Dance Base is on a mission to get more people dancing. The organisation exists to encourage and celebrate the potential for dance in everyone.
As a National Centre for Dance in Scotland, we offer a vibrant and uplifting focal point for dance as an art form, a way to exercise, and a way of life. We reach out to inspire wellbeing and creativity, and cultivate a future for dance in local, national and international communities.
Dance Base has been active as an independent company promoting and delivering dance activity in the city of Edinburgh since 1994. The company undertook a major development with the move into new, purpose-built premises in the heart of Edinburgh's Old Town in June 2001. Scotland's first purpose-built National Centre for Dance was officially opened by our Royal Patron, The Prince Charles, Duke of Rothesay KT, KG on 21st September 2001 (pictured, left). A month later our Artistic Patron, the internationally renowned choreographer Mark Morris, celebrated with Dance Base by creating and dedicating a new work performed by his company at the Festival Theatre in Edinburgh.
Located in the Grassmarket in Edinburgh, the £6.4m centre caters for dancers of all ages and abilities, providing an accessible programme of activities that offers a diverse public a non-competitive, sociable and enjoyable way to keep physically fit and develop new creative skills. Our four world-class studios provide dancers with excellent facilities and an inspiring environment in which to dance. This has all been made possible due to £5.4m funding through the Scottish Arts Council National Lottery Fund awarded in March 1998. Other major funders of the project include the City of Edinburgh Council, Lothian and Edinburgh Enterprise, the Edinburgh World Heritage Trust and Scottish & Newcastle.
Dance Base operates three artistic programmes:
A public class programme providing over 100 classes in over 40 different forms of dance throughout the year, including: creative dance for preschool, hip hop and street dance, Cuban salsa, ballet, tap, contemporary, tango, ballroom and Egyptian belly dance – to name just a few.
A professional support programme, supporting and promoting professional dancers through classes, workshops and performance opportunities, including a Fringe Festival platform, continued professional development and management resources.
Our participation programme is designed to be as inclusive as possible, working with individuals and groups with a wide range of interests and abilities. We take dance to nurseries, primary and secondary schools, youth groups and adult day centres. We also bring groups to our fabulous studios at Grassmarket for classes and to watch professional company rehearsals. Many of our groups also go to see professional dance shows as part of their introduction to the world of dance.
Over 2,500 people a week currently experience the physical and emotional benefits of dance at Dance Base.