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National Youth Dance Company of Scotland

The Company

The Company (2018 – 2019)

The members of the National Youth Dance Company of Scotland.

Mia Bradley-Evans

Mia (19) is from Galway, Ireland and is currently studying Contemporary Dance and Performance at the Scottish School of Contemporary Dance.

Inspired by the film Step Up, she started dancing when she was 12 by attending hip-hop and breakdance classes. She started contemporary dance when she was 14.

In 2018 Mia performed at the opening of the V&A in Dundee and participated in the Project Y Performance Course. She joined NYDCS to explore who she is as a dancer and be part of a collective of souls doing what they are passionate about.

In the future Mia would love to tour and travel with a company to dance and use her body and voice to make a difference.

Jennifer Bruce

Jennifer (19) is from Glasgow and is currently studying a HNC Dance Artist at Glasgow Clyde College. She started dancing when her mum took her to her first dance class for her fifth birthday and hasn’t stopped dancing since!

Jennifer attended the Kate Docherty School of Dance and the Valerie Brown School of Dance. She has been part of the Scottish Ballet Youth Collective, Scottish Ballet Youth Exchange, Generation Dance Company and Barrowland Ballet Inter-generational Company.

Jennifer participated in Hothouse Level 1 and 2, the Project Y Short Course in 2013 and 2014, and the Project Y Performance Course in 2016 and 2017. This is her third year with the National Youth Dance Company of Scotland. Jennifer joined NYDCS as she feels the company provides tools such as networking, technique, creativity and personal development to help you become the best version of you.

In the future, she would like to go to a school in London to get her degree in dance.

Shannon Dray

Shannon (20) is from Dundee and is currently studying a BA in Contemporary Dance Performance at the Northern School of Contemporary Dance in Leeds. She started dancing when she was ten years old with Scottish Dance Theatre’s Youth Dance Company.

Prior to moving to Leeds, Shannon studied at the Scottish School of Contemporary Dance for three years. She has worked as support worker in creative learning for Scottish Dance Theatre and also participated in the Project Y Performance Course in 2014 and 2015. This is Shannon’s fourth year as an NYDCS member.

She joined the company to progress into a more independent, open-minded and creative dance artist. In the future, she would like to dance professionally in a rep company.

Melissa Heywood

Melissa (18) is from Aberdeen and is currently studying a BA (Hons) in Musical Theatre at the MGA Academy of Performing Arts.

She started dancing around the age of three but only became serious about dance as a career when she discovered contemporary dance through Fusion Youth Dance when she was 14.

Melissa has taken part in a number of dance projects including being a paid dancer for choreographer Jack Webb and artist Emily Speed in their work ‘facades/fronts’ in the Aberdeen Look Again Festival 2018; the Youth Music Theatre production of Reflections on Swan Lake directed by Rachel Birch-Lawson and Kyle Eccles at Saddlers Wells; and a curtain raiser for Rosie Kay Company’s performance of 5 Soldiers at The Gordon Barracks in Aberdeen.

She is also a member of Lothian Youth Dance Company and participated in the 2018 Project Y Performance Course. Melissa joined NYDCS as she feels the company not only offers incredible dance experience but also life experiences.

In the future she would love to perform and tour in either contemporary dance or musical theatre.

Nicola McFall

Nicola (19) is from Dumbarton and is currently studying Dance at Glasgow Clyde College. She started dancing when she was eight when she took her first highland dance class.

Before studying at college, Nicola was a competitive street dancer for over six years and achieved first place titles in Scottish, British and World Championships. She also trained and competed with street dance company, The Honeys. She joined NYDCS to enhance her dance career whilst representing the youth of Scotland.

In the future she would like to attend dance school in London.

Taine McKinstray

Taine (17) is from Anstruther and is currently studying a HNC in Contemporary Dance Performance at the Scottish School of Contemporary Dance. She started dancing when she was two years old when her parents took her to her first ballet class and she fell in love.

She tried various styles and when she joined Scottish Dance Theatre classes discovered contemporary was the style for her. She is a member of Scottish Dance Theatre’s Youth Company and has performed at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2017 and 2018. She participated in the Project Y Performance Course in 2018 and has previously taken part in Hothouse, Connections and the Project Y Short Course.

