“Dance is transformative and at NSCD we see it changing lives.” – Janet Smith MBE, Principal of Northern School of Contemporary Dance.
Dance is one of the world’s most popular and profound performing arts, with the power to transcend words and lay bare our inner selves.
Based in Leeds, a recognised City of Dance in the UK, Northern School of Contemporary Dance (NSCD) is a hub for contemporary dance in the North of England. It’s also one of six school that form the world-leading Conservatoire for Dance and Drama (CDD) – awarded Gold in the latest Teaching Excellence Framework.
NSCD itself has delivered elite and specialist training to talented students for more than three decades, hosting around 200 full-time students at CertHE, undergraduate and postgraduate levels, drawing students from no less than 25 diverse cultures. Teachers here are eager to feed your passion and talent for your art, shaping you into a confident, trailblazing professional with a hunger for success.
“Our educational approach encourages the openness and the personal growth required to become an artist,” says Janet Smith MBE, Principal of the school. “The staff and I are proud of the expressive, reflective performers, and the distinctive creative voices emerging from the school. It’s extremely rewarding to see our graduates achieving their ambitions.”
One such student whose aspirations were unleashed at NSCD is the now celebrated choreographer, Akram Khan MBE. In just over 18-years, the Akram Khan Company has established itself as one of the most innovative in the world.
Students at this school are given an intimate, supportive and inherently creative environment that truly allows them to thrive. Programmes are designed to refine adaptable, collaborative and unique movement artists, equipped with professional-standard technical and performance abilities.
NSCD’s respected programmes include:
This fast-paced one-year full-time course introduces students to dance at conservatoire level. Students develop creative, technique and performance skills; a strong foundation for further study.
A renowned 3-year full-time programme, the BA at Northern has a great track record for students entering the profession. Students gain experience in the roles of creator, performer and teacher, ready for a varied and meaningful career in dance.
A one-year, full-time taught programme, the MA in Contemporary Dance (VERVE) at NSCD is a platform that allows you to flourish. Students join VERVE- an internationally-touring contemporary dance company, providing the rigour and challenge required to fine-tune your physical skill and build a deeper understanding of dance in a professional context.
This unique taught programme combines equal weighting in choreographic and business studies to make your ideas a reality. Students have space to develop their own creative voice as a maker while gaining the skills and knowledge in marketing, fundraising and arts project management to take their work to the next level.
Here, you’ll have access to Riley Theatre – NSCD’s professional-standard facility – for the duration of your studies. At the Theatre, students take class, rehearse and have opportunities to take part in both informal and formal showcases, some of which are open to the public to give students a taste of a ‘real live’ audience. Riley Theatre also hosts a regular and inspiring programme of performances from leading national and international dance companies, bringing dance from around the world to your doorstep.
But on top of all this, NSCD is a school that understands the importance of networking and industry connections. That’s why staff here strive to place students in front of those who matter most. Learners gain access to a reputed professional circuit, giving them a chance to impress those who might employ them after graduation.
The school’s professional prowess starts from within, with a staff base entirely comprised of experienced industry professionals – not to mention the extensive list of visiting artists and companies who enrich training every year. These artists lead performance projects, masterclasses, workshops, mock and real auditions, contribute to career talks and sit on assessment panels, while students are encouraged to participate in external projects and commissions. In-house classes expose students to a variety of styles and approaches, simultaneously providing a breadth of complimentary experiences.
Graduates have secured work with diverse companies internationally including Scottish Dance Theatre, tanzmainz, Hofesh Schecter company and Ultima Vez, just to name a few.
“We provide an inclusive learning environment and nurture a spirit of generosity in which everyone is valued.” Smith concludes. “We encourage learning through ‘mistakes’ and aim to provide a safe place for students to take creative risks, to dare to be excellent and to inspire others.”
Apply to the Northern School of Contemporary Dance and shape the future of your art.