Dorset Youth Dance

DYD at Origins 2017

Activate believe every young person is able and entitled to experience high quality dance at every stage of life. We help develop exciting young talents and accompany them at any stage of their dance career, to support the future generation of dance artists and practitioners.  We achieve this by providing advice on careers, signposting to opportunities, brokering partnerships with professionals and managing Dorset Youth Dance (DYD). DYD works to offer the young poeple of Dorset high-quality dance experiences through both educational outreach and a county wide youth dance company. 

DYD launched Dorset Youth Dance pre-company Feeder Class and Company (previously Portrait) in September 2016 and is for young people who have a real passion and enthusiasm for dance and want to take that extra leap in training. DYD also launched a fun, creative class for 7-11 year olds, in May 2018.


Focusing on contemporary dance, dancers have the opportunity to work as part of a professional youth dance company (Company 3), pre-company feeder class (Company 2) or the creative class for 7-11 year olds (Company 1). The young dancers a lucky to be lead by inspiring and renowned former Motionhouse dance artist and youth dance leader, Claire Benson. Claire graduated from The London Studio Centre with a BA (Hons) in Dance Theatre in 2001. After living and working as a freelance dancer and teacher, Claire then joined the internationally acclaimed dance company Motionhouse in 2008. She spent the next seven years touring the globe performing and teaching for the company. In 2012 she established Motionhouse Youth and, in the role of Lead Artist - Creative Projects and Participation, went on to develop the company's extensive outreach and community dance programme. Claire began her role with DYD in September 2016.

DYD classes currently run out of Martinstown Village Hall, taking place on Sundays from 10am-11am - Company 1, 11am-12:30pm - Company 2 and 1pm-3pm - Company 3.

What to expect

Company 1 members (aged 7-11) can expect to learn contemporary dance through creative exercises, preparing the young people for the more technical training of the Company 2 class.

Company 2 members (aged 12-25) can expect to be supported and nurtured through creative and technical contemporary training to become a more confident performer, ready for the next stage.

Company 3 members (aged 14-25) can expect to be challenged at an advanced level, demonstrating professionalism in performance in preparation for further stages of dance training.

Both the Company 2 and Company 3 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. Company 3 class is by invite only.

How to apply  

For further information please contact Project Manager, Sammy, at: or tel: 01305 260 954

One of Activate’s objective is to promote information related to youth dance to young people and help them be part of a vibrant dance community of like minded people. If you wish to receive this information about shows, training or performance opportunities please subscribe to our youth dance net mailing list by emailing For more information about Youth dance in the UK visit Youth Dance England website.

For more information regarding our educational outreach work please email or tel: 01305 260 954

How to apply

For further information, please contact: or tel: 01305 260 954


  • Dorset Youth Dance Company at Origins 2017 Photo: Andy Beeson

  • Dorset Youth Dance Company at Origins 2017 Photo: Andy Beeson