She joined NYDCS for the chance to work with interesting and talented individuals, to challenge herself and for the performance experience.

In the future she would like to work with companies across the UK and internationally.

Emma Murphy

Emma (17) is from Paisley and currently studying a HNC in Dance at West College Scotland. She started dancing when she was three when her mum took her to her first dance class.

She has performed in Go Dance for the past few years and is a member of right2dance Youth Company. Emma also took part in a week-long residency with two of Matthew Bourne’s dancers. She participated in the Project Y Performance Course in 2018 and has also taken part in Destinations 2016, 2017 and 2018. Emma joined NYDCS as she has followed YDance for many years and has always looked up to and been inspired by the company.

In the future she would like to study at the Northern School of Contemporary Dance or the Scottish School of Contemporary Dance.

Catriona O’Connor

Catriona (19) is from Stirling and is currently studying a HNC in Dance at Glasgow Clyde College. She was two when she first started dancing when her mum saw an advert in the newspaper.

She started with ballet and as she got older started doing tap, jazz and modern. She started contemporary when she was 15. Catriona performed at the closing ceremony for the Commonwealth Games in 2014 and has also been a member of Scottish Ballet’s Youth Collective, Glasgow Youth Dance Company and Horizons Integrated Youth Dance Company. She participated in the Project Y Performance Course in 2015, 2016 and 2017 and was also a member of the Generation Dance Company. She joined NYDCS as she feels it will help her develop as a performer and as a dancer.

In the future she would like to be a contemporary performer or a choreographer.

Jemma Stein

Jemma (21) is from Aberdeen and currently studying a BA (Hons) in Contemporary Dance at the Northern School of Contemporary Dance in Leeds.

She was first introduced to dance at a young age when she took classes in ballet, jazz, modern and tap. She only found contemporary when she was 16 when she was offered a place in Fusion Youth Dance Company. She has worked with Tamysn Russell, Rosie Kay, Steven Martin, Joan Cleville, Emma Jayne Park and the National Theatre of Scotland. In 2016/17, Jemma was a Young Creative for One Dance UK and a Youth Dance Ambassador. Her choreography work was also shown at DanceLive in 2018. She also participated in the Project Y Performance Course in 2016, 2017 and 2018 and is a former member of Horizons Integrated Youth Dance Company.

This is Jemma’s second year with NYDCS. She joined for the opportunity to train in a pre-professional company.

In the future, she would like to perform in a touring company and be an advocate for dance.

Euan Stephen

Euan (19) is from Glasgow and is currently studying a HNC in Dance at West College Scotland. He started dancing when he was 17 after being inspired by a TV programme about The Royal Ballet.

He started taking weekly ballet classes and was introduced to contemporary dance when he started college. He participated in the Project Y Performance Course in 2018. Euan joined NYDCS to experience life as a company member, travel the world and be pushed out of his comfort zone.

In the future he would like to continue his studies at the Northern School of Contemporary Dance.

Josh Stewart

Josh (17) is from Glasgow and currently studying a HNC in Dance at Glasgow Clyde College. He first started dancing when he was five years old when his best friend got him involved.

He has gained experience with various different dance schools and has also performed on the TV show Got To Dance with a dance group called The Box. He participated in the Project Y Performance Course in 2018. This is Josh’s second year with NYDCS. He joined the company for the experience and knowledge he would gain through being part of the company.

In the future, he would like to continue his training in higher education.

Julia Wierzbinska

Julia (20) is from Pozan, Poland and is currently studying a HND in Dance at West College Scotland. She started dancing at her local dance school when she was five and took a break when she was 12 for four years.

She then decided to take Higher Dance in high school and realised how much she’d missed it. Julia took part in a 6-week summer intensive with Kibbutz Contemporary Dance in Israel and has previously taken part in Destinations and Connections with YDance. She joined NYDCS for the opportunity to connect with other young dancers and choreographers and develop and expand her skills as a dancer.

In the future she would like to continue her training in higher education.

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