Northern School of Contemporary Dance
Routes into Training
We believe conservatoire-level training should be accessible to anyone with talent and potential. To achieve this aim, we are continually looking for new ways to find talented young people and provide pathways into training.
The schools offer a range of activities outside of their degree provisions, from leisure classes for adults and children to one-off workshops and short courses in a particular discipline. Whether you’re thinking about a career as an artist or technician, or want to try out a class for fun, there are lots of different ways to get involved, and many of the activities offered have subsidised or means-tested places available.
Note: Due to the Covid19 pandemic, normal individual School arrangements for the routes into training listed below may be significantly affected. If you are interested in any of the advertised routes, you should contact the individual Conservatoire Member School for details.
Many of the schools offer weekly classes for children, young people and adults, often subsidised to encourage participation in the particular art form. They engage the wider community in dance, acting, circus skills and technical theatre. These classes offer students an opportunity to develop and progress to short courses, summer schools, other training programmes, and, ultimately, vocational training.
Youth companies prepare young people to perform or create work, often specifically commissioned or adapted.
- National Centre offers a range of weekly classes in circus skills for all ages, from 2 years 9 months to 18 years, through Family Circus, Junior Circus, Youth Circus Too and Junior Circus Too
- London Youth Circus is for young people aged 11-21 years who are interested in entering the circus arts as a profession. It offers courses at beginner, intermediate and advanced levels, including supporting classes in movement, core stability and performance. Acceptance is by audition. The advanced class performs annually.
- Adult evening courses are available in aerial, acrobatic and equilibristic disciplines.
- Circus Fitness classes are available in conditioning and flexibility.
- ACTiv8 is the youth theatre group of the school for ages 7 and above. Weekly classes consist of improvised scenes, ensemble work, theatrical techniques and skills-based warm up games.
- Central’s Junior School offers weekly classes for children ages 3 to 16 for all abilities.
The Place (London Contemporary Dance School)
- The Place provides a range of dance activities for young people including Saturday classes (5-15 yrs) and midweek teen contemporary classes
- The Place runs two dance companies for young people which meet weekly: Shuffle, the junior dance company for 9-14 years, and Shift, the senior youth dance company for aged 14-19 years.
- For children and young people NSCD offers a Saturday programme for 5 – 12 years and mid-week youth dance classes including our NSCD Youth Dance Company.
- For adults NSCD offers weekday classes including Contemporary Technique, Performance Group, Zumba and a Creative Dance Class for adults with Learning Difficulties.
- Rambert offers Saturday contemporary classes for children and young people from ages 2 ½ to 15
- Pre-Vocational Course offers ballet and contemporary technique and performance opportunities for students aged 15 and over who are preparing to apply for vocational training
- Weekly open classes in ballet and contemporary (beginners/improvers) are available for adults.
Short courses and summer schools take place over a concentrated period of time and provide an experience of the intensive training which characterises conservatoire-level training.
The Conservatoire schools offer the following courses:
- Youth Circus Summer Schools offer young people the chance to spend a week at the National Centre learning a range of circus skills, for age groups 8 – 11 and 12 – 18
- Advanced Summer School is available for 11 – 18 years old who have been learning circus for more than two years.
- 1-week courses in Contemporary Drama, Acting in Shakespeare, Singing, and Acting for Camera, for age 17 and above
- 10-week Summer Foundation Course for age 18 and above
- 1 and 2-week Spring and Summer Courses for ages 12 – 16
- 1 and 2-week BOYS ONLY Summer Courses for ages 12 – 16
The Place (London Contemporary Dance School)
- A range of Summer Dance Courses for young people from ages 18 months – 15 years, including: First Steps (18 months – 3 years), Contemporary Explorers (5 – 7 years), Creative Contemporary (8 – 10 years), and Boys Club (6 – 10 years)
- 1-week Summer School for young dancers aged 12-18 years and adults aged 18+ (advanced level, including dance students and graduates)
- Junior Summer Course for age 11 – 14 years
- Senior Summer Course for age 15 – 19 years
Funded by the Department for Education Music and Dance Scheme, CATs exist to help identify, and assist, children with exceptional potential, regardless of their personal circumstances, to benefit from world-class specialist training as part of a broad and balanced education. This will enable them, if they choose to proceed towards self-sustaining careers in music and dance. For more information on the scheme and its national profile please go to www.nationaldancecats.co.uk.
London Contemporary Dance School runs a Centre for Advanced Training based at The Place. The programme is open to all children between 10-16 years regardless of previous dance training. Take a look at the website here.
Northern School of Contemporary Dance’s Centre for Advanced Training (CAT) is part of a national intensive dance programme for 13-17 year olds who display exceptional potential and passion for dance.
The scheme is devised to prepare young dancers for full-time dance training at university or conservatoire level. At NSCD we include five key areas:
- Contemporary and Ballet Techniques
- Creative dance and choreography
- Dancers’ health and wellbeing
- Cultural activities such as theatre trips
The curriculum is intended to give students a strong basic grounding in technical and creative skills, as well as an introduction to the wider dance profession. Students attend a minimum of eight hours a week outside of school. Take a look at the website here.
London Youth Circus, based at the National Centre for Circus Arts, is being run in conjunction with the CAT programme at The Place. It aims to provide pre-vocational training of the highest standard to 10-18 year olds, enabling young Circus Artists to access institutions for professional circus training. CAT scheme applications are open to current London Youth Circus students and students from other youth circuses in the UK. Take a look at the website here.