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Press Release: National Youth Dance Company (NYDC) announces eighth new cohor

Jan McNulty

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National Youth Dance Company (NYDC) announces its eighth new cohort to work with Guest Artistic Director Russell Maliphant 


The country’s flagship company for young dancers, run by Sadler’s Wells, has selected its eighth intake of dancers sourced from 25 towns, cities and villages across England. The new cohort joins Guest Artistic Director and Sadler’s Wells Associate Artist Russell Maliphant to work on a new piece especially created by Maliphant for NYDC. The piece premieres at DanceEast on Saturday 18 April 2020.


Covering all regions across the country, 20 workshops took place from May - July to select the 30 new members for the 2019/20 intake. Consisting of 15 female and 15 male dancers aged 15 - 24, the new members join 10 dancers returning from last year to form an impressive cohort of 40.


The new Guest Artistic Director Russell Maliphant takes over from last year’s Guest Artistic Director Botis Seva whose Olivier Award-winning work BLKDOG formed part of the Sadler’s Wells’ 20th anniversary commission, Reckonings, in October 2018. Seva’s commission for NYDC, MADHEAD, was presented in Ipswich, Plymouth, Newcastle, Essex, Brighton, Birmingham and London.


Russell Maliphant established his own dance company in 1996 as the framework to create productions and work with his own ensemble of dancers. He has received two Olivier awards, three South Bank Show awards and four Critics’ Circle National Dance awards, amongst many other national and international awards and nominations. The Russell Maliphant Dance Company became one of Arts Council England’s National Portfolio Organisations in April 2018. Maliphant’s work has also been performed by renowned dance artists including Sylvie Guillem, BalletBoyz, Munich Ballet and English National Ballet. Maliphant became an Associate Artist of Sadler's Wells in 2005 and was awarded an honorary doctorate of arts from Plymouth University in 2011.

Two graduates of NYDC, Edd Arnold and Folu Odimayo, make up part of the Russell Maliphant Dance Company and can be seen performing in Silent Lines at Sadler’s Wells, on 18 & 19 October.

During the dancers’ time with NYDC, they are offered a unique insight into the dance profession, living and working closely together as a company, alongside NYDC staff and the artistic team. The year-long experience in the company provides members with the necessary skills and techniques to find career opportunities and raise aspirations, self-esteem and confidence.


The dancers are mentored during four intensive residencies in school holidays to create and rehearse the new piece: 19 - 22 October (Ipswich), 14 - 19 December (Birmingham), 15 - 23 February (TBC) and the final residency takes place in Ipswich and London, between 4 - 19 April, ahead of the opening night at DanceEast. 

The 30 new dancers for 2019/20 are:

Aaliyah Francis, London

Amelia Clarke, London

Cameron Cook, Cheshire

Charlotte Hoyle, Nottingham

Chiara Moore, Warrington

Dylan Jones, Wiltshire

Elisabeth Mulenga, Birmingham

Eve Shorten, Oxfordshire

Haydn Hull, East Ardsley

Jack Ward, Newcastle

Jacob Philips, Bristol

Joshua Pilgrim, Somerset

Kenan Smith, Worsbrough Dale

Lauryn Bryan, London

Leo Udvarlaky, Kent

Lewis Logie, Carlisle

Mareih Belocura, Worthing

Meghan Warburton, Kidlington

Mia Grote, Totnes

Mirabelle Haddon, London

Philippa Brewis, Suffolk

Renette Wesley, London

Sonny Connor-Bell, Birmingham

Sonny Cwynarski, London

Spike King, Twickenham

Steffi Fashokun, Truro

Tom Sutton, Middlesbrough

Wil Trash, Barnsley

Willow Fenner, London

Zac Crowe, Preston


The new intake joins the 10 returning dancers:

Ethan Hurip, Brighton

Faye McLoughlin, Bristol

Hannah Joseph, London

Harvey Burke-Hamilton, Surrey

Karim Dime, London

Maia Faulker, Brighton

Mark Halton, Ambleside

Mathilde Anderson Mellor, Brighton

Millie Smith-Hashim, Brighton

Sekou Diaby, London

Notes to Editors


Sadler's Wells is a world-leading creative organisation dedicated to dance in all its forms. With over three centuries of theatrical heritage and a year-round programme of performances and learning activities, it is the place where artists come together to create dance, and where people of all backgrounds come to experience it – to take part, learn, experiment and be inspired.

Audiences of over half a million come to its London theatres each year, with many more enjoying its touring productions at venues across the UK and around the world, and accessing its content through digital channels.

Sadler's Wells commissions, produces and presents more new dance work than any other theatre in the world, embracing the popular and the unknown. Since 2005, it has helped to bring over 160 new dance works to the stage, many of them involving its 16 Associate Artists, three Resident Companies and four Associate Companies – the most exciting talents working in dance today.

It also nurtures the next generation of talent through research and development, running the National Youth Dance Company and a range of programmes including Wild Card, New Wave Associates, Open Art Surgery and Summer University. Sadler's Wells' learning and engagement activities reach over 25,000 annually through programmes that take dance out into the community and invite communities into the theatre. Projects include community productions and the renowned Company of Elders, its resident over-60s performance group, while events range from pre and post-show talks with dance artists to classes, workshops and assisted performances.

Located in Islington, north London, the current building is the sixth to have stood on site since entrepreneur Richard Sadler first established the theatre in 1683. The venue has played an illustrious role in the history of theatre ever since, with The Royal Ballet, Birmingham Royal Ballet and English National Opera having all started at Sadler's Wells.




Founded in 2012, and hosted at Sadler’s Wells, NYDC is an exciting young company that creates and performs innovative and influential dance, drawing together some of the brightest young talent from across the country. The company has a track record of putting young people on paths to successful dance careers, with over 80% of NYDC dancers going onto further dance studies, in vocational training or working professionally. 
NYDC is jointly funded by Arts Council England, under National Portfolio Organisation funding, and the Department for Education. Since NYDC’s inception in 2012: 

  • 240 dancers have joined the company, working intensively with renowned dance artists including Guest Artistic Directors: Jasmin Vardimon (2012-13), Akram Khan (2013-14), Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui (2014-15), Michael Keegan Dolan (2015-16), Damien Jalet (2016-17), Sharon Eyal (2017-18)  Botis Seva (2018-19) and Russell Maliphant (2019-20). These 240 dancers come from over 80 different towns and cities in England
  • Over 3,500 young people have worked with the company 
  • NYDC has delivered 147 workshops in 44 different venues across 29 towns and cities 
  • NYDC has reached an audience of over 45,000 people
  • NYDC has featured in 79 performances, visiting 26 different venues across the UK, including some leading theatres in the country
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Thanks for highlighting this... I confess I didn’t know if this...

It sounds like a bridge between training & the profession; would that be a correct interpretation?

Am I right also to see this as Contemporary? 

Am interested to know if it is fully funded? Do the young dancers get paid at all or indeed do they have to self fund to take part any amounts towards accommodation/travel/training provided at the residentials? 

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Thanks Jan - looks amazing & fantastic value (all that really for under £600??) 

Reading other threads here where learning how vocational costs appear ever more extensive it does make one wonder if there are other routes worth considering? 

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