The Company (2021 – 2022)
The members of the National Youth Dance Company of Scotland.
The members of the National Youth Dance Company of Scotland.
Marcus (18) is from Aberdeen and is studying for a BA (Hons) in contemporary dance at Northern School of Contemporary Dance in Leeds. This is his second year with the Company. He started dancing when he was 13 and was part of Fusion Youth Dance Company in Aberdeen for 2 years.
Being part of NYDCS has had a big influence on Marcus – “NYDCS massively changed the way I look at my own creativity and changed the way I like to create material; this has also changed the way I view other pieces of dances and has given me a real insight to the types of dance I am drawn to and the types I am not.”
Iona (18) is originally from Glasgow and lives in Houston, Renfrewshire. She is studying dance at West College Scotland, and this is her first year with the Company. Iona began dancing aged 8, after a workshop at primary school, and she has previously taken part in Project Y in 2020 and Hothouse young choreographers programme in 2021 with YDance.
“What I love most about dancing is the freedom and individuality you can have while also being part of a team and group. I love how easy it is to be inspired by other people my age, and I feel as though dancers all have a certain way of connecting with each other that I love.“
16 year old Beth is from Kilmaluag on the Isle of Skye, and attends Portree High School where she is studying for 5 Highers in 2022. She is bilingual in Gaelic and English, and Gaelic was her first language.
Beth has been dancing since she was very small, as her mum is a Highland Dance teacher. She joined Skyedance Youth Company and performed with them at YDance Destinations in 2019. Beth auditioned for NYDCS for the first time in 2021 and hopes that being part of the Company will broaden her dance skills and knowledge.
“After I leave High School, I’m hoping to go into dance, but I’m still very undecided on what specific path I should go down. I think my NYDCS experience will help me what parts of dancing interest me and I gravitate towards.”
Chloe (19) is from East Kilbride, and is s student at Dance Studio Scotland. She has been dancing all her life, indeed she was dancing in a baby walker before she could walk.
Chloe is obsessed with Harry Potter and has read the books and seen the films over 100 times. She even has a part-time job in a Harry Potter store.
Asked what she loves most about dancing, Chloe replied – “You are never perfect and there are always things to work on to better yourself and that excites me. I love to learn."
Farrah (18) is from Newport on Tay and is currently studying BA2 (Hons) in Contemporary Dance , at The Place in London. She started dancing when she was 8 years old at Scottish Dance Theatre’s children’s classes and was a member of SDT’s Young Company.
Farrah has taken part in lots of different dance projects from classical to experimental performances. One of the most interesting was a performance in the Pianodrome (an amphitheatre made from recycled pianos) at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2019.
This is Farrah’s third year with the Company, and she reflects on her experience here: “Being a member of the company has opened my mind to new ways of movement. Things that I thought were physical impossibilities for my body and mind have become accessible, altering both my movement and creative vocabulary. I hadn’t imagined this was possible.”
18 year old Aoife is from Aberdeen and is studying for a BA Honours degree in Contemporary Dance at Northern School of Contemporary Dance. She began ballet lessons at age 13, and contemporary at14, joining Fusion Youth Contemporary Dance Company at Citymoves. Aoife took part in Project Y in 2020, and the Hothouse young choreographers programme in 2019-20 with YDance.
When asked why she wanted to join NYDCS Aoife replied - “I know previous NYDCS members and I have seen the strong calibre of dance and the amazing opportunities NYDCS offers such as touring and working with different choreographers and companies. I also love to dance with other people and work as a team so this is the perfect opportunity for me."
Lily is 17 and comes from Cupar in Fife. She is studying for an HNC in Contemporary Dance at the Scottish School of Contemporary Dance (The Space) in Dundee. Lily started ballet classes aged 3 and growing up she learned 9 different styles of dance, taking part in dance competitions across the UK.
This is the first time Lily has taken part in a YDance project She was inspired to apply after watching the 2021 Company performing “Beneath Words”, and she is looking forward to being part of NYDCS this year.
“I have just started studying dance full time and I have taken a real interest in choreography. I think the opportunity to work with other talented dancers to create a unique piece will really help open my mind to the different ways dancers can move and work. This will give me so many useful ideas and knowledge that I can take with me and build upon in the rest of my dance career.”
Lauren (20) is from Kilwinning and is studying BA Hons Musical Theatre at the Performers College in Essex. She began ballet class at age two and went into full time training when she left school, achieving an HND Dance Artist qualification from West College Scotland. During her time at WCS she took part in Scottish Ballet Youth Exchange in 2020/21, The Wee Theatre Co: The Ceilidh Project:, Ayr Gaiety's pantomime production of Aladdin and summer schools and associate programmes at prestigious universities down south.
Lauren took part in Project Y in 2019, and then joined the National Youth Dance Company of Scotland where last year Lauren was selected as senior dancer for the company.
“NYDCS has allowed me to explore my creative side that I was too scared to discover before being a part of the company. It has allowed me to work closely with likeminded people and be inspired by other young artists. As well as this I feel my technical ability within contemporary has broadened since joining.”
20 year old Emma is from Aberdeen, and is studying BA Honours in Contemporary Dance Performance at The Northern School of Contemporary Dance. Emma began dancing when she was 4, and has performed in many different venues in Scotland and further afield. One highlight for her was performing at the Southbank Centre in London with Fusion Youth Dance Company as part of U.Dance in 2019.
This is Emma’s second year with NYDCS, the first being almost entirely online. She is looking forward to her second year in person.
“Being a member of NYDCS through the year of the pandemic kept a light burning at the end of the tunnel. It gave me something to strive for, knowing that at some point we would be able to dance together, and allowed me to hold on to that feeling. Together we created a new way of working through not just our movement but also our surroundings and how we could all be connected in this way. This creative, unique approach benefitted my training, and also changed me as a dancer, and now the way I view dance.”