Applications are open for BBC Young Dancer 2017!

The BBC has launched its search for the next generation of dance talent.

Following the success of the first ever BBC Young Dancer competition last year, the BBC is now inviting young dancers to submit entries in four categories: Ballet, Contemporary, South Asian Dance and Street Dance.

See a short video about BBC Young Dancer here.

The winner from each category and up to two wild cards will earn a place in the Grand Final at Sadler’s Wells which will be televised live on BBC Two. The Grand Final will be judged by a leading panel of dance experts, to be announced.

BBC Young Dancer provides a platform for UK dancers aged 16-21 to demonstrate their dancing abilities through four competitive rounds designed to highlight their technical command, creative ability and expressive capability. Their journey through the competition from the early stages through to preparing for the Grand Final will be documented by a BBC film crew, with a documentary on each dance-form to be shown on BBC Four.

Applicants are invited to apply by downloading the entry brochure from the BBC Young Dancer website or by emailing for a hard copy.

The deadline for applications is 2 October 2016 [extended from 22 July 2016].

BBC Young Dancer is a fully inclusive project, and positively welcomes applications from deaf and disabled dancers aged 16-25. The entry brochure is also available in easy read, Braille and as an audio version (downloadable from their website).

The Grand Final of the first competition took place at Sadler’s Wells in 2015 and was won by Contemporary dancer Connor Scott (17). The judging panel included leading dance experts: Artistic Director of New Adventures, Choreographer and Director Matthew Bourne; Artistic Director of ZFin Malta, Mavin Khoo; Choreographer and Director Wayne McGregor; English National Ballet Artistic Director, Tamara Rojo; Dancer and Choreographer Kenrick Sandy; and Alistair Spalding, Chief Executive and Artistic Director of Sadler’s Wells. The other finalists were Harry Barnes (18), Kieran Lai (18), Jacob O’Connell (17), Vidya Patel (19) and Archie Sullivan (18).

BBC Young Dancer is managed and produced by BBC Studios / BBC Cymru Wales. The series executive editor is Paul Bullock, the competition manager is Kerry Clark and the commissioning editor is Jan Younghusband (Head of Commissioning, BBC Music Television and Performance).


BBC Young Dancer requires entrants to submit a video of two solo pieces by 2 October 2016 [Extended from 22 July 2016]. Each genre will be judged separately by judges with style-specific knowledge, who will narrow the video submissions down to a maximum of 80 successful entrants (20 from each category). The selected dancers will be invited to perform in front of an audience and an expert panel of judges at the second round in October / November 2016.

The competition continues at the Category Finals (round three), scheduled to take place in January 2017. Five successful dancers from each category are required to perform two solos and a pas de deux / duet to demonstrate partnering skills. Before these performances, the Category Finalists will be invited to a workshop where they will have the opportunity to work on their repertoire with experienced mentors from within their genre. One winner from each category will be selected to receive a trophy and £1,000 to help support further dance studies, and a place in the Grand Final. Up to two wildcard places may also be awarded to the best dancers who did not win their category. The Category Finals will be filmed for broadcast on BBC Four.

All dancers selected for the Grand Final will be given the opportunity to attend workshops in March with a professional choreographer from their dance style, to create a new, specially commissioned solo, and perfect their performances before the Grand Final in April 2017. The Grand Final will take place at Sadler’s Wells in London in front of a panel of internationally renowned dance professionals, a live audience, and will be broadcast live on BBC Two.

The finalists will be assessed on three pieces – two solos and a pas de deux / duet – as they dance for the prestigious title of BBC Young Dancer 2017. In addition, they will perform in a short group piece, created especially for the Grand Final.

The winner will receive a trophy and a £3,000 cash prize to help support further dance studies.


The BBC has partnered with Dancers’ Career Development to provide confidential, bespoke career transition support to the finalists of the BBC Young Dancer Competition. This continues from the aftercare support package Dancers’ Career Development provided for the six finalists of the inaugural BBC Young Dancer 2015.

Dancers’ Career Development is a registered charity which supports all professional dancers in the UK, from all genres, in their transition to a post-performance career. Transition support services include confidential one-to-one consultations; careers profiling; transition coaching; EVOLVE workshops; EMERGE shadowing programme; networking with qualified individuals and other retrained dancers; and mentoring.

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