Lothian Youth Dance Company Choreographer Commission Callout

LYDC Commission

After a successful application to the Scottish Government’s second Performing Arts Venue Relief Fund (PAVRF), Dance Base Scotland are seeking to commission a choreographer to create a piece of work for the resident Lothian Youth Dance Company (LYDC). This will form part of our larger PAVRF supported showcasing and commissioning programme running from September - December 2021.  


About LYDC 

Established in 2016, LYDC offers talented dancers aged 14-21 from Edinburgh, the Lothians, and Fife the opportunity to broaden their contemporary dance and performance experience as part of a performing dance company. The company meet for one full day each month to develop their contemporary dance technique and creative skills, and rehearse for upcoming performances. 

The company also meet for two intensive creation periods out-with term time in October and April. During these week-long residencies, the young people will work with a professional Dance Artist to make an original performance piece. 

This September, we welcome a brand new company of 8 young dancers back into our studios, after more than year off during the COVID 19 pandemic. 


The Commission 

 Dance Base is seeking to commission an experienced Dance Artist or Choreographer to create an original performance piece with our new youth dance company for a showcase event in December 2021 at Dance Base, Edinburgh. 

The choreographer will work with the young dancers from 10.00 – 16.00 every day from Monday 18 - Friday 22 October. The choreographer must be available for these dates and times. 

The choreographer will also be required to attend dress rehearsals with the company ahead of performance dates (TBC) in December 2021. 


We invite ideas that: 

  • Will inspire and appropriately challenge our young dancers 
  • Are exciting, engaging, and inclusive 
  • Will support this new company to form trust and relationships with one another
  • Can be achieved in a short time period
  • Require limited technical resources
  • Will result in a finished piece between 5- 10 minutes in length 


This is an opportunity for artists who: 

  • Are based in Scotland, and who see their work as based in physical or choreographic practices 
  • Have experience and interest in working with young people 
  • Are able to present and realise an exciting, high quality idea for a performance piece 
  • Are creative, flexible, and adaptable 


Dance Base will provide: 

  • A commissioning fee of £2,000 
  • Space in Studio 2 at Dance Base from 9.30- 17.30 every day during the residency period (18 – 22 October 2021) 
  • A production budget (to be discussed with the Dance Base team) 
  • An additional access fund to support any access requirements the artist may have 
  • Support from the LYDC lead artist as rehearsal director for one day during the residency and at least one day in preparation for any performances
  • Technical support from a theatre technician to present the work, and support its delivery
  • Accommodation in Edinburgh for those artists based in other parts of Scotland
  • Travel expenses where required
  • Administrative support from the Dance Base team
  • At least one opportunity for public performance of the piece
  • A PVG update where required 


How to apply:  

The Lothian Youth Dance Company members will make the final decision to choose the commission they want to work on. Please make sure that your application is young-person friendly and can be easily understood. 

Please submit: 

  • An application form sharing your idea and telling us about your previous experience. This should be either as a video/audio recording of no more than 6 minutes or in a written format of no more than 800 words. Visual quality, camera and editing skills will not be taken into consideration for filmed submissions and spelling and grammar will not form part of the consideration of written applications. 
  • A Cover Sheet with your contact information. To ensure your data is protected this page will be removed from your application by our producing team prior to sending it to the decision-making panel. 
  • A link to more information about your practice. This could be a CV, personal statement or a link to your website, included in your application form. 
  • A digitally completed Equality Diversity, and Inclusion monitoring form, if you feel comfortable to do so. 

Remember that this will shared with our young dancers and they will make their decisions based on your submission. 

Please send this to Kirsty Somerville, Programmes Manager, kirsty.somerville@dancebase.co.uk  

Deadline: 11.00 Tuesday 21st September 

Should you wish to have a conversation about the application process, require this information in an alternative format, or have access requirements we need to meet to support you in making an application please contact Kirsty at Dance Base on kirsty.somerville@dancebase.co.uk  


Dance Base recognise that there are significant barriers to working in the dance sector and that these challenges are experienced more acutely by those facing marginalisation and deep-rooted systemic injustice. This includes people with protected characteristics as defined by the Equality Act 2010 across age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation alongside those with chronic illness, neurodiversity, parental/caring responsibilities, experience of the immigration system and people from working-class backgrounds. 

We are committed to increasing the diversity of artists working in our sector and especially welcome applications from those who identify as having characteristics currently under-represented in our sector. 


How we are selecting: 

Stage 1 

A shortlist will be chosen by a panel of Dance Base staff, including at least one member of the Artist Advisory Group (members of the Scottish dance community). The panel will base their decision on: 

  • Strength of idea: creativity and suitability for the age group  
  • Viability of idea: if it can be achieved in time frame, if there is experience to achieve this  
  • Experience of artist: relevant experience in making new work that has been presented professionally, relevant experience in working with young people

Stage 2 

The shortlisted submissions will be presented to the young dancers, who will discuss and select their preferred candidate. 



Tuesday 21 Sept | Application deadline  

Thursday 23 Sept | Shortlist given to young people 

Tuesday 28 Sept | Artists informed of outcome 

Monday 18 - 22 Oct | Residency week 

December TBC | Dress rehearsal and performances  

While we plan for this residency to take place in-person at Dance Base’s studios in the Grassmarket, Edinburgh, we appreciate that a change in restrictions may prevent this from taking place. We will respond to government guidelines and may have to move to online delivery in the event of severe restrictions being introduced. In this event, we will liaise with the artist and young people, and support the team to adapt accordingly. 

Creative Scotland
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Supported by the City of Edinburgh Council