equivalent training specific to their dance form in the last three years.

Accelerate is open to people who wish to continue to build an artistic career in the North. Artists need to be over the age of 18. The programme will take on eight individuals, six currently living in Leeds and two living in the North of England (North East, North West and Yorkshire), who will be supported by a small travel grant. Applicants must also have a registered UK bank account.

We particularly encourage applications from people who identify as women. We also welcome applications from people from a Black, Asian or a minority ethnic background, who are currently underrepresented in the dance sector.  

This opportunity is for dance artists who are not currently in education or undertaking further formal training.

If you’re not sure whether you are eligible to apply please get in touch with us for some advice. You can email Assistant Creative Producer Megan Hamber at or call on 0113 250 5701.

How to apply

Please download the application questions here.

To apply, complete our online application form here (link) or submit a video (no longer than 5 minutes) answering the application questions. Please send video applications via We Transfer to

If you require this application in a specific format, or would like to submit an application in an alternative way (e.g. a written application), please email Assistant Creative Producer Megan Hamber at or call on 0113 250 5706.

For further information visit the Yorkshire Dance web site

Key dates

  • Deadline for applications:  Tuesday 23rd July, 10am
  • Selection date: Monday 29th July
  • Programme start date: September 2019 (for a 9 month period)
  • Programme end date: June 2020

It is essential that you are available for the following key dates:

Labs: 26th & 27th September 2019, 30th & 31st January 2020, 4th & 5th June 2020

Residency Weeks: You will need to be available for either the week commencing 17th February 2020 or the 3rd, 6th, 7th, 8th and 9th April.

Accelerate is led by Yorkshire Dance in partnership with Northern School of Contemporary Dance. The project is supported by Leeds Dance Partnership.

Lottery Funded. Supported using public funding by Arts Council England
Leeds Dance Partnership

Photo by Nicole Guarino, courtesy Northern School of Contemporary Dance.