Group Leader Information Hub

Welcome to the dedicated Information Hub for group leaders participating in U.Dance National Festival 2023 – we’re so pleased you’ll be joining us! 

The U.Dance National Festical team has produced information below that may be useful when planning your group’s festival experience, as well as key dates for your diary and contact details you may find useful.

This page will be updated as more information is released so please check back here regularly and check for Group Leader E-Bulletins each week. 

Upcoming deadlines and dates for your diary:

  • Mid May – exact date TBC
    • National selections publicly announced
    • Embargo on press/social media lifted – please share the good news!
    • Tickets go on sale

If you have any queries, the U.Dance team is here to support you. Please don’t hesitate to contact

We look forward to welcoming you to the U.Dance National Festival in July!

Please click on the coloured tabs below to expand each section.

About the U.Dance National Festival 2023

The U.Dance National Festival 2023 is taking place on stage and on screen this summer. It is the UK’s largest youth dance festival of its kind and welcomes young dancers from all around the UK.

WHERE: Newcastle, in three fantastic venues:

  • Northern Stage – hosting U.Dance National Showcases
  • Newcastle College – hosting U.Dance National Festival Workshops
  • Dance City – hosting U.Dance National Festival Opening Ceremony and Young Creatives Showcases

WHEN: 21-23 July 2023

Your planned activity will take place at Northern Stage and Newcastle College on 22 and 23 July only.

WHAT TO EXPECT: The U.Dance National Festival is a celebration of youth dance. This year’s event will be a weekend packed with performances, workshops, dance careers sessions and lots more. In due course you will have a full schedule provided to you.

You are requested to attend full days on Saturday 22 and Sunday 23 July. You will either perform on Saturday 22 July or Sunday 23 July and do workshops, careers sessions and other activity on the other day, with a free ticket provided to all participants and group leaders to watch the U.Dance National Showcase that evening. Your performance date will be confirmed in mid May.

On the Friday there will be a showcase of North East dance talent at Dance City as part of the U.Dance National Festival Opening Ceremony Showcase. There is no planned activity for your group on the Friday, but depending on where you live your group might travel to Newcastle on that day and stay overnight. Ticket information will be provided in due course if you would like to watch this performance with your group.


The U.Dance National Showcases are held on Saturday and Sunday at Northern Stage’s ‘Stage 1’, a beautiful 450 seat theatre. Showcases will feature selected groups from around the country with some special guest performances. The showcases are different each evening and present a wide range of dance styles. 

The performance dates and times are:

  • Saturday 23 July, 7:30pm
  • Sunday 24 July, 5:00pm

You will be told which showcase your group will perform in in mid May, before tickets are released for sale.


The U.Dance National Festival team is arranging a full menu of amazing dance workshops for participants. These will take place at Newcastle College, an award winning facility and the UK’s largest to house music, performing arts, and media education under one roof.

In the coming weeks you will be sent your Workshop Overview and view the sessions featuring a variety of dance styles from the UK’s best dance professionals.  

Careers Sessions 

As part of the U.Dance National Festival, participants will hear from a range of professionals who work in dance but not just as performers. This is an opportunity for participants to learn about some of the wide range of dance career options, talking to leaders in their field.

Other activities 

The U.Dance National Festival will be a busy weekend filled with dance challenges, other performances, dance film screenings, a Dance Careers and Education Marketplace and much more.

Further details on all activity will be made available in the coming weeks. 

Getting to the U.Dance National Festival

General information

Click on the links below to find information on getting to Northern Stage and Newcastle College.


  • Northern Stage, Barras Bridge, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 7RH
  • Newcastle College Rye Hill Campus, 3 Maple St, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE4 7DQ

Fundraising Ideas

The U.Dance National Festival team has collated some suggestions on how to fundraise to assist with your group’s costs accessing the U.Dance National Festival. 

Click to read Fundraising Ideas for U.Dance National Festival

Please contact if participants in your group are facing financial challenges and the U.Dance National Festival team may be able to support or advise.

Forms to Complete

It is essential that all forms are completed in a timely manner to ensure the safe, smooth running of the U.Dance Natioanl Festival. We appreciate your assistance.

Forms GL1, GL2, GL3 and GL4 to be completed by the Designated Group Leader.

Form P1 to be completed as soon as possible by each Participant (if over 18), with their parent or guardian (if under 18).


Groups are responsible for organising and covering costs for accommodation and travel for the U.Dance National Festival. The U.Dance National Festival team has compiled a list of suitable options based on age ranges of your group and groups are able to book directly with the provider. All details are correct at time of publication and will be updated regularly. Still, please thoroughly check through the details of your group with the accommodation when making the booking to ensure that the accommodation will meet your organisation’s needs and the needs and ages of everyone attending.

Accommodation will fill up quickly, so we would recommend booking as soon as possible.   

We would also recommend checking prices through a third party website. You could try which collates the best prices from all major booking websites, or Most hotels do have a group booking system for larger groups, however the quoted costs may be more than what is offered via third party sites.  

Groups within an hour or so drive from the city may wish to consider commuting as a cost-effective alternative. Parking will be available for a fee close to Northern Stage and Newcastle College on the weekend of the festival.

