BA (Hons) Professional Dance

Programme Overview
Course Content
Virtual Open Day
Entry Requirements
How to Apply
Places of Study
Creative Careers
Staff Profiles
Photo Gallery

Programme Overview

All Dance City Training Academy courses are continuing to run despite COVID-19 restrictions. Our team has been working hard to develop a sophisticated and agile ‘hybrid’ system that facilitates the safe delivery of both in-studio, socially distanced practical classes, and online lecture delivery. Courses can be instantly moved online if lockdown restrictions intensify.

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Download our 2021 Prospectus here. 

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 excel.

Choose Dance City to study BA (Hons) Professional Dance and experience 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.

This unique programme has been designed by leading industry professionals to prepare you for a varied and multi-faceted career; ensuring you’re able to function professionally in a range of roles and settings in the dance sector.

It’s a challenging programme, and will demand much of you physically and mentally across the three years of practice and study.

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 start your dance career here.

Due to ongoing lockdown restrictions, students will receive a mix of online lectures and socially distanced tuition in a studio setting. Socially distanced practical delivery of technique, 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.

Photo Credit: Neville Campbell

Programme of Study


The Dance City BA (Hons) Professional Dance is practically focused and has a strong emphasis on developing your dance technique. You’ll spend at least 75% of your study time undergoing rigorous technical, creative and physical training.

You will cover a wide range of classical and contemporary styles and develop knowledge in Urban, Street, Jazz, and World dance. Working with a diverse range of professional choreographers, you will gain an understanding of various choreographic processes and learn how to develop your own style and ideas.


You will learn about the principles of current teaching practice and how to develop and adapt the material to be relevant to different ages and mental and physical abilities. You will also cover the historical context of dance and choreography. Guest teachers will lead classes and you will take part in teaching placements in schools and community settings.


This element of the course will prepare you to be a responsible and versatile manager of art projects. You will study essential dance management subjects such as dance and the law, risk assessments, managing budgets, and proposal writing.

“Dance City has opened up so many pathways which I didn’t realize 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

Work Placement

Emphasis on the course is placed on skill acquisition and employability and work placements are an important part of the program. In Year 2 students embark on teaching placements in schools and in Year 3 a 6-week work placement ends the final year of study, facilitating the next step into employment.

Lockdown Diaries

The Lockdown diaries project has been a film challenge that the first, and second-year BA Dance students were asked to complete, to create a response to the new routines, structures, and ways of living that suddenly we have all had to adapt to during the COVID-19 pandemic.  There were no rules set, no right way of working, so the content of the work that was produced was open to creative possibilities and driven solely by the dance students. Submissions were filmed and edited on the phones, iPads, and computers that were immediately to hand.

There have been some fantastic submissions and we have been delighted with the personal, funny, and brave films that our dancers shared with us.  Throughout the process, we shortlisted five exceptional films, that all the judges felt went beyond expectations.  These films were created by; Rebecca Duckworth and Ben Winthrop, Anna Heward, Annie Lewis, Laura Lydon, and Eve Taylor. However, there can only be one winner.

This person impressed us with a film that was personal, thoughtful, and showed a level of research and experimentation which delighted us.

Congratulations to Laura Lydon for her winning film ‘Ubiquity’. Well done!


Course Content


In year 1 you will study the following:

  • Dance Technique 1
  • Dance in Performance 1
  • Dance Management 1
  • The Fundamentals of Dance Teaching
  • The Evolution of Choreography
  • Preparing to teach in the Community

In year 2 you will study:

  • Dance Technique 2
  • Dance in Performance 2
  • Dance Management 2
  • Dance Teaching & Teaching Practice
  • Supporting Techniques
  • Choreographers Today

In year 3 you can choose one of two pathways:

Performance Pathway

  • Dance in Performance 3
  • Creating Dance
  • Dance Leadership and Teaching Practice
  • Project Leadership
  • Working in Dance

Management Pathway

  • Research Project
  • Arts Administration
  • Dance Leadership and Teaching Practice
  • Project Leadership
  • Working in Dance

Assessment of modules includes a mix of summative and formative elements including written assignments, reports, presentations, case studies and practical work based portfolios.

Dance Technique classes are 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 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.

Virtual Open Days

2021 Entry – This Open Day has now passed. 

Photo Credit: Neville Campbell

Due to the new COVID-19 government guidelines this event will now take place entirely remotely and virtually.

Attending our Virtual Open Day is a great way to find out if Dance City is the place you want to study and we know that many of our students were so impressed and excited by their Open Day experience that it made up their mind to apply to us.

The event will provide prospective students with the opportunity to view first-hand, the brilliant dance training that takes place here at Dance City.

Prospective students will be welcomed to join the following:

Introduction and Welcome from Geoff Hopson (Head of Year 3)
Meet teaching faculty and observe LIVE current BA students from each year group
Live Tour of the Dance City Facilities with BA Alumni Student, Benedicta Valentina
Live Presentation from Geoff Hopson (Head of Year 3), which will include the following:
Programme Specification
Rehearsal and Performance Student Footage
Progression Routes
Entry Requirements


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 the audition options and process.

Apply Now


Entry Requirements

All applicants must attend an audition and interview at Dance City in December or January.


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.

Applicants without traditional qualifications will also be considered, on an individual basis.

