National Youth Dance Company of Scotland

The Company

The Company (2019 – 2020)

The members of the National Youth Dance Company of Scotland.

Kazia Edgar

Kazia (18) is from Glasgow and is studying a HND in Dance at West College of Scotland.

She first started dancing at a very young age when she was inspired by her big sister. She has now been dancing for over 10 years. She attended Dancepoint for 8 years and has taken part in many dance projects, including Innovations Dance Platform and YDance Destinations.

Kazia is a first-time member of NYDCS. She heard her peers talking about their memories of last year and felt NYDCS would be great for her to push her boundaries and build her skill set.

In the future she would like to gain a BA (Hons) in Dance. Her experience in NYDCS will help her to develop her skills in contemporary dance and give her an amazing experience similar to being in a professional dance company.

Farrah Fawcett

Farrah (17) is from Newport On Tay and is studying a HNC in Contemporary Dance Performance at The Scottish School of Contemporary Dance in Dundee.

She started dancing at the age of 8 at Scottish Dance Theatre’s Children’s classes. She had previously gone to fun, creative movement classes with her Dad and as she was home schooled, spent a lot of time being creative in dance and music. She is now a member of SDT’s Young Company and she has previously studied RAD Ballet. She also performed in the Pianodrome at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival last year and has taken part in Hothouse and Project Y.

Farrah is looking forward to being a member of NYDCS as she knows it will boost her dancing technique. In the future she would like to dance with a professional touring company, performing experimental works that question the world we live in today.

Thomas Kerek

Thomas (18) is from Cupar and is studying a HNC in Contemporary Dance Performance at The Space, Dundee.

He first got into hip hop dancing at the age of 11. He studied at Knightswood Dance School of Scotland and was involved in Mathew Bourne’s Lord of the Flies in 2014. He found out about NYDCS when Anna delivered a session at his college and thought it would be a great experience that would not only benefit him as a dancer but allow him to grow as a person.

In the future Thomas would love to audition for dance schools and he believes that NYDCS will give him the opportunity to gain experience and build confidence for audtions.

Allison MacDonald

Allison (19) is from the Isle of Skye and she is currently studying a BA (Hons) in Contemporary Dance and Performance at the Scottish School of Contemporary Dance in Dundee.

She started dancing when she was 13 after being inspired by her peers who performed in a local dance show. In 2015, she performed with SkyeDance Youth Company at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. She was also involved in a curtain raiser for Rosie Kay’s 5 SOLDIERS the following year at Fort George with Eden Court.

Allison heard about NYDCS from her involvement in pervious YDance projects such as Project Y 2018 and 2019, Horizons and Destinations 2017 and 2018. She was inspired by watching earlier performances of NYDCS. She likes the idea of being pushed creatively to explore areas of movement that she has yet to discover.

Allison would like to work with a professional touring company after her studies as she feels her experience with NYDCS will give her more confidence for auditions and working with new dancers and professional choreographers.

Kerry Martin-Smith

Kerry (16) is from Erskine and is studying HNC Dance at West College Scotland.

She first got into dancing at the age of 8 when her neighbour introduced her to the local dance school. She has been part of GoDance for 5 years and was chosen as one of the dancers for Scottish Ballet Colleges Day for NC and HNC. She is also part of a hip hop team that compete in competitions most months. She has also taken part in Destinations, YDance Connections and Project Y 2019. Kerry is looking forward to working with techniques that she is unfamiliar with and challenging herself to try new things.

In the future, she would like to audition for further training and work in professional companies. NYDCS will be great experience and enable Kerry to work in an atmosphere similar to a professional company.

Nicola McFall

Nicola (20) is from Dumbarton and is studying BA (Hons) Dance at The Space, Dundee.

She started Highland dancing at the age of 7 and then street dance and hip hop at the age of 11. She was a member of the dance crew The Honeys and studied for three years at Dance Studio Scotland. She is now a fully qualified SDTA Street Dance Teacher. She also took part in the YDance Young Leaders Programme at high school.

This is Nicola’s second year with NYDCS. Being part of the company has given her confidence in her own creative ability and performance skills, and has deepened her knowledge and love of dance.

In the future she would like to work with contemporary dance companies and her NYDCS experience has given her an insight into this professional world.

Taine McKinstray

Taine (18) is from Anstruther and is studying an HND in Contemporary Dance Practice at The Scottish School of Contemporary Dance.

She took classes with Scottish Dance Theatre’s Youth Company which led to her studying contemporary dance full time. She has also worked on SisGo with Fleur Darkin and performed at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival with TIM company in a physical theatre piece. She has taken part in Hothouse, Connections, Destinations and Project Y with YDance.

