Making dance work!

A series of free seminars & social evenings by dance professionals

Join Leeds Dance Partnership every month to enjoy a series of free talks by dance and arts industry experts designed to help develop your dance career. Whether you’re a professional or enthusiast, everyone is welcome. You can attend in person at Yorkshire Dance in central Leeds or join us online via the livestream.

Each seminar focuses on key themes across a range of subject areas such as building and demystifying networks and partnerships, knowing your practice and working with other artists/artforms. Our speakers are all experts in their field and include Gary Clarke (Gary Clarke Company), Rachel Fullegar (Gracefool), freelance fundraiser Pam Johnson, digital innovator Sean Clarke (Test Card).

Find out more about the speakers

Seminar 2: Demystifying Funding

Hosted by Pamela Johnson,
Fundraiser and audience development specialist

Wednesday 28 July, 6.30pm – 8.30pm

With a new round of Arts Council England funding for Developing your Creative Practice about to launch, experienced independent fundraiser Pamela Johnson will take us through the process of funding applications, using this grant as an example of how to approach applications. She is one of the best fundraisers in the region, so come and get top tips in this group session and share any advice you have to help assist others.

Seminar 3: Demystifying Networks & Partnerships

Hosted by Dr. Joseph Mercier
Choreographer, Performance Maker and Lecturer at Northern School of Contemporary Dance

Wednesday 25 August, 6.30pm – 8.30pm

What is my practice? What do I offer? How do I see my practice evolving in the coming two, three, five years and as a longer career? We talk with established northern dance professionals Joanne Bernard, Rehearsal Director for Phoenix Dance Theatre and Rachel Fullegar, founder of Gracefool Collective and ProDanceLeeds.

Book now

Seminar 4: Making work Work!
Knowing your Practice and articulating your aims and objectives

Hosted by Dr. Joseph Mercier

Wednesday 29 September, 6.30pm – 8.30pm

(Re-scheduled from June)

How do you communicate to audiences and other creative professionals what you do? In this seminar speakers Gary Clarke and Julia White, Marketing and Communications Manager at Yorkshire Dance, take an honest look at getting your message out there, adapting it to different audiences and recognising how to best promote your work.

On sale Wednesday 1 September

Seminar 5: The Digital Dancer

Hosted by Dr. Joseph Mercier

Wednesday 27 October, 6.30pm – 8.30pm

We speak with Kenneth Tindall, Artistic Director of Digital at Northern Ballet and Sean Clarke, founder of Test Card to discuss how working in film/digital and for online has changed and informed approaches to their work. What has been learnt and what can we all take forward in creative practice when thinking about the digital online space?

On sale Friday 1 October

Seminar 6: Performance outdoors & at festivals

Hosted by Dr. Joseph Mercier

Wednesday 24 November, 6.30pm – 8.30pm

We hear from Abbe Robinson, Festival Director at Light Night Leeds and Victoria Firth, Performer, Theatre Maker and Director, who between them move between venue, outdoor and festival presentations. They share their experience and question us to look at how we create and communicate to these expanding areas of performance opportunity with thoughts on site specific, festival networks, place making and the new normal for outdoor art.

On sale Monday 1 November

Yorkshire Dance celebrating International Day of Older People

As part of their ongoing commitment to keeping older adults dancing, maintaining social interaction and supporting their older participants Yorkshire Dance has curated a celebratory week to coincide with International Day of Older People on Thursday 1st October. 

The week will challenge the stereotypes of age and older bodies in dance with classes in Vogue, break dancing and an African Dance Master Class.  These online classes will take place on Zoom and are part of an exciting programme of events and classes to celebrate the older body dancing.  

It is crucial to the work of Yorkshire Dance to advocate for inclusive processes that facilitate people from a wide range of backgrounds to discover the power of dance in daily life. 


  • Monday 28 September: Masterclass – Break Dancing with Ella Mesma 2.00pm-3.30pm
  • Tuesday 29 September: Masterclass – Voguing with Darren Pritchard 2-3.30pm
  • Wednesday 30 September: Masterclass – African/Ghanaian Dance with Nii Kwartey Owoo 2-3.30pm
  • Thursday 1 October: International Day of Older People – Dance On Social – 2.30pm. An event about bringing people together through sharing memories of dance, stories of dancing into older age and the legendary Dance On Quiz.
  • Friday 2 October: Dance On Launch 12noon-1pm – the re-launch of our physical Dance On session (for 6 weeks) held at Yorkshire Dance, please contact directly for more information.
Darren Voguing
Darren, Vogue

Find out more: 

Header image: Nii, African Dance

Return to Dance Webinars, One Dance UK

​Professional Development: Return to Dance Webinars
One Dance UK
Catch up

If you missed them, One Dance UK’s Return to Dance Q&A webinars, co-hosted by the Dance Medicine and Science Expert Panel, are available to view online.

