BA (Hons) Professional Dance
Dance City’s BA (Hons) Professional Dance
Course Fee: £9,250
If you’re passionate about dance and dream of a career as a professional practitioner, then this programme will provide you with the skills, knowledge, and experiences you need to create a future for yourself in dance.
Choose Dance City for our BA (Hons) Professional Dance and benefit from world class teaching and facilities in the heart of vibrant Newcastle upon Tyne – consistently ranked in the top ten best cities for students in the UK.
Our unique programme has been designed by leading dance professionals to prepare you for a varied and multi-faceted career, ensuring you are able to thrive in a range of roles and settings within the dance sector and beyond. The programme begins and ends in the studio, and you will be dancing from morning to evening much of the time. It is a challenging course that will require much of you physically, socially and creatively across the three years of practice and study. We’re committed to offering a foundation of support and care to enable you to make to the most of this opportunity.
Dance City graduates are top-class performers, teachers, choreographers, producers and cultural managers. We have mapped our graduates into more than 50 creative career paths so far. We are proud to be empowering the next generation of dance professionals and invite you to create your dance future.
We are now delivering all elements of the course in-person. Should the Covid-19 situation intensify again, we are well equipped to take the course back into hybrid settings with social distancing measures in place.
Creative and teaching sessions will take place at Dance City Newcastle, the National Dance Agency for the North East of England. Library and student support services can be accessed through the University of Sunderland.
Video by Gary Aggett
Programme of Study
All of your practical and academic sessions will take place at Dance City Newcastle, the hub for dance in the North East of England. Being at Dance City allows you access to our network of performers, teachers, choreographers, producers and other dance professionals daily. You are invited to performances in our world class theatre, have the chance to watch rehearsals, and get to know the dance world from the inside. The course is based in the Dance City building, and is rooted in our professional community. The curriculum mirrors everything that a fascinating specialist arts organisation like Dance City does.
Dance Technique, Performance and Choreography
If you’re passionate about dance and dream of a career as a professional practitioner, then this programme will enable you to develop the skills, knowledge, and experiences you need to excel. The Dance City BA (Hons) Professional Dance is practically focused and has a strong emphasis on developing your dance technique and performance skills in a range of forms. You will have strong core training in contemporary dance practices and will design a pathway of individual technical development in a distinctive model that works with our public class programme to enable you to engage regular, high-quality technique classes including commercial, ballet, tap, Bollywood, street dance and breaking, salsa, jazz, and ballroom, along with supporting practices such as Pilates and yoga. Each year you will work with in-house and guest choreographers to create original dance
work performed in the Dance City theatre, building on your technical skills to develop your unique artistry and collaborative experience. You will also create your own work, supported by experienced choreographers, ensuring your ideas and creative identity are allowed to flourish.
We value practical learning at Dance City; as such, you will have the opportunity to participate in and lead on real projects. In Year 1 this means collaborating and supporting with practical elements of dance projects, such as documentation, facilitation, and assisting with rehearsals – all crucial skills for working dance professionals. In Year 2, all students undertake an extended placement in one or more dance contexts of their choosing, using Dance City’s extensive networks to build relationships, understand the sector, and gain on-the-ground skills. In Year 3, students collaborate to manage, coordinate, and curate a festival of their work at Dance City, open to the public and part of Dance City’s programme. As well as preparing you for work in dance, the skills developed on our programme are highly transferable and will support further study or working life, whatever your path post-degree.
Developing as an all-rounder in dance and beyond
Our graduates are employable in the contemporary work environment. Our course enables students to become independent, reflective
practitioners, and we take on and develop the skills of go-getters, independent thinkers, and changemakers. As a student, you will be introduced to the core skills of teaching and facilitation, enabling you to work in education and community contexts, management, administration, and producing. You will be supported to coordinate your own work or that of others upon graduation. You are introduced to Dance City’s wider team, including producers, teachers, and dance managers in the first week of the programme, so that you can develop relationships and learn from working practitioners. Being a great dance professional also means understanding your context, both socially and historically. We will empower you to engage with the theoretical and social study of dance, and apply this to your own work. We have a special, studio-based approach to this part of the course, and draw together practical choreographic development with dance history and scholarship. This is extended into a unique set
of reflective modules, where you consider your developing practice in readiness for the profession. We value the independence of our students. Whilst the course is rigorous and well-supported by staff, our students develop their own interests, and there are key points at which students make informed choices about their learning, including dance forms to practice, placement hosts to approach, and their creative and practical contributions to the final-year festival. This is your dance future, and we’re here to help you make it happen.
“Dance City has opened up so many pathways which I didn’t realise were available to me. I feel I have improved both technically and creatively, and my knowledge has advanced since being here.”
