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National Youth Dance Company

Frequently Asked Questions

As is the case for so many performance companies across the country, NYDC has been  affected by the Coronavirus pandemic.

The health and safety of our dancers and staff are of the highest priority and we are following government guidance at all times. This means that our plans for this current year of NYDC (2020-21) are having to be more flexible than they have been in previous years, with our 9th cohort of NYDC responding to what is possible in the ongoing situation. We will find a way to dance together, even if there are times when we cannot physically be together.

We know that this is an unsettling time for everyone and we are sure that you will have lots of questions. We have therefore created this page of frequently asked questions which we hope will be useful. We will keep updating this page as soon as new questions arise so please do feel free to get in touch.


1.  Are you recruiting a new company?

YES!! We recently recruited 20 new dancers for the company, which is 10 less than our normal yearly intake, due to the current situation. They joined 10 returning dancers from last year’s cohort, bringing our total company to 30.


2. I have signed up for a workshop, but now see that they are all online. What does this mean?

Our workshops took place on the dates as planned but were delivered on Zoom, which meant that everyone could take part safely in their own homes. 


3. Why are the workshops online this year?

Our workshops usually take place between April- July each year. But due to the coronavirus pandemic they were postponed until the Autumn 2020.

We love to meet people in person and were very much hoping we would still be able to deliver workshops across the country over October. However, due to the current government guidance and regional restrictions we decided to not ask people to travel unnecessarily across the country. Therefore, for the first time ever our workshops happened online. 

Our final audition for NYDC usually happens at Sadler’s Wells and is a full day or workshops and classes. Due to varying restrictions across the country we have decided that in order to make sure NYDC is accessible to you, regardless of where you live, our final audition would also be online. We have been working hard to ensure that you can still have the same experience even if you are dancing in your own home.


4. I am worried about joining an online session or sending in a video application because I don’t have enough space to dance at home or a computer etc. What should I do?   

We want to make sure that NYDC is accessible to all and fully appreciate that dancing in your home is more difficult that dancing in a studio space.  

Our workshops have been designed for a 1-metre square space and please be assured that we are looking at how you move, not what your backdrop is like. 

There is the option of requesting our pre-recorded workshop so that you can do it in your own time, and then submit a short video application showing us some of the workshop tasks. You can film the workshop tasks on your phone and we will not be assessing the technical quality of the video- as long as we can see you, and how you dance, that is all that matters. 

If you love to dance, we would love to see you. We do not want anyone to be discouraged from applying because of their home set up or technical equipment so if you think this is going to cause you any difficulties at all then please get in touch and we can see how we can help. 


5. If I get into the company will we still be going on residencies this year?

We very much hope so. But if there is one thing that 2020 has taught us it is to expect the unexpected! Our plan is to hold our residencies in person, but if government guidance does not allow this then we will have to adapt and make the most of the situation at that time. We have back up plans which include regional rehearsals and/or online residencies.


6. What will the 2020-21 dates be for NYDC?

The dates for 2020-21 are as follows:

·     Block 117-22 December 2020

·     Block 213-21 February 2021

·     Block 327 March- 11 April 2021

·     Block 410-24 July 2021

There is an additional block of time that we would ask company members to keep free, these dates will also be used if the other blocks have been disrupted due to Covid restrictions  

  Block 5 – 14 August- 4 September 2021  

As detailed in question 3 above, the aim is for us to get back into the studio dancing together as soon as possible, but if that isn’t allowed at the time, then we will adapt to whatever is possible, whether that is online, or a mixture of online plus some regional rehearsals.  


7. Dancing online is not the same as dancing in person. Should I just wait to join next year?

We agree. Dancing online is not the same and can’t wait to be back in the studio with our full company. However, we can only do what we can do and we will not let the restrictions hold us back and stop us from finding a way to do what we love.

Even online we can still achieve some of the key elements of NYDC:

  1. Working with a world leading choreographer
  3. Building our understanding of choreographic practice
  5. Connecting with other dancers from across the country and building a network
  7. Becoming ambassadors for youth dance
  9. Creating inspiring new work
  11. Taking our training further by gaining a unique insight into a leading artists practice
  13. Building skills to support the next stage of our training through a unique enhancement programme of workshops, Q&A’s and professional development
  15. Receiving mentorship, support and guidance

Once you are in NYDC you can stay for a second year, unless you are going into full time dance training.


8. How will dancers with disabilities be supported during the 2020-21 year considering the possibility that a lot of activity may be delivered online?

NYDC offers bespoke support to dancers in the company to ensure that all members can achieve their potential.  We understand that everyone is different and therefore the support that is offered is designed in collaboration with each dancer and our creative support artist. Examples of the kind of support we have offered to company dancers in the past includes: 

  • 1:2:1 support both in and out of the studio 
  • Additional rehearsals in between residencies 
  • Travel buddy to get to and from residency venues 

This list is not exhaustive and there are many other kinds of support we could offer if needed, including BSL interpretation. 

We appreciate that online provision can cause accessibility issues for many dancers and we will look at providing face to face support and tuition wherever possible.  

If you have particular access needs then please do contact us and we can discuss options and ideas for support. 


9. Will we be creating a new work?

    Yes. Our 2020-21 Company will be creating new work with our Guest Artistic Director Alesandra Seutin.

10. Will we be touring?

     We very much hope so. Our plan is to tour our production across the country over July 2021. Our normal tour period begins in June, but we have pushed it back this year to accommodate the later start to the school exams in 2021. We have a number of our tour dates confirmed already, including Sadler’s Wells on 24th July 2021. NYDC is creative, committed and inventive and if there is a way to tour safely, we will tour.


11. Will I be allowed to stay on for a second year with NYDC in 2021-22?

Yes. As detailed in question 7, our 2020-21 dancers will be able to stay for a second year in the company, as long as you have followed your company agreement and are not yet going into full time dance training.


12. What will the cost of NYDC be this year?

The cost of joining NYDC in 2020-21 is £580. Means tested scholarships are available to cover up to 100% of this fee.

£580 is the total fee for a year in the company and there are no additional charges for accommodation and food. Our fees are hugely subsidised to ensure that we are as accessible as possible to all. We are committed to finding a way to deliver our programme as planned, including residencies, however if government guidance at the time does not allow this and we are unable to run any residencies in person then there will be a small reduction in the fee for the year. 


13.What do you gain by being in NYDC?

NYDC can be a life changing experience for young people. We are committed to offering talented dancers across the country a unique experience and feel that we can continue to do this year on year, even if we are currently facing some restrictions in how we work. 


NYDC gives dancers a unique insight into the professional dance world working alongside a team of experienced artists and designers to create and perform a brand new production. Through national touring, the company gain an insight into the life of a touring company and an understanding of venues across the country. In addition to this, dancers gain skills to help them in the next stage of their training- from health and nutrition, to leadership and professional practice. Please see the answer to question 7 which details some of things you can gain from NYDC even if we have to work online.