Northern School of Contemporary Dance

Northern School of Contemporary Dance

Northern School of Contemporary Dance
Established 1985
Type Contemporary dance school
Principal Janet Smith
Students Approximately 200
Location Leeds, United Kingdom
Affiliations Conservatoire for Dance and Drama
University of Kent

The Northern School of Contemporary Dance (NSCD) is a higher education institution in Chapeltown, Leeds, England specialising in contemporary dance. It is an affiliate of the Conservatoire for Dance and Drama, and students can obtain a Bachelor of Performing Arts (B.P.A.) degree, validated by the University of Kent. A foundation course and postgraduate qualifications are also offered, and a programme of adult, youth and children's classes is available for the local community.

History and buildings

The school was founded in 1985 by Nadine Senior MBE and in 1987 it moved into its current premises, a red-brick former synagogue on Chapeltown Road built 1929-1932. The building is grade II listed[1] as are the boundary walls, which probably date to about 1835.[2] Between 1987 and 1997, a series of phased developments were carried out which extended the site to include the adjacent Brandsby Lodge,[3] also a grade II listed building.[4] This £3.2 million redevelopment, which resulted in the creation of four new dance studios and additional teaching facilities, was completed with funding support from the National Lottery through the Arts Council of England and the Foundation for Sports and the Arts.[5]

In 1988, the converted Synagogue re-opened its doors as The Dome Theatre and in 1993 was renamed The Riley Theatre in dedication to the memory of Jeffrey Riley, who was the School’s Technical Director between 1985 and 1993.

Founding Principal Nadine Senior MBE retired in 2001 and was replaced in 2002 by Gurmit Hukam. A year later, in 2003, NSCD became officially affiliated to the Conservatoire for Dance and Drama.[6] In 2012, Janet Smith left her position as Artistic Director of Scottish Dance Theatre to become the current principal of the School.

Vocational training

NSCD offers full-time vocational training in contemporary dance at foundation, degree and postgraduate diploma/MA level.[7] The training includes classes influenced by the techniques of Cunningham and Graham, the more modern hybrid, evolved techniques and release based techniques as well as complementary training in ballet, yoga and fitness.[8]

Centre for Advanced Training

In 2004, with funding support from the Department for Children, Schools & Families’ Music and Dance Scheme, NSCD and Northern Ballet came together to establish Yorkshire Young Dancers (YYD), the first national dance Centre for Advanced Training (CAT) in the UK.[9] There are now a total of 10 dance CATs offering pre-vocational dance training to young people across the country.[10]


  1. ^  
  2. ^  
  3. ^ "About us; History". NSCD. Retrieved 21 February 2014. 
  4. ^  
  5. ^ "About us; History; Timeline". NSCD. Retrieved 1 April 2014. 
  6. ^ "Affiliate Schools; NSCD". CDD. Retrieved 1 April 2014. 
  7. ^ "Courses; Our courses". NSCD. Retrieved 1 April 2014. 
  8. ^ "Courses; Our courses; BPA (hons) in Contemporary Dance; Technique and Performance Practice". NSCD. Retrieved 1 April 2014. 
  9. ^ "Community Programmes; Yorkshire Young Dancers (YYD) National Centre for Advanced Training". NSCD. Retrieved 1 April 2014. 
  10. ^ "National Dance Cats". National Dance Cats. Retrieved 1 April 2014. 

External links

  • Official website
  • "Northern School of Contemporary Dance". EduBase2. Department for Education. Retrieved 21 February 2014. 
  • NSCD at Higher Education Degree Datacheck
  • Berry, Kevin (4 April 2013). "Northern School of Contemporary Dance Spring Showcase". The Stage. Retrieved 21 February 2014.  Review of showcase performance
  • CDD official website
  • Brierley, Ceri (15 November 2011). "Janet Smith announced as new principal of NSCD". NSCD. Retrieved 1 April 2014.  NSCD news release
  • National Dance CATs official website