About U.Dance

U.Dance is a national programme of events which creates opportunities for young people to experience dance by watching, learning and performing.

One Dance UK works with partners to deliver and support U.Dance events all over the country. We welcome and encourage groups who create dance pieces in all genres, such as hip hop/street dance styles, jazz and theatre styles, ballet, South Asian dance, contemporary dance, dance of the African Diaspora, folk dance, you name it: U.Dance is for everyone! Since its inception, the programme has reached over 200 000 young people. Teachers and group leaders are welcome to register for further information on an event near you, or discuss any access requirements, by emailing u.dance@onedanceuk.org

The U.Dance National Festival takes place each summer in a different host city. The festival celebrates the UK’s most exciting youth dance companies and groups, selected to attend the festival via the regional platforms, for an inspiring weekend of dance. Participants can expect workshops with leading dance professionals, choreography sessions, interactive careers talks, networking opportunities and pop up performances, all culminating in a major performance alongside other leading youth dance companies.


Regional Platform Partners
U.Dance Regional Platforms and national events in the devolved nations are presented by the following partner organisations.

England - East

Contact: DanceEast

England - East Midlands

Contact: Dance4

England - London

Contact: Trinity Laban

England - North East

Contact: Dance City

England - North West

Contact: North West Dance

England - South East

Contact: South East Dance

England - South West

Contact: Pavilion Dance South West

England - West Midlands

Contact: DanceXchange

England - Yorkshire

Contact: Yorkshire Dance

Northern Ireland

Contact: DU Dance

Scotland

Contact: YDance

Wales

Contact: National Youth Arts Wales

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SIR RICHARD ALSTON

Champion of U.Dance

Having been involved with the U.Dance National Festival for many years, I have seen the inspiration it gives young dancers from across the country to meet others who as passionate as them about dance. We have to find a way for young people to share with others their passion to achieve great things. Now more than ever, we must make it possible through the help of technology to enable you to create and learn more about the thing you love. Join us!
The U.Dance National Festival Team

Laura Nicholson

Head of Children and Young People's Dance

Laura is proud to lead One Dance UK's strategy and operations to ensure all young people have access to high-quality dance provision, both in and out of school. She previously worked in the mainstream secondary education sector as a dance teacher, Assistant Headteacher and dance education consultant.

Cameron Ball

Festival Manager

Cameron has always worked in the performing arts, currently editing dance publications and managing large projects for One Dance UK. Alongside his work editing, producing and programming, he teaches and lectures at leading arts colleges and schools around Europe. Prior to this he appeared in the West End and worldwide in productions such as Cats, 42nd Street, A Chorus Line and Fiddler on the Roof.

Dann Carroll

Project Manager

Dann is a producer, marketer & performance artist based in Birmingham and is Project Manager for Once Dance UK. After training at Falmouth University, Dann previously worked for international touring theatre company Kneehigh and alongside organisations including Shakespeare's Globe, New Zealand Festival, Birmingham Rep and Liverpool Everyman.

Tori Drew

Dance in Education Manager

Tori has previously worked both as a freelance dance artist and as a full-time secondary school dance teacher. Her proudest achievement to date is having her son Reuben in 2019 and she is very happy to see that he already has a passion for music and dance! Tori’s qualifications include a PGCE with QTS from Royal Academy of Dance, Postgraduate Dance in the Community from Trinity Laban and MSc in Dance Science from University of Wolverhampton.

Amy Williams

Dance in Education Manager

Always active, Amy teaches her own dance fitness classes, following work as a dance teacher in colleges and schools. Amy is incredibly proud of her daughter, and also of completing a 365-day running challenge to raise money for charity.

Lucy Jennings

Festival Assistant

Lucy is our new project assistant from the University of Surrey, where she is currently studying BA Dance. and is also the Vice President of the Surrey Dance Squad.
Lucy loves teaching dance to all ages and watching children grow within creative communities.

U.Dance National Panel

Nathan Geering

Artistic Director, Rationale Method

Nathan specialises in accessibility innovation and strives to make work that heightens accessibility for both disabled and non disabled artists and audiences. He was the Artistic Director of the 2017 Special Olympics Opening Ceremony and is the founder of The Rationale Method of Audio Description. He also runs a registered charity called Rationale Arts that teaches people with visual impairment breakin’ as a means of injury prevention and to improve spatial awareness. He continues to implement his work both nationally and internationally to bridge the gap between disabled and non-disabled artists and audiences the world over.

Jamie Jenkins

Producer, National Youth Arts Wales

Jamie Jenkins is a Dance Producer for National Youth Arts Wales (NYAW). Alongside this, Jamie is also a Lecturer in Dance at the largest FE college in North Wales, where he gained his PGCE qualification in conjunction with Aberystwyth University. He began his professional dance training at Stella Mann College, before developing his contemporary dance technique at the London Contemporary Dance School and later, gaining a Post Graduate Diploma. He also has a number of professional performing credits. Jamie is also a Dance Champion for EDAU, works as a Dance Facilitator for Arts Council of Wales and undertakes several choreographic projects in a freelance capacity. His current role at NYAW includes managing National Youth Dance Wales, coordinating a programme to develop the skills of talented, young dancers from across Wales working alongside leading choreographers including Kerry Nicholas, Theo Clinkard, Caroline Finn and Wayne MacGregor.