Covering topics such as social distancing in dance and mental health and injury management, catch up on the webinars on the One Dance UK website.

Slung Low hosts socially distanced dance first in Leeds supported by Leeds Dance Partnership

This weekend saw Leeds’ first socially distanced live dance event take place since the COVID-19 lockdown was initiated. Good Blood, by independent dance artist Keira Martin in collaboration with Sioda Adams, was performed at Slung Low’s The Holbeck to a sold-out audience on 5 September demonstrating positive signs for the re-emergence of live dance performance in the city.

Kiera Martin and Sioda Adams, one looks on while wearing a easter Europe style dress while the other is upside down in a water butt.

Good Blood was performed by Barnsley-born sisters Keira Martin and Sioda Adams who use dance, live music, song and storytelling to bring hilarious, nostalgic and familiar family scenarios to the stage. Looking closely at the relationship of two sisters, Good Blood was performed outside, with performers and audiences socially distanced. The free event was primarily attended by members of the local communities around Holbeck.

“It was great to perform and connect with a live audience again after such a long break. It felt particularly special at Slung Low because of the diverse mix of people watching. It was great to be placing theatre and performance right in the heart of a local community and I loved how uplifted people seemed from the whole experience. I take my hat off to Slung Low for the work they’re doing, I don’t see any other arts organisation working with the community in the way that they do. It’s just brilliant!”

Sioda Adams
Kiera Martin and Sioda Adams, one stood wearing a red dress while the other sits in a white dress holding a violin.

Good Blood was supported by Leeds Dance Partnership and commissioned by Northern School of Contemporary Dance – Northern Connections, 2Faced Dance Company – The Bench Seed funding, with support from Yorkshire Dance, Vincent Dance Theatre, Spin Arts and Dance City; funded by Arts Council England.

One Dance UK Awards Nomination

The One Dance UK Awards are an annual celebration for people from across the dance sector to celebrate and reward the people who have made an impact on the vibrant UK dance landscape.

The long list for this year’s awards has now been released, and we’re thrilled to see that Emily Snow, Leeds Dance Partnership’s Freelance Project Coordinator, has been nominated in the Rising Star category. We’ve got our fingers crossed for a win for Emily! 

It is fantastic to see so many nominations from across Leeds and Yorkshire on the long list including David Toole (Stop Gap), CPYDNN, RJC Dance’s Kathy Williams and Nillanthie Morton, Dawn Holgate of Leeds City College as well as nominations for Partners NSCD and Yorkshire Dance.

See the One Dance UK website for the full long list. The short list with three nominees per category will be announced soon.

International Day of Dance

At Leeds Dance Partnership we celebrate dance from across the city and its surrounding areas. With the current COVID-19 crisis, artists have adapted to keep us all connected to the art of dance. To celebrate International Day of Dance 2020 we’ve brought together some of the content being produced right now – it won’t cover everything so keep your eye on Twitter and follow #IDD2020 throughout the day. And tweet us your activity so we can share. 

Yorkshire Dance

Yorkshire Dance have lots going on online and are one to keep an eye on as they plan to release more. For now, you can watch Dancing on My Own, and then have a go yourself. Or for fun for all the family why not try their Saturday Superstars Online classes? It includes classes on street dance, ballet and rhythm and tap.

Northern School of Contemporary Dance

Northern School of Contemporary Dance will share a short film celebrating their international student community. Featuring students dancing in their homes across the world as they continue their studies remotely under lockdown.

Also worth a look is FLOCK FEST, an art and performance festival curated and produced by the students. There are over 20 videos from independent artists in the online programme.

Northern Ballet

Northern Ballet are running a Pay as You Feel Season Digital Season where you can see full-length ballets and exclusive excerpts for free. They are just asking for a donation when you watch, if you feel you are able. One to act quickly on is 1984 which is available to watch for free online until 2 May.

Don’t miss Sharon Watson’s Windrush: Movement of the People on MarqueeTV (you’ll need an account or 14-day free trail). The work is a lively celebration of the rise of multicultural Britain and features an uplifting soundtrack from calypso, jazz, gospel and reggae.

And calling all young, aspiring dancers…Phoenix are still accepting applications for all Phoenix Youth Academy cohorts for Autumn 2020. Apply now!

Dance Studio Leeds

If you want to get moving in your living room, it might be worth checking out the online class offering from Dance Studio Leeds. With everything from ballet to Afrofusion and musical inspired classes. A bargain for £5.


