Activate's Youth Dance Company (Portrait)

PORTRAIT is the name of the youth dance company that's been managed by Activate Performing Arts since 2007. 

In 2016, we launched a new youth dance project in Dorset and invited youth dancers to rehearse for and perform at Spring Forward youth dance platform at The Octagon Theatre in Yeovil on Wednesday 24th FebruaryLed by Activate's Dance Producer and professional dancer and dance leader, Ki Shaw. Photos of their amazing performance to follow!

If you have any questions, or would like information about joining, please don't hesitate to get in touch with Michaela Shaw on 01305 260954 or by email

Youth Dance enables young people to work with leading national dance artists and create pieces that are performed at prestigious venues and events throughout Dorset.  In addition a bespoke training program is offered to develop business knowledge and industry tips on how to manage a dance company and create a career portfolio suitable for today’s performing arts industry.

Dorset Youth Dance aims are to provide, improve and maintain dance education and enhance the appreciation of the art of dance for the young people of Dorset by co-ordinating, promoting and presenting dance activities for young dancers.

Recent prize-winning graduate from Northern School of Contemporary Dance, Rachel Fullegar was a member of Portrait until 2009 said:

"Without Portrait I would have had no access to choreographers, professional companies and exposure to the wider arts community in Dorset. The opportunities it gave me meant I was able to understand and contextualise the role of Dance within the arts. I'll never forget having a residency with Hofesh Schecter Company, it was after that performance that I made my mind up to study dance."


Dorset's former county youth dance company, was revived by Activate in May 2007 with the launch of Portrait and has since provided progression route for young people aged between 14 and 21 interested in learning about contemporary dance practice.     

Portrait has created various dance performances by working with the following artists and companies: Hofesh Shechter, Jasmin Vardimon Ballet Rambert, Tavaziva Dance, Subathra Subramaniam, Mobius Dance Theatre, David Toole and Sarah Shorten. They have performed all over the county at many venues such as: Weymouth 2012 Olympics, Dorchester Arts Centre, Bridport Arts Centre, Lighthouse Poole, Pavilion Dance, Inside Out Festival and many more.

2016 sees a rebrand and a relaunch of this initiative with a view to attracting new members and increasing opportunities for Dorset's passionate young dancers.

Dorset Youth Dance aims to embed the future of Portrait Youth Dance Company with the young people to look at its sustainability (financially and artistically) and their aspirations, both as a company and as individuals. Dorset Youth Dance has previously been funded by Arts Council England, West Dorset District Council and other Trusts and Foundations.

How to apply

We are always searching for Enthusiastic, Talented and Creative Young Dancers with one of the following:

  • a passion, potential and desire to develop their dance talent
  • outstanding dancers who aspire to be the next generation of leading dance professionals
  • anyone who demonstrates RAW talent that we can develop

Contact us to find out more: or telephone 01305 260 954

  • Portrait Dorset Youth Dance