Sadler’s Wells searches for thirty new talented young dancers to join the National Youth Dance Company each year.

The selected dancers will get the opportunity to work with the NYDC Guest Artistic Director drawn from Sadler’s Wells Associate Artists and visiting companies.

Take a look at the video to find out about the Experience Workshops.

Getting Involved

The first step to becoming an NYDC dancer is to register for a National Youth Dance Company Experience Workshop. The workshops are open to dancers aged 16-18 or up to the age of 24 if deaf or disabled. NYDC is a fully inclusive company; dancers can come from diverse backgrounds, dance styles and levels of experience. There is no cost to attend the workshops but places must be pre-booked through the booking form below. For full details about the workshops please go to the Experience Workshop page.

NYDC offers dancers the opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of the professional dance world at a critical moment in their development, before they make the commitment to enter full-time training or choose dance as a career.

NYDC Dancers will:

  • Tour and perform in world class venues

  • Learn, create and perform original work

  • Draw on different dance techniques

  • Take a part in intensive residencies over the school holidays; living and working as a company

  • Collaborate with professional choreographers

  • Find out about career pathways and opportunities

  • Take part in dancers toolbox sessions to enhance learning and to prepare for the future

NYDC Structure

All dancers that successfully complete the full year of NYDC will achieve an Arts Award. Arts Award is a unique range of multi-level qualifications for children and young people aged up to 25 years to develop as artists and art leaders, developing and sharing their creativity, leadership and communication skills.

Below is a brief outline of what can be expected within a typical year with NYDC:


October – April


Company members will:

Work intensively over 3 residencies during school holidays: 1 week in October, 1 week in February and 2 weeks in March/April.

Live and work together as a company, working closely with the Artistic Team, NYDC staff and fellow dancers.

Take part in a series of Dancers Toolbox sessions to enhance learning.




Company members will:

Premiere a new performance on Sadler’s Wells main stage for an audience of 1,500.

Receive full support from Sadler’s Wells technical, press, marketing and development departments.

Perform at a high profile event, with funders, sponsors, industry professionals, press and friends and family in the audience.

National Tour



Company members will:

Tour and restage the performance in a range of venues across England.

Adapt performance to a range of stage sizes and venue capacities.

Take on touring roles, assisting production manager and technical team.




Company members will:

Take part in a graduation performance at Lilian Baylis Studio, Sadler’s Wells.

Create own graduation ceremnony shaped by personal experiences throughout the year.

Thank outgoing Guest Artistic Direcor and welcome new Guest Artistsic Director for the coming year.

NYDC Membership

We welcome applications from talented young dancers of all backgrounds. The full fee is £480 per year. For company dancers, 100% of fees and travel costs could be covered by means-tested scholarships and bursaries. For guidance notes on scholarships and bursaries, please see the Further Resources section in About NYDC. 

NYDC’s focus age group is  16 – 18 years. However, there may be some flexibility in exceptional circumstances.

We will accept applications from 15 year olds if:

You are hoping to enter full-time vocational training at 16 (please inform us of which school and when)

We will accept applications from dancers over 18 if:

You have started dance training within the last three years (please inform us of school and teacher).

The Experience Workshops are fully inclusive and are open to deaf or disabled dancers aged 16-24. Please contact for further information.  Please note that support during the booking process is available to dancers with particular access needs. Do contact us if you wish to discuss this further.

Company members that are not going into higher education and are under the age of 19 can stay with NYDC for more than one year.


National Youth Dance Company dancers graduate with a wide range of skills that can be used for varied training routes and pathways. Company members have gone to vocational training schools, professional contracts, university courses both dance related and none-dance related.

“NYDC was an incredible period in my life! It created a space where I could be physically, mentally and emotionally pushed to my limits and grow. I became confident speaking and presenting my thoughts. It taught me how to value and use every opportunity to become stronger.”

Mariella, studying Medicine at St Andrews University.

“NYDC helped massively in terms of my future as a dancer. Most importantly, the success of what we achieved and how much I improved during my time with NYDC helped me mentally, giving me the confidence in my own ability to audition and be part of a professional show instead of attending further training.”

Annie, performing as part of ZooNation Dance Company

“The combination of the intensity and the overall challenge to get the performance quality correct, alongside the touring experience and the knowledge gained is something I find totally unique and I will never forget what NYDC has done for me.”

Lewis, studying Contemporary Dance at the London Contemporary Dance School

Experience Workshops 2018

Bookings will open in Spring 2018. Please email for further information.