Rachel McQuillan, Former Student
In the first year you will study:
- Dance Technique and Performance 1
- Choreographing History
- Managing Dance
- The Arts and Social Change
- Guided Project
- Introduction to Reflexive Dance Practice
In the second year you will study:
- Dance Technique and Performance 2
- Choreographing the Contemporary
- Facilitating Dance
- Placement Project
- Reflexive Practice, the Choreographic, and the Creative Industries
In the third year you will study:
- Dance Technique and Performance 3
- Producing and Curating Dance
- Festival Project
- The Reflective Dance Practitioner
Assessment of modules includes written assignments, reports, presentations, case studies and practical work-based portfolios as well as studio-based and performance assessment.
Dance Technique classes are often taught with live musical and percussive accompaniment.
“Dance City has not only given me the invaluable experience and support that the degree course has provided, but also offered me somewhere to find myself, lose my shoes and explore the possibilities.”
Rachel McQuillan, Former Student
One Week in One Minute
Guest Artists and Choreographers
We regularly invite practicing professional artists to teach modules on the BA. Recent guest choreographers have included Sarah Blanc, Gaurav Bhatti, Joss Arnott, Angus Balbernie, Kerry Biggin, Gary Clarke, Neus Gil Cortés, Rosie Kay, Kerry Nicholls, ReGina Wielingen, Liv Lorent, Renaud Wiser, Richard Chappell and Lea Anderson.
The Selection Process
Our typical offer is 112 UCAS points from a minimum of two A Levels or a BTEC Extended Diploma (DMM or above) or equivalent (eg: 1 AVCE double award / HEFC). We also require 2 passes at GCSE grade C or above, which must include Mathematics and English Language, or a minimum of Level 2 Key Skills in Communication and Application of Number. If you have studied for a GCSE which has a numerical grade then you will need to achieve a grade 4 or above.
We welcome applicants without traditional qualifications. We are open to hearing from any prospective students who feel excited about the course and are willing to commit to its rigours. Please contact the Programme Leader directly to discuss options.
Other requirements: Students should be able to apply for an Enhanced DBS check to support placement activity. This will be administered by University of Sunderland. If any applicant has endorsements or criminal convictions that may affect their DBS status, they should contact the Programme Leader to discuss this further.
For informal enquiries prior to applying, please contact: by clicking the button below.
How to Apply
All applications must go through UCAS for the University of Sunderland who validate the programme.
Once we receive your application, we will get in touch with details on our audition process.
What happens next?
If your application is successful, you will be invited to submit a self-tape audition.
What happens after I submit my self-tape?
A member of the team will be in touch to arrange an informal meeting, which can be conducted in person or online.
For general enquiries about the course, please get in touch via the button below.
Upcoming Open Days
Are you passionate about dance? Do you dream of a career as a professional dance practitioner?
If so, the Dance City Training Academy’s BA (Hons) Professional Dance programme will provide you with the skills, knowledge and experiences you need to excel in the world of dance today – as a performer, educator, choreographer, producer, and cultural manager.
If you are thinking about where to apply to study in September 2024, the best way to decide if our course is for you is to take part in one of our Open Days.
These events will provide prospective students with the opportunity to experience first-hand, the brilliant dance training that takes place here at Dance City.
Our in-person Open Days for 2024 are on Saturday 21 October & Thursday 16 November at Dance City.
Booking onto the Open Day
To book on the upcoming Open Days, please click HERE.
Virtual Open Day
At Dance City, we understand that it’s not always possible to visit us in person. That’s why we’ve created this fully-virtual open day pack with a step-by-step guide to explore all the BA (Hons) programme with us has to offer!
Whenever, wherever, choose Dance City.
Places of Study
Your study will include time spent at Dance City, with access to all the excellent facilities at University of Sunderland.
About Dance City
Choose Dance City for our BA (Hons) Professional Dance and benefit from world class teaching and facilities in the heart of vibrant Newcastle upon Tyne – consistently ranked in the top ten best cities for students in the UK. Our unique programme has been designed by leading dance professionals to prepare you for a varied and multi-faceted career, ensuring you are able to thrive in a range of roles and settings within the dance sector and beyond.
The programme begins and ends in the studio, and you will be dancing from morning to evening much of the time. It is a challenging course that will require much of you physically, socially and creatively across the three years of practice and study. We’re committed to offering a foundation of support and care to enable you to make to the most of this opportunity. Dance City graduates are top-class performers, teachers, choreographers, producers and cultural managers. We have mapped our graduates into more than 50 creative career paths so far. We are proud to be empowering the next generation of dance professionals and invite you to create your dance future.