It’s always worth keeping an eye on what DAZL are up to and they are on top of the lockdown TikTok craze too search for them @DAZLDance.

Watch their videos

Leeds City College

Leeds City College have curated a series of interactive activities and workshops you can take part in online. Whilst not specifically dance, there’s plenty to keep you creative.

Balbir Singh Dance Co

Something for the kids here as BSDC run online classes bringing classical Indian dance, ballet, and other dance styles to the comfort or chaos of your living room.

South Asian Arts-UK (SAA-UK)

SAA-UK have developed Baithak LIVE, a season of live streamed performances by some of the best South Asian musicians and dancers. There is content every Thursday at 7pm, and twice a month on Sundays at 11am a special Sacred Sounds for Humanity will be live streamed.

Mind the Gap

To celebrate the anniversary of ZARA – Mind the Gap’s giant co-production with Walk the Plank in association with Emergency Exit Arts, you can watch it on their website now.

Leeds Inspired

Always a good place to see what’s happening in Leeds, Leeds Inspired are sharing a guide for online events in Leeds including Leeds Digital Festival.

We also recommend checking out Dance Consortia North West’s Collaborative Campaign

Keep Active, Keep Healthy, Keep Social, Keep Dancing

Cheshire Dance, Ludus Dance, Merseyside Dance Initiative (MD) and Company Chameleon are bringing the sector together to celebrate International Day of Dance 2020 which is on the 29th April.

Leeds Dance Partnership are delighted to be collaborating with DCNW and other dance partners from across the North West of England to showcase and spread the transformational power of dance.

Throughout the day, Leeds Dance Partnership will be sharing content, showing how the dance industry is adapting to create virtual dance communities. You can share and find content by using the following hashtags:

#IDD2020 #LetsCreate #DancingConnects

Choreographers & Composers Lab 2019

Phoenix Dance Theatre is delighted to announce the names of the eight participants taking part in the 2019 Choreographers and Composers Lab. Solomon Berrio-Allen, Jamaal Burkmar, Harriet Macauley and Michael Marquez are the four selected choreographers taking part in the Lab and Anthony Davey, Eunseog Lee, Christella Litras and Angela Slater are the four successful composers.

Funded by Jerwood Arts and Leeds Dance Partnership, the Choreographers and Composers Lab brings together the eight participants for a two week intensive where they will be mentored by Phoenix Dance Theatre’s Artistic Director, Sharon Watson, and composer, creative director and cultural activist, Shirley J. Thompson.

The eight participants will be joined by eight professional dancers and four musicians to support their creative explorations. During the intensive the Choreographers and Composers will take part in guest lectures delivered by industry professionals and be set creative tasks aimed at expanding their knowledge of collaboration.

The 2019 Lab focuses on broadening the artists’ creative capabilities rather than the production of a final work, to give those taking part the freedom to take risks and experiment.  

A little about the participating artists:

Solomon Berrio-Allen

Solomon is an award-winning choreographer and freelance dance artist based between London and the South East. Training originally in breakdance Solomon then went on to train on the Trinity Laban CAT scheme and later at P.A.R.T.S, Brussels and Rambert School of ballet and contemporary dance. In 2017 Solomon was awarded the first place prize at the Copenhagen International Choreographic Competition for his work Helium.

Jamaal Burkmar

Jamaal Burkmar is a choreographer and movement director based in the Midlands. He has been the recipient of countless awards and commissions such as: One Dance UK’s Trailblazer Fellowship, New Adventures Choreography Award and the choreodrome commission awarded by the The Place. Jamaal’s choreographic style takes influence from the R&B music that he choreographs to.

Harriet Macauley

Harriet Macauley is a choreographer, Artistic Director and founder of InDance, Barcelona. As a dancer she has performed with Wayne McGregor Random Dance, Rambert and Richard Alston Dance Company.

Michael Marquez

Michael Marquez is a current company dancer with Phoenix Dance Theatre based in Leeds. As a choreographer he defines himself as an admirer of problem solving with a liking for complex group dynamics, poetic and theatrical devices and narrative themes often infused with a spark of lightness and joy. Michael trained at the Julliard School in New York and upon graduation was awarded the Juilliard Career Advancement Fellowship to pursue and develop his choreographic voice. He has created both site specific and more classical proscenium dance works.

Anthony Davey

Anthony is a composer and music producer based in West Yorkshire. Anthony has composed music for a variety of mediums and most notably was commissioned to write and record the full score and theme music for the BBC1 series, Home from Home, starring Johnny Vegas and Emilia Fox which aired in March/April 2018.

