In 2020 the National Youth Dance Company of Scotland developed a new partnership with National Youth Dance Wales – the Celtic Collective. The partnership was designed to connect members of both NYDW and NYDCS through a shared passion and desire to enhance their dance development and awareness of the sector nationally and internationally by bringing them together through shared experiences. During the lockdown, dancers from both companies participated in an online workshop with choreographers from across the UK.

This year, the Celtic Collective partnership has developed and involves dancers travelling between countries to participate in programmes and residencies.

In August 2022, National Youth Dance Wales members worked with choreographers Lea Anderson MBE and Arielle Smith to create two new dance works that premiered as part of Ballet Cymru’s autumn tour. Over a two-week residency at The Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, Cardiff, the programme focused on stretching and challenging members creatively  and artistically whilst developing their technical and performance skills.

Three members of NYDCS went to Wales to join NYDW at the August residency as guest performers, joining the Company in rehearsals and on stage.

We are excited to announce this year, for the first time, NYDCS will host an NYDW ambassador. They will join NYDCS for the entire year, creating new work to tour the UK and abroad. Erin Mared, 23, from Aberystwyth, Wales is currently studying Spanish and German at Glasgow University. Erin has been dancing since the age of four and has a real passion for the joy of dancing. “I love that dance is a common language for people worldwide. If you can’t communicate with someone through words, you can always find a connection through dance.”

“As part of the Celtic Collective, two other members of NYDCS and I were offered the fantastic opportunity to go to Wales to collaborate with NYDW in their two-week summer residency. During the residency, we were fortunate to work with the talented and inspiring Lea Anderson and Arielle Smith to create two new pieces for the company.”

Company member Marcus Burns told us about his NYDW experience:

“Our days consisted of morning classes from various guest teachers to help us develop and learn new techniques. This was then followed by a creation process/rehearsals with each of the two choreographers. We also participated in activities together as a company at night, which consisted of going to the circus, going to a gig, going out for meals and spending time together to see Cardiff. This, as a company, made us all closer, and we got to make new friends, which added to the whole experience.”

“Our two weeks in Wales were some of the best weeks of summer, getting to meet new people, make connections with the inspiring NYDW team, and take advantage of the Celtic Collective. We are all very grateful to YDance and NYDW for making this opportunity possible, and we cannot wait to perform these two works in Newport on the 4th and 5th of November.”