U.Dance Writing Challenge

An image of a young girl dancing whilst wearing bunny ears. A mobile phone is filming her.

Showcasing the best of the UK’s youth dance talent during the U.Dance National Festival 2021! 

The U.Dance Writing Challenge 2021 is supported by University of Central Lancashire (UCLan)

Congratulations to all entrants of the U.Dance Writing Challenge 2021!

We saw creative writing entries from all over the country, and our Guest Panellist Graham Watts, Chair of the Critics’ Circle Dance Section, had the task of selecting a winning essay.

“The final of the U.Dance Writing Challenge produced some outstanding pieces of writing and any of the authors would have been a worthy winner. It was especially fascinating to see how each writer took a different approach to expressing their own insightful feelings about the power of dance and how it has impacted upon their own lives.”

Graham Watts OBE
Chair, Critics’ Circle Dance Section
U.Dance Writing Challenge Guest Panellist

Congratulations to the winning entrant, Ffion S. from the East of England who is 12 years of age!

Where Dance Takes Me

By Ffion S.

When I read we had to create a piece about dance, I wasn’t really sure what to write; most people just
think of dance as a piece of choreography, with twists and turns and leaps and jumps – but I have a very
different definition, and a very different story.

To me, dance isn’t just about the movements. It’s also about the music to which I dance to, otherwise I
can’t cast the right mood over my audience, whether it be lyrical, contemporary, hip-hop, modern, tap,
ballet – anything, but the music always creates the mood. The dance style I mostly get lost in is lyrical, or
modern type dancing, as the lyrics for me seem to be more meaningful and easier to connect with.
Dance is my escape route, it lets me travel the world without even leaving the room, lets me fly high but
with a roof over my head, lets me unlock emotions I didn’t even know I had imprisoned inside. Dance
tells a story with pure movement, a beat and nothing else. It’s a way of communicating, it’s a way of
expressing feelings, it’s a way of battling against someone with no words required.

Dance to me is a feeling rushing through my body, making my legs kick high, arms swirl fast, feet tap
wildly and my emotion spilling out of a stage, making my story come to life and me slowly drift away
from the real world to the wonderous world of dance.

To me, dance is hard – but with dedication and commitment, I find that I can do everything to my fullest
extent, especially if it’s a piece of dance I love, but it takes countless rehearsals and hours of
concentration for me to master magic like dance. It’s not something I could just do straight away, no
matter how hard I tried, and I feel so elated after I finally master a routine. It’s a feeling like no other – a
feeling of pure passion, exhaustion, happiness, and accomplishment.

Which is why dance is my source of power – a weapon that I can use to fight against any intruding
emotions that get me down, and when I perform, those emotions are what my dance feeds off of that
keeps my head held high, and what keeps my body always pushing harder. Dance takes me on a journey,
riding on the beat of a song to connect with the lyrics to make me and my movements submerge into
the story until I am no longer in the current world. I am in a world of my own, where every piece of
choreography is adding to my expressions throughout the song, the song echoing through the insides of
my body, my body soaring high beyond the clouds, the clouds floating gently across the sky, and then
it’s only the sky as my limit.

Ffion will be a guest writer for the One Dance UK magazine’s Autumn 2021 edition and on the Dance Ambassador Blog.

Congratulations to our other finalists. Read their entries here:

You can also read a short piece from Amy Dullenty, a recent graduate of the BA (Hons) Dance Performance & Teaching course at The University of Central Lancashire on how to chose the best dance degree for YOU!

U.Dance Writing Challenge sponsored by