U.Dance NW 2016


2016 is a very exciting year for the North West! 

Not only are NorthWestDance delivering the annual regional youth dance performance festival U.Dance NW at The Lowry  BUT we will also be hosting the annual National Youth Dance Festival U.Dance 2016 in Salford in association with One Dance UK.

One Dance UK is the national body for dance in the UK, formed by the merger of Association of Dance of the African Diaspora (ADAD), Dance UK, National Dance Teachers Association (NDTA) and Youth Dance England. The organisation represents dancers at all levels of the dance industry, and champions excellence in education, youth dance, dance of the African diaspora, performance, health and well-being, management, leadership and career development.

We cannot wait!!! 

U.Dance NW 2016

On 12th and 13th March 2016 NorthWest Dance played host to the region’s largest youth dance festival U.Dance NW.

Over two nights, youth dance companies from all over the North West showcased their very best talents in an exhilarating evening of exciting and varied dance. From Contemporary to Jazz, Hip Hop to Dance Theatre, and a fusion of everything in between, there really was something for everyone.

Companies from across the region sent in their applications to get involved in U.Dance NW 2016. Companies were asked to send a video submission of their piece to audition for the festival. The panel then collectively decided on the final selection of who would perform at the U.Dance NW 2016 Regional Platform.

Successful applicants were chosen by a panel of dance experts from the North West, and Lowry Youth Dance Ambassadors Scheme, selected for their individual skills and experience so applicants were in the best of hands. The panel really were spoilt with the high standard and variety of dance that was submitted this year and the decision as always was a hard one to make.

Below is the list of performing groups and you can download a copy of the evening's programmes.



Under 11's Pre-Show Performance - The Lowry Foundation Class

Eden Youth Dance Company
Commotions Boys Youth Dance Company
Dare2 Youth Dance Company
Winstanley College Youth Dance Company
Evolve Dance Company


D.O.P.E. Crew (Cheshire Dance)
AGGS Juniors Performance Group
Fylde Coast Youth Dance Company
Brewery Youth Dance Company (dance on screen)
Brewery Youth Dance Company
Ludus Youth Dance Company


Under 11's Pre-Show Performance - JumpAround

Cumbria Youth Dance Company
Homegrown Dance Theatre
Arden Dance Company
Preston Youth Dance Company


Company Boom
Formby High School Juniors
Eden Boyz Moves
NEW Dance Youth Dance Company
Commotions Girls Youth Dance Company

Well done to everyone who applied, we were delighted to see a very good standard of choreography and performance from the region, making deciding very difficult!


This year we continued our #UDanceAnywhere challenges and each youth dance company was given a map with the locations of the U.Dance 2016 logos and other video tasks between them. Attached to the U.Dance logos hidden around The Lowry was a dance photo or video challenge. Example of these challenges were: 'Spell U.Dance outside', 'Photobomb another groups photo', 'Only one of your group on the floor', 'Travel like your favourite food', 'Be James Bond'...

The @northwestdance twitter feed for two days was filled with exciting and creative #UDanceAnywhere photos and before the show each evening, two winners were chosen for the best submission and given free tickets to watch Avantgarde's 'Fagin's Twist' at The Lowry in May!

The #UDanceAnywhere photos were so incredible we wanted to share them with you! Check out the #udanceanywhere images on our Storify Feed >>>


As well as the companies peforming, they all took part in a couple of workshops throughout the day. These were led by:

Bridget Fiske / The Lowry Centre for Advanced Training – supported by Brink Dance co.


This workshop introduced participants to ways to approach choreography and improvisation in interactive digital visual environments. The session draws upon knowledge Bridget has built over the past 10 years of collaborating with digital and video artists. In the session participants explored potentials in creating duets with their own live projected image, as well as delving into abstract and surreal environments. 

Bridget is a respected dance artist who performs, choreographs, facilitates and advocates across international platforms and subjects. Through initiating as well as partnering on artistic projects, Bridget’s work collaborates with theatre, interactive technologies, environment, new music and moving image, ranging in expression from documentary to the abstract. Bridget has also been a teaching artist for The Lowry Centre for Advanced Training in Dance since it began in 2009.

Bridget was supported in these workshops by Brink Dance Company directors and Lowry CAT alumni Joe Delaney and Daisy Howell.

Company Chameleon

Malachi Simmons

Manchester’s Company Chameleon Dance Theatre was formed in 2007, out of the collective vision of Co-Artistic Directors Anthony Missen and Kevin Edward Turner.  Their collaboration began in 1994 at Trafford Youth Dance Theatre, before both received formal dance training at the Northern School of Contemporary Dance.  Upon graduating, Anthony and Kevin have gone on to work with some of the most innovative and exciting British and International Dance and Dance Theatre companies and choreographers, and now share and develop this wealth of knowledge and experience back in the North West region.

The workshop was delivered by our Associate Artist Malachi Simmons, and is a dynamic and energetic class incorporating the company's distinctive style. Designed to challenge preferred movement language and encourage the exploration of new possibilities, the session also focussed on strength and conditioning to improve general fitness and physicality. 

Avant Garde Dance Company

Tony Adigun & Lisa – Fagins Twist

Avant Garde is a London based company pushing the boundaries of hip-hop and contemporary dance. Their dynamic performances have musicality at their core and explore a myriad of styles, themes and media. Their mantra ‘Innovate Never Replicate’ is evident throughout their portfolio of work, and led by Artistic Director Tony Adigun they are committed to producing artistic work that is entertaining and challenging.

The company was formed by Tony in 2001 as a creative release from the world of commercial dance that he was working in. He wanted bring together a group of like-minded dancers to explore more unusual, abstract and artistic ideas away from the mainstream. So ‘Avant Garde’ felt like right name to represent those intentions.

‘Innovate Never Replicate’

Get Involved in Running U.Dance 2016

Our Lowry Youth Dance Ambassadors are in charge of making the day fun and memorable for the dancers! They welcome the groups and introduce the day with a getting-to-know-you session and create challenges and activities throughout the day such as our #UDanceAnywhere competition! 

This year we are recruiting new Lowry Youth Dance Ambassadors aged 18-25 who will work towards supporting us to deliver U.Dance NW and the National Festival, U.Dance 2016. 

More information will be available shortly!

To find out more about local performance opportunities contact your local Dance Development Organisation: 

See website for individual email contacts and telephone numbers

01606 861770 

0161 232 7179 

01524 35936 

0151 708 8810

Follow NorthWestDance on Facebook & Twitter to find out more.