CYC Dance

Curve Young Dance Company is for young performers who want to develop their contemporary dance technique, choreography and performance skills. This group is by Curve Associate Dance Artist Mel Knott, along with guest teachers and professional dancers. We welcome dancers with experience in any dance styles, or those with performing experience who want to extend their dance skills.

As part of the company you will create different projects throughout the year, devising your own pieces and performing on both traditional stages and in site-specific venues and festivals around the city.


Following Government guidance around the COVID-19 pandemic, Curve is currently closed for performances and other activities until Saturday 31st October 2020. As such our application window for 2020/21 has been put on hold.

As soon as we are in position to re-open the building, we will begin to make plans around opening applications and holding auditions. All of this information will be available on our website and advertised on our social media channels, so please do continue to check these regularly for further updates.


Who can join CYC Dance?

Our CYC Dance groups are for young people aged 12 – 19 years at start of school year. The groups meet on Thursday evenings between 5pm – 7pm and 7pm – 9.30pm during school term times.

Our CYC Dance company runs as two groups – Elevate and Enhance. The groups are allocated considering both age and capability, so that the sessions are tailored to the right level for the participants’ experience. Both groups will train and develop dance technique, choreography and expression, with opportunities to perform in events at Curve and other locations across the city. There are also times in the year when both groups come together to make one larger piece, and take part in professional workshops.

Elevate (5pm – 7pm)
This group may be right for you if:

  • You have some experience of studying dance technique in any style, but have never had the opportunity to work on contemporary dance or do your own choreography before.
  • You are used to creative and choreographic work, but have not yet had the opportunity to study any dance techniques.
  • You are an actor or Musical Theatre performer who is keen to improve their dance skills.

Enhance (7pm – 9.30pm)
This group may be right for you if:

  • You have many years of studying dance technique, such as contemporary, modern, jazz, street dance forms or ballet, are used to dancing within and ensemble and have experience of choreographing your own work.
  • You are studying GCSE, A-Level or BTEC Dance courses and want to complement your studies while extending your opportunities to perform and choreograph within an ensemble company structure.
  • You are on a talent development programme for dance which is increading your potential to move into a future career as a performer.
  • Please be advised that the Enhance company is best suited to dancers aged 14+ years.


Who will be leading the CYC Dance sessions?

Our CYC Dance Leader and Choreographer is Mel Knott, Lecturer in Community Dance at DMU and Curve Associate Artist. Our CYC Dance Assistant Choreographer is Liam Bone.


What will I get from joining CYC Dance?

Both dance companies will be working towards newly devised performance pieces for the county youth dance platform Mass Movement, at the end of January 2020. There will also be a further performance opportunity in the Curve Studio at the end of the Summer term, plus potential opportunities at other city festivals and events.

Dancers will also get:

  • Improved contemporary dance skills, using contemporary dance as a foundation to develop technique, choreography and expressive skills before drawing on different styles of dance.
  • Regular opportunities to work collaboratively with other dancers and the director of the company, with dancers’ voices and creative development embedded within the artistic responses.
  • Skills in using a range of structures and choreographic devices to communicate ideas through dance to an audience.
  • Opportunities make and perform dances for a range of performance events at Curve and beyond.
  • Opportunities to work with Curve’s Technical, Stage Management and Wardrobe teams on productions, giving experience of backstage professional theatre practices.
  • At least two workshops from visiting dance professionals in addition to the weekly classes. These are confirmed each year in conjunction with the dance companies performing at Curve.
  • Access to information and workshops with the East Midlands Centre for Advanced Training (CAT) in Dance. CYC Dance is a satellite company for all Leicestershire dancers in the CAT programme, providing them with a midweek training provision.
  • Opportunities to watch a full range of professional dance productions from companies and choreographers visiting Curve (some additional ticket costs may apply).
  • Discounted ticket prices for Let’s Dance International Frontiers festival, held in Leicester each May and led by Serendipity.
  • Advice and support on how to take your dance career to the next stage.
  • A free Curve 16 – 26 Membership, with benefits including ticket deals and discounts around the city (ages 16+ only).


CYC Dance in action during lockdown

Each week during lockdown Curve Young Dance Company have been meeting on Thursday evenings as they usually do, transferring the Curve studios into the virtual Zoom room! In between sessions on technique and developing creative ideas they have been set tasks to do at home. These films feature some of our company dancers who have been able to engage whilst in lockdown.

CYC Dance Enhance: ...the pulse remains

This piece from CYC Dance Enhance is inspired by Gary Clarke Company’s Wasteland. It takes repertoire from this work, reimagined into the dancer’s home spaces, and particularly draws upon the repetitive pulse and individual euphoria from the rave culture as a reference to keep moving wherever we are.

Read CYC Dance Enhance member Connor Cropley’s blog on digital dancing through lockdown here.

“What a fantastic film you have made. It was great to see some of the movements from the show and how you had creatively worked with it. You all look fantastic! And I LOVED your costume choices too. I showed the rest of the company and everyone was blown away by your work. I feel very privileged that you worked with Wasteland as it is a piece of work close to my heart.” – Gary Clarke

…the pulse remains has already been showcased in the National Youth Dance Platform UDance Digital led by One Dance UK and is due to be showcased in a youth dance festival curated by Flexus Dance Collective on 6 Aug, alongside and incredible line-up of 22 youth dance companies, including CYC Dance Elevate’s piece Watching Me: Waiting Days!.

Choreographed by Mel Knott, Laura Bryan and the dancers

CYC Dance Elevate: Watching Me: Waiting Days!

This is a screen piece re-imagined from our work Watching Me: Watching You: Who?, which was created for the Leicestershire Youth Dance Platform, Mass Movement 2020. Our CYC Dance Elevate group members were inspired by Gogglebox (Channel 4) and our obsession with watching people who are watching people! It originally had moving sofas on stage, and so some of the company worked with the same movement material at home, adapting to their own sofas, spaces and surroundings, and the final work has an essence of the time passing by during the lockdown months of 2020.

Read CYC Dance Elevate member Grace Richardson’s blog on keep creative with CYC during lockdown here.