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Dorset Youth Dance auditions

New dancers required for Dorset Youth Dance.

6 young dancers perform on a stage

Dorset Youth Dance (DYD) returns for a new term in January 2024, kicking off with auditions on Sunday 21 January for Senior and Company dancers. DYD is a county wide youth dance company, managed by Activate, offering high quality dance experiences for young people who have a real passion and enthusiasm for dance and want to take that extra leap in training.

Focusing on contemporary dance, young people aged 12-19 have the opportunity to work as part of a professional youth dance company in our Senior or Company (invite only) classes. And for those aged 7-11, our Juniors class is available.

The young dancers are led by professional dancer and facilitator, Emily Thompson-Smith. Emily is a freelance dance artist based in Dorset who trained at London Contemporary Dance School. Her career, spanning a decade, has led her to work with renowned contemporary dance theatre companies and organisations, including Gary Clarke Company, Luca Silvestrini’s Protein, Shobana Jeyasingh, Aletta Collins, Royal Shakespeare Company and James Cousins Company.


Auditions for new starters will be held on Sunday 21 January 2024, in Dorchester (venue TBC) at 11am-1pm.

Seniors and Company (ages 12-19): Led by Rehearsal Director Emily Thompson-Smith in the style of a typical DYD class, new dancers will join existing DYD dancers in front of a panel. The audition will include technique and creative tasks, no preparation is required. Dancers will be contacted after the audition with an offer for either the Senior or Company class. Company dancers must be available on Sunday 10, Saturday 23 and Sunday 24 March 2024.

Juniors (ages 7-11): new dancers can join us at a regular class for a relaxed ‘taster’ session at any point during the term.

5 young dancers perform on stage. They are all leaning backwards with their arms in the air.


DYD classes take place in Dorchester on Sundays from 10am-11am for the Juniors and 11am-12:30pm for Seniors and Company, with Company dancers undertaking additional rehearsals on select dates. Our next term runs from Sunday 21 January – Sunday 24 March 2024, with no classes on Sunday 11 February for a half term break.

Juniors (aged 7-11): you’ll be learning contemporary dance through creative exercises, preparing you for the more technical training of the Seniors class. Term fees: £50.

Seniors (aged 12-19): you can expect to be supported and nurtured through creative and technical contemporary training to become a more confident performer, ready for the next stage. Term fees: £75.

Company members (aged 14-19): By invite only. You’ll be challenged at an advanced level, demonstrating professionalism in performance in preparation for further stages of dance training. Term fees: £100.

Both the Senior and Company dancers will experience performance opportunities at regional youth dance platforms, work with leading national dance artists and develop their portfolio suitable for today’s performing arts industry. 

Interested in being part of Dorset Youth Dance? Audition places are free and should be booked in advance by emailing the DYD team at dyd@activateperformingarts.org.uk.

5 young dancers perform on stage. They are all looking in different directions and holding their arms out.

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