Taine was part of NYDCS last year and she has benefitted from the training as a dancer and exploring movement in a creative way. It has added different movement languages to her vocabulary and given her a lot of confidence in herself - in the studio and socially.

In the future, she would love to be a part of a professional dance company both as a dancer and a choreographer. Her experiences in NYDCS will help give her opportunities to work and learn from so many talented dancers and choreographers.

Lauren McGowan

Lauren (18) is from Kilwinning and is studying a HNC in Dance at West College Scotland.

She started ballet classes at the age of 2 and has taken classes in jazz, tap, hip hop and musical theatre. She has completed the RAD Ballet exams and ISTD Tap and Modern exams. She has been part of GoDance for the past few years and performed in Ayr Gaiety’s pantomime as a senior dancer. She has recently taken part in the Urdang Associates course in London and in 2018, took part in a 2-week intensive in the Urdang and Bird College summer school. She has also taken part in Project Y and Destinations.

Lauren wanted to join NYDCS to challenge herself and develop her techniques as a contemporary dancer and to grow creatively with other talented dancers. She feels NYDCS is going to help with her future career as she is able to work in a small team with a diverse group of dancers who will push her to grow creatively.

Emma Murphy

Emma (18) is from Paisley and studying a HND in Dance at West College Scotland.

She first started dancing at age 3 at her local dance school, which she is still part of today. She has previously been a member of Right2Dance and has had the opportunity to be involved in workshops with Matthew Bourne company members. She has also been involved in several YDance projects including Connections, Destinations and Project Y.

This is Emma’s second year with NYDCS. In her first year she felt that she was able to gain experience from international dancers, gain confidence in her own abilities and feels she is now stronger as a person and as a dancer.

Emma is hoping to gain her degree next year and then she would like to explore teaching as a possible career path.

Catriona O'Connor

Catriona (20) is from Stirling and is currently studying a BA Hons in Contemporary Dance at Trinity Laban Conservatoire in London.

At just 3 years old she began ballet and tap at a local dance school and as she got older, found an interest in jazz, modern and Irish dance. Catriona was part of Scottish Ballet Youth Collective and Glasgow Youth Dance Company before beginning professional training at Dance Studio Scotland. In 2014, she performed at the closing ceremony of Glasgow’s Commonwealth Games with Monument Dance Centre in front of thousands, amongst them Deacon Blue and Kylie Minogue.

Catriona has performed as part of Project Y, Hothouse and Horizons inclusive youth dance company. This is her second year with NYDCS. For her, NYDCS is a totally different type of training. It’s about pushing limits and having the opportunity to dance freely without fear of judgement.

Catriona would like to continue dancing and perform professionally in the future. NYDCS has given her a great insight as she has worked with many excellent professional choreographers.

Ellen Pritchard

Ellen (18) is from Dollar and is studying Textiles at Glasgow Clyde College.

She first started dancing at a local dance class at the age of 3. She went on to be part of the Macrobert Youth Dance Company for 6 years before joining NYDCS. She also took part in Project Y in 2017, YDance Routes, Destinations and Hothouse. She was inspired to join NYDCS after seeing the 2019 company perform at Destinations.

Ellen is excited to work with NYDCS as she knows it will build her confidence.

Josh Stewart

Josh (18) is from Glasgow and is studying a HND in Dance Artistry at Glasgow Clyde College.

He first started dancing at the age of 5 at musical theatre school where he much preferred the dancing to the acting. He has experience in several dance schools but has most recently performed in Anniesland and the Cage/Cunningham Project to celebrate 100 years of Merce Cunningham and John Cage. He also took part in Project Y 2017.

This is Josh’s third year as a member of NYDCS and he feels the company has helped his training immensely, especially in creative tasks and improvisation. It has also given him experience in new techniques that are unique to the NYDCS training.

In the future Josh hopes to complete a degree and feels NYDCS has set him off on the right track.

Julia Wierzbinska

Julia (21) is from Poznan, Poland and is studying a Professional Development Diploma with the Jasmin Vardimon Company.

She started dancing at the age of 5 at her local dance class and then became interested in contemporary dance at the age of 18. She has taken part in workshops led by Rambert dancers, Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company, Israel and a Gaga Intensive. She has also had an opportunity to learn about this movement language from Ohad Naharin. She has taken part in Destinations and Connections in previous years.

Julia is a returning member of NYDCS as last year it gave her an insight of what her future could look like as a professional dancer. After NYDCS last year, she became more independent and open-minded as a dance artist. She is looking forward to this year as she is excited to see where the journey will take her creatively and professionally as a dancer.

She would like to join a touring company in the future as well as create her own work. NYDCS will help her to gain more confidence to achieve her goals, give her tools to keep her creativity thriving and deliver a lot of inspiration to keep her going.

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