Other requirements: Students must be able to apply for an Enhanced DBS check upon entry onto the course. This will be administered by Dance City. If any applicant has endorsements or criminal convictions that may affect their DBS status, they should contact the Programme Leader to discuss this further. Dance City reserves the right to withdraw an offer for a place if the outcome of a DBS check means that a student is not deemed suitable to work with children and/or vulnerable adults.

For informal enquiries prior to applying contact Education Administrator

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How to Apply

Application Process

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.

Apply Now

General Enquiries 

For general enquiries about the course email



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

Dance City is a major UK and international centre for dance. We are a purpose built environment for dance, with 5 studios, meeting rooms, a café and a stunning theatre. We host performances throughout the year from visiting professional companies, provide opportunities for regional dancers to show their work and regular student showcases.

We are linked in to the National Dance Network, a group of all the main dance buildings and organisations in the UK and support and develop artists from across the world. We also deliver 85 community classes each week, for the people of the region to experience and build their skills through dance. We have many years’ experience of delivering degree and BTEC programmes, with performance, education and community at the heart of our work.

About University of Sunderland

As this course is validated by the University of Sunderland you will have access to its library, a range of student support services, student accommodation and generous scholarships. You’ll also graduate with a honours degree from a highly respected higher education institution.

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.

View the list here.

Creative Careers

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 Education Industry 

Dance City graduates have embarked on successful teaching careers with organisations including Phoenix Dance Theatre, Royal Grammar School, Dance City Engagement Team, Dame Allan’s, One Day Creative and various private dance schools.

Dance in Health 

Some of our graduates are pursuing a career in the health industry, training to become registered therapists and dance rehabilitators.

Postgraduate Study

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).

Dance City also offers a MA Advanced Dance Performance.

Staff Profiles

Geoff Hopson

BA Interim Programme Leader and Head of Year 3

Geoff trained at the Laban Centre gaining a degree in Dance Theatre, and has since worked as a dancer, choreographer and educator. Performance credits include: Transitions Dance Company, David Massingham Dance, Second Nature, balletLORENT and TDI performance and Repertoire Company. Through a dance commission programme with both Transitions and TDI he has worked with choreographers Liv Lorent, Richard Alston, Aletta Collin, Rui Horta, Mark Murphy, Della Davidson, Charlotte Vincent, Colin Poole, Ben Wright and Vertigo Dance Company. He has also co-run his own project based dance company Jointworks, developing an interest in film and media work. Geoff has a MA in Dance Professional Practice from Teesside University.

Rebekah Waters

Rebekah trained at the Northern School of Contemporary Dance and undertook her postgraduate training at London Contemporary in its company 4D. Rebekah has worked with a range of choreographers including Siobhan Davies, Henri Oguike, Mark Baldwin and Wayne McGregor, touring their works around England, France, Prague and Hong Kong. Since then she has worked as a freelance dancer and dance teacher in London, Newcastle and Scotland. Rebekah is fully committed to helping dancers flourish as professional dance artists.

Lynda Clough

Lynda was Head of the Dance Department at Dame Allan’s Schools for 26 years and taught GCSE dance for over 30 years and A-level dance for over 25 years. She brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to the Dance City degree through an exceptional career in teaching and nurturing talented dancers. Particularly passionate about teaching dance history and choreography, Lynda admires anyone who can ‘think outside the box’ and can make the ordinary look extraordinary. She has been an influential figure in the training of dancers throughout her career and has been the creative and supportive force behind many dancers, choreographers and teachers who are currently working in the profession.

Ruby Halford

Ruby qualified as a professional dancer and ballet teacher in 1991 from the University of Cape Town, South Africa, and went on to have a successful career as a freelance dancer and classical RAD instructor. More recently she has focused on the benefits of Pilates for the dancer’s body, opening her own successful Pilates practice. Ruby has a MA in Dance Science from Trinity Laban.

Neville Campbell

Neville is an award winning, internationally renowned dance artist, choreographer and educator whose performing career has taken him around the globe. He has artistically directed Phoenix Dance Company, Tumbuka Dance Company and Scottish Dance Theatre and he has choreographed for numerous companies both in the UK and internationally, including Scottish Ballet, Phoenix Dance Company, NAPAC Dance Company (South Africa), Tavaziva Dance, National Youth Dance Company and the Great North Run Cultural Programme, to name a few. He has a passion for choreography, and his works have been performed worldwide to high critical acclaim. Neville has a MA in Dance Creativity and Technology from Middlesex University London.

Juliet Thompson

Juliet trained at Rambert School, London and has been a performer ever since. She has danced for David Massingham, Debbie Purtill Dance, Emma Diamond Dance, Northern Stage, and joined balletLORENT in 2003 as a permanent company member.

Image by Luke Waddington.

Adam Dutton

BA and MA Coordinator

Adam has recently moved back to the north east after working and living in London for the past 14 years. Adam trained at Arts Educational Schools, London. Upon graduating with a First Class BA (Hons) he spent over ten years working on the stage in the West end, UK Tours and in regional theatre. A few of Adam’s credits include Showboat, Anything Goes, Oliver, and My Fair Lady. He is extremely passionate about the performing arts industry and would like to use his knowledge and experience to help and guide other aspiring performers achieve their full potential.

Geoff Hopson
Rebekah Waters
Lynda Clough
Ruby Halford
Neville Campbell
Juliet Thompson
Adam Dutton

Photo Gallery