About University of Sunderland
This programme runs in partnership with the University of Sunderland. As such, you will have access to its full university library, an excellent range of student support services, student accommodation and generous scholarships. You’ll also graduate with an honours degree from a highly respected higher education institution, known for its high spend per student in drama and dance areas. Alongside the University of Sunderland, our programme ranked in 2022 as the top institution in the North East for dance and drama, and fifth in the country for dance alone
Accommodation in Newcastle
As you will be based in Newcastle at Dance City for your studies, you may wish to stay in the city. We have prepared a list of private student accommodation available.
Rent is inclusive of all bills, internet and contents insurance. Please note that inclusion on this list does not constitute a recommendation or guarantee of quality from Dance City and students are advised to make their own inspections and enquiries prior to booking accommodation.
Dance City graduates are top class performers, teachers, choreographers, producers and cultural managers. We have mapped our graduates into more than 50 creative career paths so far.
At Dance City, your dream is our dream. Our objectives are simple- to support, empower, engage and nurture the next generation of dance performers, makers, producers and educators.
Performing Dance Industry
Dance City graduates have gone on to perform with companies including BalletLORENT, Lo-Giudice Dance, Fertile Ground, Rosie Kay Dance Company, , Tavaziva Dance and Anna Watkins Dance Company.
Dance in Education
Some of our graduates are pursuing a career in Education, teaching dance at schools and colleges.
Some of our students have chosen to complete post-graduate study with companies and universities including Verve, Edge, MapDance, Emergence and UCL (University College London).
Gaurav is a full-time dancer and choreographer who works at the intersection of the North Indian classical form of Kathak and contemporary dance. He has learnt from Saveeta Sharma (Ottawa), Lata Bakalkar (Mumbai) and Aditi Mangaldas (Delhi). He has been a part of Aditi Mangaldas' repertory for almost 5 years, and has performed with them in the UK, Germany, Russia, Singapore, and other countries. His choreographies have been performed in India and Canada. He has received multiple grants from the Canada Arts Council, and is currently developing a full length production based on the works of the 17th century Punjabi sufi poet Bulleh Shah.
Sarah is an Irish loudmouth choreographer, performer and host based in London. She creates solo dance comedy work on herself and is Artistic Director of Moxie Brawl- an award winning inclusive dance theatre company. She is one third of Annie Vicky Sarah- a trio of collaborators who are challenging inclusive dance practices within creative settings.
As a freelance choreographer/movement director, Sarah has worked with companies, organisations and artists such as Little Red Kettle, Complicite, Bryony Kimmings, Royal Opera House, Yami Löfvenberg, Greenwich Dance, Blink Dance Theatre and The Place. She is currently working with Dan Daw Creative Projects, Baby Lame and Xnthony.
Gary Clarke is regarded as one of the UK’s leading independent dance artists. He has established himself as a respected choreographer whose work has toured both nationally and internationally to critical and audience acclaim.
Gary’s own company has received many awards and accolades including a UK Theatre Award and a Critics Circle National Dance Award (for COAL).
For other companies he has created large-scale work for Opera North, Sky Arts, Cultural Olympiad and Hull City of Culture as well as touring work for Ludus Dance, StopGAP Dance Company, Anjali Dance and Akademi, the latter for whom his work The Troth won The Herald Angel Award and the Summerhall Lustrum Award.
Gary has worked prolifically with companies and choreographers of international standing including Lea Anderson’s The Cholmondeleys & The Featherstonehaughs, Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures, Lloyd Newson’s DV8 Physical Theatre, Liv Lorent’s ballet LORENT, Candoco Dance Company / Jerome Bel, Retina Dance Company, Nigel Charnock + Company, Bock & Vincenzi, Phoenix Dance Theatre, Sadler’s Wells Productions, New Art Club, Javier De Frutos and Wendy Houstoun.
He has also worked on a number of Blockbuster feature films such as World War Z featuring Brad Pitt and The Mummy featuring Tom Cruise.
In 2018, Gary Clarke received an Honorary Fellowship from The Northern School of Contemporary Dance and became the Honorary Vice President of Carlton Main Frickley Colliery Band, alongside his COAL collaborator Steven Roberts.
Neus Gil Cortés
Neus Gil Cortes is a Spanish choreographer and dramaturg based in UK. With more than fifteen years of experience as a dance artist, Neus has danced in companies such as Hofesh Shechter Company, National Dance Company Wales and Dance Works Rotterdam, amongst others.
Neus has choreographed from early on in her professional career, first supported by the different companies she was dancing in, and from 2009 as an independent choreographer, when she was selected for One Night's Dance, a platform for young choreographers hosted by Dansateliers Rotterdam.