Eunseog Lee

Eunseog is a composer and educator based in Coventry. He holds a Master’s in music composition from the University of Oxford. Eunseog’s compositions are often inspired by religious narratives and infuses Korean instruments with Western.

Christella Litras

Christella is a composer, music director and educator based in Leeds. She has worked with a range of organisations including Leeds Playhouse and Opera North working on both original commissions and with their youth groups. Christella has performed with the likes of Rihanna and been a support act for Beverly Knight and Jamiroquai.

Angela Slater

Dr Angela Slater is a composer based in Staffordshire. She is also the Founder and Artistic Director of the Illuminate ​series. In her AHRC-funded PhD in composition at the University of Nottingham, Angela developed an interest in incorporating different aspects of the natural world into her compositions. She has been working on a series of works that engage with the natural world, musically mapping certain aspects into the fabric of her music.


BBC Young Dancer 2019 highlights great dance talent in Leeds

On Saturday 18 May, the Grand Final of BBC Young Dancer saw Northern School of Contemporary Dance student Max Revell awarded the 2019 title. Broadcast on BBC Two from the Birmingham Hippodrome, Max competed alongside five dancers between 16-21 years old from the Ballet, Contemporary, South Asian and Street Dance categories.

A student on NSCD’s BA (Hons) Dance (Contemporary) course, Max was given a Wildcard entry to the Grand Final after just missing out in the Street Dance category. After performing three stunning pieces – a self-choreographed solo Subject Number 6, a duet with former winner Tom Hughes Lloyd titled Stranger, and a solo choreographed by Dickson Mbi named Unstrung – he was named BBC Young Dancer 2019.

Alongside Max two more talented NSCD students, Max Cookward and Adanna Lawrence, made the Contemporary category final. Max is a former student of both the Northern Ballet and NSCD CAT programmes, while Adanna aspires to go on to join VERVE, the postgraduate company of NSCD.

Leeds-based choreographers also shone in this year’s competition. Kenneth Tindall, Artistic Director of Digital and Choreographer in Residence for Northern Ballet, choreographed Solo for C for finalist Chloe Keneally. Kenneth was awarded the Outstanding Achievement in a new Dance Production at the Broadway World UK Awards 2017 and has been nominated for several other high-profile awards including Best Classical Choreography at the National Dance Awards. He saw his first full-length ballet, Casanova, broadcast on SkyArts and Digital Theatre. He is currently creating a new full-length work for Northern Ballet, Geisha, to be premièred in 2020. Sharon Watson, Artistic Director of Phoenix Dance Theatre, choreographed Me, myself & I for finalist Max Rawcliffe, a young contemporary dancer. Sharon has previously lectured at the Northern School of Contemporary Dance and as Artistic Director of Phoenix was named Yorkshire Woman of the Year in 2017. Sharon received the first English Women’s Award for Arts and Culture in 2018, was named as one of the Cultural Leadership Programme’s Women to Watch and has created numerous acclaimed new works for Phoenix Dance Theatre including Windrush (2018) and Melt (2011).

Photo Jane Hobson

Zsuzsa Rózsavölgyi – 1.7

Friday 8 March 8pm

Yorkshire Dance

1.7 is not a new smartphone.

It’s the average birth rate in Europe.

In 1.7, the Hungarian artist Zsuzsa Rózsavölgyi explores the female body and its role in society in a very humorous and provocative way.

What effect do advertising, media, traditions and pure nonsense have?

With a personal approach and healthy disregard for taboos, Rózsavölgyi slips into various roles of the modern woman and demonstrates what it means to live in a female body and to communicate with a female body today.

Should women place their bodies in the service of society in order to increase the birth rate – or is this problem more easily solved with immigration?

Find out more about this show and the fantastic pay-as-you-feel Encounters festival here.

Book here

Artist Fellowships

Leeds Dance Partnership offers support for independent artists through its Artist Fellowship scheme. As part of the scheme artists work with a host organisation in response to a creative brief, developing strong relationship between independent artists and major organisations in Leeds. The artists receive a fee, a training budgets for their own development and support throughout their fellowship from both their host organisation and other partners.

The incredible artists in our 2019 Fellowship are:

  • Vanessa Grasse – Artist Fellow at Leeds Beckett University
  • Hannah Buckley – Artist Fellow at Northern School of Contemporary Dance
  • Jamaal Burkmar – Artist Fellow at Phoenix Dance Theatre 
  • Lucy Suggate – Artist Fellow at Yorkshire Dance 

At the end of the fellowship, the artists and organisations will share their learnings or created works at an event open to the public and industry guests.