Accommodation suggestions are listed below with walking distances from Northern Stage and Newcastle College. Newcastle is very well connected by public transport so a bus or metro journey might be preferred.  

For groups aged 18+ 

These hotels appear to be quite economical especially for the sites away from the centre of Newcastle. These hotels all have an over 18 policy so are not suitable for groups with participants under 18.

These hotels may also be useful for families and friends looking to come along.

At the time of publication, Travelodge offered good value rooms for twin occupancy. Travelodge Newcastle sites is  

  • Travelodge Newcastle Central, NE2 2NH
    • 20 min walk from Northern Stage, 32 min walk from Newcastle College
  • Travelodge Newcastle Quayside, NE1 3BE
    • 21 min walk from Northern Stage, 25 min walk from Newcastle College
  • Travelodge Newcastle Airport, NE3 3TY
    • too far to walk but a 10 – 15 min drive from Northern Stage, 15 min drive from Newcastle College

Other hotels that have an 18+ policy on guests in rooms include:

For groups with participants aged under 18

University Halls of Residence

The U.Dance National Festival team have held a number of rooms at two of the Northumbria Halls of Residence sites. There is no minimum age for staying in a room, as long as there is an adult in the flat (for Trinity  Square Halls) or on the shared corridor (for Claude Gibb Halls). 

Bedding and towels are provided. Complimentary Wi-Fi is available throughout the buildings and both buildings have common room areas. These will be available for a short time, so if you would like to book either of these, please do so as soon as possible.   

  • Northumbria University, Claude Gibb Hall, NE1 8SU
    • £55/room/night, single occupancy
    • 9 min walk from Northern Stage, 32 min walk from Newcastle College
    • All rooms have a single bed with a washbasin. Showers and toilet facilities are shared with other guests on each floor.
    • Claude Gibb is a great option for large groups.
  • Northumbria University, Trinity Square Halls, NE8 1AQ
    • £55/room/night, single occupancy
    • 28 min walk from Northern Stage, 30 min walk from Newcastle College
    • All rooms in Trinity Square are ensuite in a cluster flat with between three to five rooms sharing an open plan kitchen living area. Please be advised that although you are welcome to use the kitchen, cooking/eating utensils are not provided.
    • Trinity Square is designed for single occupancy, however all rooms have double beds.

 For further details and to book either of the Northumbria Halls please visit this link. If you have any enquiries regarding this accommodation please book

Hostels and Guest Houses

The accommodation listed below has dorm-style accommodation. They should be able to accept bookings from groups and for young people to stay in rooms that are under the age of 18, as long as there are an appropriate number of guardians / adult group leaders who will be responsible for them.  

  • Newcastle Youth Hostel Association (YHA) 0345 260 2583
    • Prices start at approx. £38 per person per night
    • 13 min walk from Northern Stage, 25 min walk from Newcastle College
  • Sleeperdorm Newcastle 0191 272 3685
    • Prices range from £18 to £23 per person per night
    • 24 min walk from Northern Stage, 10 min walk from Newcastle College
  • Rooms Inn Guest house 0191 273 3034
    • Prices are approx. £40 per person per night
    • 26 min walk from Northern Stage, 10 min walk from Newcastle College
  • Albatross Newcastle 0191 233 1330
    • Prices start at £30 per person / per night
    • 14 min walk from Northern Stage, 21 min walk from Newcastle College

Safeguarding and Child Licensing 

The safeguarding of all participants in the U.Dance National Festival is the top priority. The U.Dance National Festival team will work with the Northern Stage and Newcastle College teams, group leaders and Newcastle City Council to ensure that the event is safe and accessible. 

Group Leaders and Supporting Adults Information

Group Leaders and Supporting Adults agree to have read the Group Leader and Supervising Adults Guidelines and agree to meet these guidelines. This information is below, and is found on Form GL4: Safeguarding and Group Leader Information.

View the U.Dance Group Leader and Supervising Adults Guidelines here.

Box Office Information

We would love for family and friends to make a weekend out of the event, explore Newcastle, and watch the U.Dance National Showcases!

Tickets for the U.Dance National Festival Showcases at Northern Stage will go on sale in mid May – you will be notified before ticket bookings go live. Ticketing will be handled by Northern Stage. You can book online 24 hours a day, and either have your tickets posted to you, or you can collect your tickets in person.

The Northern Stage box office team are able to deal with queries from Monday-Friday, 12-4pm.

Participant Code of Conduct


It is essential that all participants abide by the U.Dance Participant Code of Conduct when taking part in the U.Dance National Festival 2023. This is written on the Participant Information Form which is completed by participants with parent or guardian supervision.

View the U.Dance Participant Code of Conduct here.

Key Contacts


Main U.Dance email contact: 

General One Dance UK enquiries: 

Membership enquiries: 

Phone numbers 

One Dance UK: 0207 713 0730 

Northern Stage Box Office: 0191 230 5151

The countdown to the U.Dance National Festival 2023 is on!

A series of 8 illustrated young dancers of varied genders and ethnicities, dancing in a variety of styles. Some perform ballet, contemporary, kathak, breaking and some use mobility aides such as a wheelchairs or chairs.