Since then, Neus' creations have been presented in Holland, U.K., U.S.A. (N.Y. and L.A.) and Spain, supported by Dansateliers Rotterdam, Arts Council of England, Arts Council of Wales, La Zona Kubik, Dance West, Kingston Council, OMI Arts Center, C12 Dance Theatre, The Space, The Place, Trip Space, University of Hertfordshire, Liga Mujeres Profesionales del Teatro en España, South East Dance, The Garage, Jackson's Lane, Dance City and Dance East.
Neus' most recent creations are QUIMERA for Nua Dance and REVERIES for National Centre for Circus Arts, both full evening pieces combining dance and circus arts.
In June 2017 Neus partnered up with choreographers Salah El Brogy and Anna Watkins to create the triple bill Organic Entity supported by Dance East, Swindon Dance, East London Dance and The Garage.
Neus was selected for a three weeks choreographic residency in August 2015 at OMI Arts Center, in NY. In 2017 she was invited to come back to mentor 11 international residents from different dance backgrounds.
Recognised for the choreographic strength and performance of Here Body at Resolution 2016, Neus was selected to participate in a 2-day choreographic intensive at The Place, led by renowned choreographer Joe Moran.
Neus has been comissioned to create several pieces for the Centers of Advanced Training in Newcastle and in Swindon and for the BA students at Gateshead College/Dance City.
Born in Leeds, Gavin started disco dancing at Lewisham Park community centre, his local youth club, before going to study Performing Arts at Thornes Park College. He then went on to train at the Northern School of Contemporary Dance graduating in 2001 with the ‘NSCD Outstanding Performance Award’. He has since been contributing to the UK dance scene for the last 20 years as a dance artist, performer, choreographer, mentor and teacher.
Gavin has a long standing relationship with Liv Lorent’s balletLORENT spanning over 20 years and has performed and toured in some of the companies most notable adult and family works including ‘La Nuit Intime’ ‘The Ball’ ‘Angel Moth’ and the companies Grimme fairytale trilogy pieces, ‘Rapunzel’, ‘Snow White’ and ‘Rumpelstiltskin’. He is currently a balletLORENT Creative Partner and devises, delivers and directs on the children’s community cast participation and performance programmes for the companies national tours, which bring dance and art experiences to children and families in low socioeconomic areas.
Gavin has also performed, toured and collaborated with leading dance companies and choreographers both in the UK and internationally including Mathew Bourne’s New Adventures, Hofesh Schechter Company, FUEL Theatre and Gary Clarke Company. He has also worked as a physical actor and movement specialist on major motion picture films including World War Z and The Mummy.
In 2019, Gavin performed alongside The Pet Shop Boys on BBC’S The One Show and at The National Television Awards and also featured in their music video ‘Monkey Business’.
In addition to performing, Gavin has choreographed and taught for a number of institutions, companies and youth groups including Northern School of Contemporary Dance, Scottish National Youth and both the CAT programme and the degree at Dance City. He has also acted as Movement Director for productions with Northern Stage and Grey Scale Theatre Company. In 2014, he was selected to take part in the SKETCH programme hosted by Yorkshire Dance: an 8 month initiative to help nurture and develop new choreographic voices in dramaturgy facilitated by the great Peggy Olislaegers. SKETCH began the initial stages of ‘Symphony Of Fears’ the first work for Paradox Pictures.
Victor Fung is an award-winning choreographer based in London and Hong Kong. He is the Founder and Artistic Director of Victor Fung Dance. He has been praised by the Hong Kong Arts Development Council (HKADC) and South China Morning Post as “a choreographer with real talent”. Victor was recently Associate Artist at Swindon Dance and recipient of the DanceXchange Choreography Award. He received the Award for Young Artist at the Hong Kong Arts Development Awards 2013 for his international achievements in dance.
Victor's choreographic works have been presented internationally across four continents; his work From the Top has been presented in Hong Kong, South Korea, New Zealand, Germany, the UK and the United States. He was selected as one of the six choreographers for SPAZIO, a European network for dance creation which consisted of residencies in the Netherlands, Italy, Poland and Croatia. His full-evening performance Not Enough (Beyond Reason) was shortlisted as one of the three Outstanding Independent Dance for the Hong Kong Dance Award. Victor has been funded and commissioned internationally by organisations such as Arts Council England, Chisenhale Dance Space, Hong Kong Arts Festival, City Contemporary Dance Company (HK), Hong Kong Arts Development Council, Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts and Junior Dance Company (IT) amongst others. In 2017, he was supported by the British Council as part of the UK BAME artist delegation at IETM Brussels.
