TWO exciting nationwide competitions for Classical & Theatre Dancers.




UK Young Dancer Winners receive £1000, Runners-up £500


Our Aim

  • To find young, gifted dancers in the UK
  • To support and develop each dancer to achieve their potential
  • To broaden training and create exciting opportunities for young dancers

Would you like to support UKYD by making a donation – or you can sponsor a prize here

2024 Competition

The Leanne Benjamin AM OBE

Leanne Benjamin - UK Young Dancer

The Dame Arlene Phillips

Dame Arlene Phillips - UK Young Dancer

Coaching panel

Leanne Benjamin - UK Young Dancer

Brenda Garratt-Glassman

AED Trustee and former Dance Theatre of Harlem soloist

Leanne Benjamin - UK Young Dancer

Shevelle Dynott

AED Patron former English National Ballet Artist

Leanne Benjamin - UK Young Dancer

Lucy Banfield

Head of Dance at ArtsEd, Head of Jazz Laine Theatre Arts from April 2024

Leanne Benjamin - UK Young Dancer

Sam Francis

CEO, Artistic Director, Choreographer, and Filmmaker of X7eaven

View a short amalgamation of the three Classical pieces that can be downloaded to learn via the Register Now button below.

View a short amalgamation of the Jazz, Lyrical and Commercial pieces that can be downloaded to learn via the Register Now button below.

Some kind words…

Lily Routledge, UKYD Classical Winner

‘I loved all the classes and workshops leading up to the competition  with amazing teachers like Denzil Bailey, Shevelle Dynott and Laurretta Summerscales. Along with the unbelievable opportunity of being coached by Leanne Benjamin which was a dream come true!’

Beatriz Kingsmill-Smith, UKYD Theatre Winner

‘UK Young Dancer was such an amazing opportunity that I am so grateful to have been a part of. Surrounded by so many talented dancers; the experience was exciting and exhilarating to participate in. It helped me grow and learn and built my confidence whilst deepening my love of dancing even further.’

Catherine Webster, Guernsey Academy

‘The whole concept of the competition was so professional, no costumes and the same routine taught to all by industry professionals, which gave the competitors a true insight in how to stand out at an audition… An amazing experience!’

Abigail Bloomfield, North Star Academy

‘I loved the experience. Everyone was so supportive. Arlene and Charlotte were a real inspiration. Thank you so much!’

Jayne A Coleman, Academy of Dance

‘UKYD, was without a doubt one of the highlights of the year for my dancers, a fabulous opportunity and experience, in participating in the UKYD Top 50 and then reaching the finals. You made their year!’

Scott Millar – UKYD Classical Runner-Up

‘UKYD was one of the most enriching training experiences I’ve ever had’

Darcey-Dee Springer, UKYD Theatre Runner-Up

‘An incredible experience to learn from such inspiring people in the dance industry. Dancing in the finals in front of an esteemed audience was a memorable and valuable experience’

Ellie Harle, Academy Theatre Arts

‘I am really grateful to have taken part in the UK Young Dancer competition. Learning a set piece was a different experience for me, which was challenging but so rewarding. To have performed at the royal opera house for such an incredible panel of judges was surreal and I am excited to enter again this year’

UK Young Boy Dancer


Entries Open

UK Young Dancer video entries open 31 January and close 22 April.


100 dancers in each category will be selected to participate in a workshop in London on 16 June (Classical) & 23 June (Theatre).

Finalists announced

20 finalists in each category will be selected by 3 July 2024.

Finalists in both sections will be required to learn and perform a set solo plus a free choice.

Dancers will receive online coaching and will be mentored by Leanne Benjamin and Dame Arlene Phillips.


At the Clore Studio, Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, London in September 2024.

The day will commence with a class conducted by a professional dancer or choreographer before performing in front of an invited audience.

The panel of esteemed judges will include Leanne Benjamin (Classical Dancer) and Dame Arlene Philips (Theatre Dancer).

Image: Troy Anderson, UKYD Finalist 2023


  • Dancers must be between 14–19 years of age on 01 September 2024 and reside and train in the UK.
  • Consent to enter must be obtained from the dance teacher or school Principal.
  • Initial entry will be by video submission of the competitor’s chosen dances from the set pieces provided. Each video will be viewed by a panel of dance industry judges, who collectively will select the dancers to proceed to the Workshop.
  • Classical and Theatre competitors are required to submit videos of two of the three set pieces.
  • AED welcomes all performers; disabled and non-disabled. All performers will be judged equally. Performers are invited to declare any disability or access needs on the entry form. There is an option for the Judges or if preferable, only the organisers to be made aware of these disclosures.
Image: Lily Routledge, UKYD Classical Winner 2023
Theatre Dancer - UK Young Dancer