DEBS 2020/21

Dancers Emerging Bursary Scheme (DEBS) – 2020/21

Every year, Dance Base offers a group of dancers and physical performers a place on our Dancers Emerging Bursary Scheme. The scheme includes mentoring from experienced dance artists, free professional classes and workshops at Dance Base, free selected community classes, up to two week-long group residencies at Dance Base and free studio space.

We are delighted to welcome Lucy Suggate as our mentor for 2020/21.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the uncertainty this has posed for many young emerging artists, this years programme runs from June 2020 - July 2021 (rather than our normal September start date).


About the DEBS 2020/21:

Underpinning my work has been the commitment to and long-term development of a regular/daily practice. Having a practice has enabled me to teach, choreograph, perform, research and communicate my ideas beyond the studio and beyond my art form. My practice for the last decade has been routed in movement and in expanding and pushing the boundaries of what 21st century dance, movement and choreography can be.

The Dancers Emerging Bursary Scheme is an opportunity for young artists to discover and unlock their own practice through movement, dance, choreography and performance. By participating in residencies, regular movement sessions and one on one mentoring they will develop a deeper understanding of current professional dance contexts and how to bravely, safely and ethically navigate your way forwards.

A lot of the work we will explore together will include an aspect of the “Micro & Macro” which means that while we will focus on movement material, we will also be looking at the bigger picture, the multiple contexts we find ourselves working and living in, be it social, political, ethical or economic.

--- Lucy Suggate


DEBS 2020/21 Members:

Hamshya Rajkumar

Hamshya Rajkumar is a multidisciplinary artist. She graduated with a BA(Hons) Sculpture & Environmental Art from the Glasgow School of Art in 2018, and Land Arts of the American West 2016 alumna. 

By situating the body outside the constraints of binary structures, she explores our human place in a world where ‘nature’ is separate, dominated and objectified. Her performance work strives to reveal the spectrality of multiple scales of coexisting lifeforms as a social body. 

Her experience in dance originates in Bharathanatyam, leading her to experiment with improvised dance, movement and physical performance within her defined contexts of Land+|Sea:scapes. 

Recently she has completed the Emerging Socially Engaged Artist Residency at Mount Stuart.


Jorja Follina

Jorja started dancing at the age of two and went on to perform and compete in ballet, jazz and lyrical. She moved from the Isle of Wight to Dundee in order to pursue a growing passion for contemporary dance, studying at The Scottish School of Contemporary Dance. During her final year of training, she gained a position in the National Youth Dance Company of Scotland, touring Scotland and performing in Melbourne, Australia. After graduating with a First Class Honours Degree in Contemporary Dance Performance, Jorja was awarded a Bridge Award Internship with Scottish Dance Theatre in which she set up her community project, Re-Mind. Since then, she has been working as a freelance dancer, dance teacher and fitness instructor. She has performed a number of works with Dundee based dance company Shaper/Caper, including the V&A Opening Ceremony, and has performed with Norwich based collective Flux Intermedia. Jorja enjoys physical challenges as well as somatic research, improvisation and collaborating with artists from other forms. She is currently teaching a range of online dance and fitness classes as well as taking time to research and train at home.


Laura Booth

Laura Booth is a dance artist, yoga teacher and you’ll often find her with a notebook and a pen, writing or drawing whatever comes to mind. Her passion for words led her to receive the writing award at Northern School of Contemporary Dance where she graduated with first class honours in 2019. 

Laura is drawn to working with somatic approaches that welcome everybody and every body to experience their own dance. Dancing for joy, dancing to process, dancing to tune in and dancing to tune out, dancing like nobody is watching, dancing together and dancing to share.

Most recently Laura has co-created a project in Aberdeen called Open Sessions, an improvisational workshop and performance. It has been developed from the ideas of listening beyond the ears and creating together for joy through the means of movement, live music and mark marking. Open Sessions has welcomed participants between the ages of 14-82 and is being redeveloped for an early years setting. Laura has also been working with Four Hands, a Little Big Dance supported artist, on a new work which acknowledges and validates the depth of emotions in the childhood experience.


Laura Fisher

Laura graduated in 2018 from the BA (Hons) Contemporary Performance Practice programme at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, after previously leaving her BA studies at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance to manage a chronic pain condition. Laura works as a dance artist and a producer with her practice spanning visual art, performance design, dramaturgy and site specific performance.

Laura approaches all her work with the fundamental principles of research and collaboration and is committed to unlearning ableist notions of dance and de-centring the physically elitist body from the core of dance practice. She is currently researching choreographic space, scenography and non human movement within expanded dance and is delighted to be joining DEBS 20/21.


Sky Su

was born in a dream called america / new old land of tall trees and high rise clouds / being taught that free speech means freedom and your silences / the oppressor / taiwanese american boy loving boy of art loving parents / in a house filled with silences / room to contemplate life’s two faced peculiarity / and uprooting / running away from home in a plane with a ticket to freedom paid for by your ancestors / to touch down in scot land / to earn a degree to work a living to grasp with fingers at no place called home / to hear for the first time your own voice / looking in to the eyes of no other / I am slowly landing in this living dying body / skin porous — the colour of humid air

Sky dedicates this year with Lucy and the DEBS to focus on developing a practice that sustains creative action and inquiry, looking at embodied ways of being together, with open minds and hearts.

Creative Scotland
Supported by Edinburgh
Supported by the City of Edinburgh Council