Aside from choreographing, Victor is highly involved in the dance and cultural sector through his various roles. He is currently an Established Leader in Creative Leadership of School for Social Entrepreneur. He was recently awarded a doctorate for his research in creativity and dance in collaboration Middlesex University and Dance4. He was a Clore Fellow 16/17 of the Clore Leadership Fellowship Programme under the mentorship of Wayne McGregor and a Shadow Trustee of Hofesh Shechter Company.
After graduating from the Paris Conservatoire in 2006, Mathieu Geffré has danced across Europe. As a member of companies such as Dansgroep Amsterdam, Noord Nederlandse Dans, and National Dance Company Wales, he collaborated with numerous leading choreographers: Itzik Galili, Johan Inger, Mark Baldwin, Christopher Bruce and Angelin Preljocaj among others.
In 2012 he started making choreography and took part in the NDCWales emerging choreographers’ program (Alternative Routes), which led to his first commission for NDCWales in 2013. Mathieu’s work has been selected for many choreographic platforms and competitions in Europe including Internationales Solo Tanz Theater Festival in Stuttgart, Figueres es MOU in Spain, Mermaid Dance Platform in Northern Ireland, Competition for Choreographers in Hannover, Aids TanzGala and Regensburg-Germany. Mathieu was awarded the 3rd Prize Choreography at the prestigious Copenhagen International Choreography Competition in 2016. Past commissions include Boston Dance Theatre, Nationaltheatre Mannheim, Rambert School, Eliot Smith Dance, Phoenix Dance Theatre Youth Academy and Boston Dance Theatre. Early 2019 Mathieu launched his new company Rendez–Vous dance.
Robby Graham is an award-winning choreographer and the Director of Southpaw Dance Company.
Robby creates epic visual spectacle and dynamic physical storytelling sequences based in a strong physical movement vocabulary, with universal imagery and relatable content, whether working with a professional dance cast, with actors, or with large scale community casts.
Robby is passionate about connecting with audiences, and has created several successful touring works that have toured nationally and internationally. Touring work includes the 2013 outdoor production, Faust, that played to audiences of over 50000 over 5 years, as well as Carousel and more recently, Icarus.
Robby specialises in creating large scale, mass movement productions with community casts of hundreds, recently creating RISE, the opening event for Brent : London Borough of Culture 2020, with 230 local performers in front of the iconic Wembley Stadium. Erimus celebrated the opening of Middlesbrough Town Hall and won the National Campaign for the Arts Award for Community Cohesion and also the Arts Council Award at the Journal Culture Awards. Rush, a large scale Cultural Spring commission, has been restaged for Hull Freedom Festival and Hull City of Culture as well as Left Coast Blackpool and Future of Things Past formed the opening ceremony for the Castlemaine State Festival in Australia.
Robby has created work across a wide number of contexts, here both outdoor and in traditional theatre contexts, across the UK, Europe, South America, and Australia, and in partnership with such organisations as the National Theatre, Lyric Hammersmith, Live Theatre Newcastle, Greenwich Docklands Festival and others.
Robby was Choreographer and Movement Director for Marianne Elliott’s acclaimed production of Angels in America at the National Theatre. Robby also choreographed Pericles, the National Theatre’s first Public Acts performance incorporating over 200 community cast members from all over London, as well as choreographing the large scale adaptation here of Johnathan Harvey’s Beautiful Thing for Greenwich Docklands Festival. More recently Robby directed and choreographed Leave To Remain at the Lyric Hammersmith with music by Bloc Party’s Kele Okereke.
Peter Groom is a choreographer and performer from Newcastle, working mainly with dance and theatre. He trained at Guildford School of Acting graduating in 2013, since then he has worked as both an actor and a dancer: Our Du with Tanztheater Wuppertal, MEAT with Schaubruhne Berlin, One Side to the Other, Akram Khan Company.
Peter was supported as an artist in residence at Battersea Arts Centre, received commissions from Ideas Tap to create a short dance film screened at thee BFI in 2015. He became Associate Dance Artist at Dance City Newcastle in 2016 and was commissioned by Random Acts North to create dance film 'Herd' which was premiered on Channel 4 television.
About the work:
"Flock was created in two weeks working with the students. In rehearsal we talked about frustration, touch, emotions and a need for acceptance. We worked from pictures, questions and improvisation to create a base of material that began our process. Making work during this time presented certain challenges and it was fascinating as a company to work with these restrictions whilst creating 'Flock'. "
Roberta works collaboratively with artists and makers from across disciplines to produce dances for a diverse range of contexts. Her choreographic practice is centred around poetics and is often underpinned by anthropological research. She has presented at Sadler’s Wells, Tanzmesse, Dance4 and Dance Umbrella amongst others. She is the 2020 winner of the Bonnie Bird Choreographic Development Award, a 2019 finalist at Aesthetica Short Film Festival, New Renaissance Film Festival and a 2018 finalist for the Total Theatre & The Place Dance Award.
