16 year old Connor Scott from Blyth, currently studying at Dance City and Gateshead College is through to the Contemporary dance Category Final of the first BBC Young Dancer 2015.

BBC Younger Dancer 2015 is a new national dance award run by the BBC for young dancers aged 16–20. The award is broadcast on BBC Four and BBC Two and showcases the very best of young British dance talent. Dancers enter in one of four categories: Ballet, Contemporary, Hip Hop and South Asian dance. Connor is the youngest of those nominated in the Contemporary Category.

Connor joined Dance City’s Centre for Advanced Training (CAT), in 2011 and is also studying on the Level 3 Dance Programme delivered jointly by Dance City and Gateshead College. The CAT offers a contemporary dance training programme for young people from the North East region who are 10–18 years of age who demonstrate exceptional talent or potential in contemporary dance. It is part of a national network of CAT’s delivering non-residential, pre-vocational, professional dance training funded by the Department for Education. The Level 3 course, equivalent to 3 A Levels offers a varied dance programme including ballet, jazz, urban and contemporary and aims to prepare young dancers for a career in the industry. Past students of both courses have gone on to prestigious specialist schools such as Rambert, Trinity Laban and The Place as well as joining leading dance companies.

BBC Young Dancer 2015 culminates in a Grand Final at Sadler’s Wells, when the winning dancers in each category and two wildcard places will compete for the title. The Grand Final will be judged by a leading panel of dance experts; Artistic Director of New Adventures, Choreographer and Director Matthew Bourne, Choreographer and Dancer Mavin Khoo, Choreographer and Director Wayne McGregor, English National Ballet Artistic Director Tamara Rojo, Dancer and Choreographer Kenrick Sandy, and Alistair Spalding, Chief Executive and Artistic Director of Sadler’s Wells. The Grand Final will be broadcast live on BBC Two on Saturday 9 May.

Connor Scott said: “”Being part of this award has been an amazing experience and opportunity. To dance alongside such a talented group of people is an honour in itself and I am very grateful for all the help I have received from my tutors at Dance City and Gateshead College which has helped to get me to this stage in the process.”

Neville Campbell, Head of Centre for Advanced Training (CAT) at Dance City said:
“This a tremendous achievement, particularly as Connor is only 16 and is the youngest in his category. Coupled with the fact that he has not yet started vocational training, makes it even more exciting. Connor has always worked with a great determination to master his technique and from the moment I heard he was entering BBC Young Dancer I knew he would be up with a good chance of getting through. Whether or not he takes the prize, he has already proved that he has what it takes to compete at the highest level. Everyone at Dance City, and the whole of the CAT
team are looking forward to seeing the final outcome and wish him luck for “the big day”.

Anthony Baker, Artistic Director & Joint CEO of Dance City said:
“Connor is an exceptionally talented young person. We are privileged at Dance City to be working with him and supporting his dance development. I am sure he will go on to great things and it is testament to the great teachers at Dance City and Gateshead College that Connor has developed his talent so successfully.”

Kevin Smith, Head of Music and Performing Arts at Gateshead College said: “Being part of this competition is great experience for Connor as it’ll give him valuable insight into what to expect from a very demanding and competitive industry. I’m thrilled he’s made it through to this stage of the award and wish him every success for the next stage and in his future career.”

The final of the Contemporary category will be broadcast on Friday 17 April, 7.30pm on BBC Four.