Laura Jones

Head of Talent Development, Stopgap Dance Company

Laura is a fierce advocate for inclusive dance. As Head of Talent Development at Stopgap Dance Company, she is advancing the sector through training, presentations and consultancy work. She has worked with numerous choreographers including Yoshifumi Inao (Batsheva Dance Company), Kevin Finnan (Motionhouse), Rob Tanion (Stan Won’t Dance/DV8), Gary Clarke (Pit Fleur/ Fetherstoneshaughs) and Bettina Strickler (Protein), touring their work nationally and internationally. Her extensive teaching experience covers all ages and abilities across the UK and Europe, including for Mixed Ability Dance EU in Romania and Albania, 2010, and in Berlin for People Moving 2006 and Tanzfabric, 2012. Laura’s own creation credits include A:Version for Resolution! (2009) and directing and editing the dance film Re:Bound.(2004). Laura worked as a Dance Captain for the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Paralympic Games, assisting with the choreography of all dance sections, teaching the 3500 volunteers and performing in the ceremony itself.

Anna Kenrick

Artistic Director, YDance and National Youth Dance Company of Scotland

Anna trained at the Northern School of Contemporary Dance before working with the Education Team at The Place, London, Magpie Dance Company, Anjali Dance Company and many others. In 2002 Anna joined Ludus Dance Company where she worked as both a dancer and teacher. She performed in UK and international tours of Perfecting Eugene, Trapped and Zygote, working with choreographers Rosie Kay, Filip Van Huffel and Hanna Gillgren. She joined YDance in 2007 as Project Director and in 2011 was appointed as Artistic Director, creating pieces which have toured across the UK and internationally to Australia, Belgium, India, Ireland and France. She has co-choregraphed pieces across the world in Australia, Belgium and France with Filip Van Huffel, Josette Baiz, Jayden Hicks and Ruth Osbourne for international exchange projects. Anna has been commissioned to create outdoor and indoor pieces for the cultural programmes for the 2012 Olympics, the 2014 Commonwealth Games and other large scale events. Anna is a coach and mentor for the Federation of Scottish Theatre and works as a visiting assessor and sits on the qualifications design team for dance for the Scottish Qualifications Authority.

Hannah Kirkpatrick

General Manager, National Youth Dance Company England

Hannah is the General Manager of National Youth Dance Company (NYDC), and has worked with the company since it was first created in 2012. Over the past seven years NYDC has worked with some of the world's leading choreographers including Jasmin Vardimon, Akram Khan, Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, Michael Keegan Dolan, Damien Jalet, Sharon Eyal, Botis Seva and Russell Maliphant. Before NYDC, Hannah was Academy Manager at Northern Ballet, overseeing the Centre for Advanced Training programme (CAT) alongside a number of other training courses for all ages and abilities, from vocational training to open classes. Hannah also works for BBC Young Dancer, and has been a Dance Consultant on the programme for the past three competitions (2015, 2017 & 2019). She is currently Co-Chair of the National Dance Educators Group.

Ray Oudkerk

Vice Principal, BRIT School, Chair of Rambert Grades

Ray Oudkerk studied Dance & Philosophy at Middlesex University followed by a year at the Northern School of Contemporary Dance. After completing a PGCE he went into mainstream education and has 26 years’ experience of teaching Dance in secondary schools, predominantly in south London. Over the years Ray has worked as an Advanced Skills Teacher, mentored early-career dance teachers, delivered professional training courses and worked with many arts companies and professional artists. He has delivered INSET in a number of secondary school, worked within performing arts teams and delivered a range of cross-curricular work. He focused on boys’ dance for a number of years and has created a range of teaching resources. In 2013 he completed a Masters in Teaching through the Royal Academy of Dance. His dissertation focused on the relationship between Ofsted and pedagogy. Ray is currently Assistant Principal at the BRIT School of Performing Arts and Technology. He is passionate about Arts education for all young people and enjoys Arts advocacy debate and discussion. In addition, Ray is a director on the board of Rambert Dance Company, Chair of Rambert Grades and Chair of GCSE Dance.

Vidya Patel

Dance Artist and Educator

Vidya Patel is a Birmingham based Dance Artist with training background in Kathak learning from Guru Sujata Banerjee. After graduating from the South Asian Strand at Centre of Advanced Training Dance programme, Vidya represented the South Asian Category in the Grand Finals of the inaugural BBC Young Dancer 2015 at Sadler’s Wells. She has since performed in international touring works created by critically acclaimed artists Sir Richard Alston, Gary Clarke, Thick & Tight and Akademi, as well as collaborating with artists including Shammi Pithia and Connor Scott, with commissions by Sampad Arts. She is currently an Associate Artist at Déda and a member of Aakash Odedra 2. Whilst continuing her Indian classical dance training she hopes to continue to collaborate with the wider dance industry and continue to develop her own choreographic and individual practice. She is currently one of four young choreographers part of the Sadler’s Wells Young Associates programme, supported for the next two years.
Click to Meet the One Dance UK Staff

Watch our highlights video of U.Dance Digital 2020 below