Anthony is a contemporary dance artist based in the North of England working across the UK and Europe. He currently works as a dance theatre choreographer, a performer and also as a dance tutor.
Anthony trained at Newcastle College, The Se.S.Ta choreographers program and at The Royal Ballet School. As a dancer, he has worked with notable artists and companies such as Neville Campbell, Colletivo NADA/Antonello Tudisco, Surface Area Dance Theatre, UBISOFT.
Born in Palermo in 1986 to British/Sicilian parents and later brought up in the North of England, his work as an artist continuously blends the complexities of identity, heritage and family that have formed between both cultures. As well as being firmly routed in the North East of England, Anthony’s work with The Palermitan has connected with audiences across Europe throughout Italy, the UK, Ukraine, Scandinavia, Czech Republic, Iceland, Spain and France.
Teaching also plays an intrinsic part to Anthony's work as a dance artist. He is a regular guest tutor for both the Northern School of contemporary Dance and Dance City Newcastle and has also taught for Zelyonka Fest in Ukraine, YDance (Scotland’s National organisation for Youth Dance), Dance Base, ArtGarage Pozzuoli, Interno5Start in Naples, The Royal Ballet School and The Royal Opera House.
Caroline Reece completed her training at The Urdang Academy and the Laban Centre going on to perform with Nexus Dance Company with repertoire including works by David Massingham, Janet Smith, Emily Claid and Nigel Charnock. She then performed with Emma Diamond, Felix Ruckert, Gary Clarke and in Dancee for Camera projects with Wendy Houston and Nigel Charnock. Also interested in voice work Caroline has performed in 'Peter Pan' at Northern Stage, directed by Erica Whyman, and in two previous Northern Stage productions directed by Alan Lydiard, 'The Black Eyed Roses' and a tour of 'Animal Farm'.
Caroline has been performing in most of balletLORENT's productions since 1996, and recently completed her MA in dance at the London School of Contemporary Dance.
About the work:
"The Crossroads of the World has been a wonderful collaboration with a remarkable group of young women on the cusp of their professional career. We have looked at a paragraph from 'Untamed' by Glennon Doyle alongside a chapter from the documentary 'Girl Rising'. I wanted us to think about identity and what we are, as individuals, can bring to a group. We all have a voice and this piece has been made with that thought in mind, that something good can come out of this pandemic."
Oliver Robert Russell
Oliver completed his vocational dance training at London Contemporary Dance School before joining Rosie Kay Dance Company, touring Nationally and Internationally as a soloist in 5 Soldiers, Mk Ultra, Double Points: K and Motel.
Oliver continued to perform for choreographers and dance companies such as; Victor Fung Dance Company, Polly Hudson, Mercurial Dance, Marie Gabrielle-Rotie, Room2Maneouvre and Mickael Marso Riviere, before becoming the Co-director of Vanhulle Dance Theatre.
Oliver began studying the classical Korean Martial Art Tang Soo Do, under the World Tang Soo Do Association, at the age of seven. Representing the Great Britain Team, he achieved Regional, National, European and World Championship Titles in Hyungs, Weapons and Free Sparring.
He has lived and trained intensively in Qufu, Shandong Province, China, studying Shaolin Kung Fu under the instruction of 34th Generation Shaolin Warriors.
Oliver is an Instructor for the World Tang Soo Do Association and qualified Kickboxing Coach, he has lead workshops for Temple Martial Arts, Avant Garde and Artists for Artists to name a few.
Oliver began his relationship with LBS Films in 2018, working as an Actor, Movement Director and Fight Choreographer, featuring in Dirt, starring as the lead actor in The Pit and most recently as Jeff in Wyvern Hill.
Most recently, Oliver has been sharing his unique martial movement dance vocabulary to CAT Schemes across the country, including Manchester Lowry, Swindon Dance and Birmingham DanceXchange.
Laura Vanhulle, Originally from Belgium, started competing with Acro and Rhytmic Gymnastics from a young age.
Following her formal dance training Northern School of Contemporary Dance (NSCD), Laura went on to do a post-graduate apprenticeship with ACE dance and music and continued with the company as a professional dance artist. Laura has since worked with
Shobana Jeyasingh (Counterpoint), Coda DanceTheatre, Keneish Dance Theatre, Motionhouse (The Voyage), Rutherford Dance Company, Sonia Sabri Company, Room 2 Manoeuvre, Autin Dance Theatre, Aakash Odedra (as Rehearsal Director), Gary Clark, Gustavo Oliveira, Rogue Play, South Paw dance Company “Icarus” and James Wilton, Touring nationally and internationally.
She also danced in the Jack Savoretti video clip ‘Written in the Scars’, under the direction of Niku Chaudhari. Did the an Aldi Advert for the Olympics games. In 2016 Laura went to Hong Kong for a flying low program with Vangelis Legakis and worked with The Van-L Dance Company. She is a nationally recognised dance artist and has a strong teaching reputation nationally and internationally, working regularly with organisations such as The Place, Rambert, Trip Space (London), Freefalldance, DanceXchange, Elmhurst, Wolverhampton University, Coventry University, Edge Hill University. She also teaches Internationally in places like Portugal-Porto (Summer Intensive Portugal), Greece and Belgium (Muda- Passerelle).
In 2013 Laura establishing her own company Vanhulle Dance Theatre made her first full full-length production as Vanhulle Dance Theatre ‘Angles In Life’, created in collaboration with Mickael Marso Riviere and Nicolas Vladyslav, toured nationally in 2015. She also created a short dance film version of ‘Angles In Life’, with Director of Photography Mat Beckett (River Rea Films), which toured internationally to film festivals such as Pool 15, Berlin and Dance Film Festival UK, London and is selected for Dance on Film Screening at 2018 Woman in Dance Leadership Conference in New York City.
In Summer 2016 Laura Vanhulle was selected to work with DV8 Company in Berlin for 2 weeks, where she learnt the methods that DV8 uses in creating dance and movement. In October 2016 Laura was awarded the Choreographer strand of ChoreoMatch, an extension of BDN’s ‘Introducing...’ (Birmingham’s only platform for new dance work) to research a new choreographic idea with three dancers of BDN’s choosing, who will also have applied to the platform under the Dancer strand.
Laura received another Art council Grant for her R&D Infinite Womanhood Phase 3 where she works with Gustavo Oliveira. She was awarded a Residency Choreography Award from DanceXchange, In 2018 Laura also got involved as Choreographer and Dance Artist with the ‘Young Composers project’. Laura also choreographed outdoor work or work for unusual spaces “Echo” which performed Summer 2018 in Frankfurt as part of Sommerwerft Festival Which has been performed at The Lighthouse and Birmingham Weekender (Bullring). In Summer 2018 Laura also started working with Rogue Play and took on a new skill (silks) For a piece called 3AM Waitress, which has been to Fringe Festival with a 5 star review. Laura worked closely in Collaboration with Room Arts on Choreographic projects where she works closely with composer pianist Melissa Morris. Laura got funded by Art Council for Company development for Vanhulle Dance Theatre and her next production “Yin” and she was selected for the Artist Residency 20 days 20 Years in Deda.
She was artist in residence at Pavillion Dance South west, Deda, Dance-East and Dance X change. Laura toured national tour with ‘yin’. She also got commissioned in Belgium to Choreograph on the students of MUDA 21. In 2022 she was commissioned to create a work on Dance City in collaboration with Oliver Robert Russell. In 2020 Laura started the Korean Martial Arts Tang Soo and is currently a Brown tag Belt, Competed and won first for her form November 21. Laura also recently completed a screen combat course with Take 3 and continues her journey as a Martial artist as well as dancer and performer and Choreographer.
Renaud Wiser was born in Lausanne in 1979. A recipient of the Migros scholarship for young dancers, Renaud trained with the Ballet Junior in Geneva. In 2000, after completing his training, he joined the Ballet du Grand Theatre de Genève before continuing his career as a dancer with the Ballet National de Marseille,The Gothenburg Ballet, Rambert and Bonachela Dance Company. Since 2010 Renaud performs as a freelance on selected projects.
Renaud is the Artistic Director of Renaud Wiser Dance Company, a London based company created in 2013 and is a founder-member of New Movement Collective (nominee at the 2013 and 2014 National Critic Circle Awards and associate company at Rambert). Twice commissioned by Dance City in Newcastle, his work has been presented in key venues in the UK including The Place, Dance City, DanceEast, Greenwich Dance, Pavilion Dance South West and Rich Mix as well as in festivals in Spain, Poland, Latvia, Italy and Switzerland.
Guest tutor at the Architectural Association – School of Architecture, Renaud has a particular interest in collaborative work and in merging practices with a rang of art forms including Architecture, Film, Music, Digital Art and Design. In 2018, Renaud created The Disappearing Act, a new work for his company. In 2016, he co-created and performed in Collapse, a period drama at the London Southbank Centre with New Movement Collective.
Renaud worked as movement director for a production of Othello at the Bristol Tobacco Factory. He is a former recipient of the Once Dance UK mentoring programme, took part in Dance East Rural retreat for future leaders in 2015 and is an associate artist at Swindon Dance. Since May 2018, Renaud is the new artistic co-director of Newcastle based company Fertile Ground. In September 2018 Renaud was part of the winning team of the first Dansathon organised by BNP Parisbas and Sadller’s wells and will present their winning project at Sadler’s Wells in September 2019.
Ben Wright is a UK based independent director and choreographer working in dance, opera and theatre. He trained at the Ballet Rambert School of Ballet and Contemporary Dance and worked as a performer 1991-2006.
He was Artistic Co-Director at Candoco Dance Company 2017-2020 and Associate Director/ Choreographer for Skanes Dansteater 2014-2017. He regularly teaches internationally and continues to direct his own project company: group.
Over our two-week creative residency, the dancers and myself spent a lot of time moving and talking together. We looked at stability, mobility, considered the up and 'downs' in the body and how we might navigate space without feeling restricted but instead to be free, curious and connected. We asked where we were, how we were feeling? We didn't keep the world out of the studio, instead we learned to welcome its presence. The present is always transitory and movement says something about our current. moment. 'If you wanna go fast, go alone. If you wanna go far, go together' (African Proverb)
Image Credit: Benedicta Valentina
Dancers: Chloe Wood, Anna Heward, Kayleigh Oborka-Letman, Paige Roberts
Sophie Douglas is a dance artist, practitioner and projects manager with interests in community dance, site-adaptive performance and somatic practices. Before joining Dance City, Sophie has taught extensively in educational and community settings across the SW, including leading the artistic direction of Coast Youth Dance Company between 2018-2021. Sophie’s passion for outreach and engagement has led her to work with a broad range of dance companies and organisations including Pavilion Dance South West, Arts University Bournemouth, Trinity Laban Conservatoire, Made By Katie Green, ZoieLogic Dance Theatre and Dorset Mind. Sophie’s research interests are centred around working in natural environments and investigating her movement practice through a lens of somatic enquiry.
HE Programme Leader
Dr Shantel Ehrenberg is a researcher, artist, and academic. She has held positions in dance programmes across the UK and USA, most notably the University of Surrey, Trinity Laban, Bath Spa University, New York University, and University of California, Irvine. Shantel’s choreography, performance, research and teaching cross practice and theory and span site-specific, studio, stage, written, and digital contexts. She is the author of Kinaesthesia and Visual Self-Reflection in Contemporary Dance (2021) and her research can also be found in journals such as Choreographic Practices, Research in Dance Education, and Dance Research Journal.
Interim Head of Higher Education
Dr Gillie Kleiman is a choreographer, performer, curator and writer. Her acclaimed sole-authored and collaborative work is presented at major international venues and festivals including Sadler's Wells, Dance Umbrella, Nottdance, Fierce Festival, and BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art. Gillie's specialisms lie in contemporary experimental performance, community and non-professional dance, and philosophical approaches to the study of dance. She is an external examiner at the Danish National School of Performing Arts, and sits on the Board of People Dancing, the foundation for community dance.
Dr Lucía Piquero Álvarez is a researcher and choreographer. She has presented her choreographic work internationally, including several commissions and residencies (ŻfinMalta Dance Company, Spanish National Dance Company, Le Performance (France).
She completed her PhD at Roehampton University in 2019 on the emotional import of contemporary theatre dance. She was a lecturer in dance at the University of Malta 2012-2022 and head of the dance department 2019-2022. She researches embodied cognition and the experience of emotion in dance, influenced by philosophy and psychology, and has presented research in conferences internationally, as well as directed several practice research projects.
Originally from Italy, Giulia is a dance artist and film-maker based in the North of England. She completed a BA (Hons) at London Contemporary Dance School as well as her MA, for which she toured the UK with balletLORENT. Some of her performing highlights also include Sweetshop Revolution, Fertile Ground Dance Company, Exit 12 Dance Company and Lizzie J Klotz. Giulia is also the co-creator of Tiny Dances, a local dance film-making project, and the creator of online ballet studio Giulia’s Home Ballet. Giulia has taught ballet and contemporary in the UK and internationally, and she is also an international teacher with MindLeaps, an NPO that creates educational paths for the most vulnerable children in the world through a creative arts program that is built on data-driven metrics. With MindLeaps she has traveled to and taught in NYC and Guinea, West Africa.
Giulia is very passionate about dance education, and is excited to use her knowledge and experience to support the next generation of dance artists in their training.
HE Coordinator - Interim (Job Share)
HE Coordinator - Interim (Job Share)