Kick Off Boys Youth Dance Project started as a pilot in 2016 between Northern School of Contemporary Dance (NSCD) and Dance Action Zone Leeds (DAZL). The small-scale pilot project worked with 10 boys from varying backgrounds across Leeds. Following the pilot’s great success, in 2017 Phoenix Dance Theatre and Leeds City College also joined in partnership on the project.
Combining resources, we are now able to offer weekly classes, half-term intensives, performance opportunities and film projects. Since 2018, the Kick Off boys have performed at:
The main cohort is aged 11–18 years, with some older members from Leeds City College acting as mentors to the younger participants. Past projects include ‘Painted Faces’, a piece focusing on mental health in young males, supported by training from Space 2 Leeds. The dynamic and layered performance included live dance, film and installation. ‘#NoExit’ partnered with Health for All Leeds – Positive Futures . This dance work focused on child sexual exploitation, the four stages of grooming and how this impacts on young men and their emotional well being and resilience.
Sessions run once a week Tuesdays 5pm – 6.30pm at Leeds City College Campus. Classes are energetic and develop strength, coordination and courage. You will work with other boys to improve your dance skills and to make pieces to be performed around Leeds.
Working with dance professionals you will have the opportunity to choreograph and perform at venues across Leeds, including Riley Theatre, Stanley & Audrey Burton Theatre, Leeds City College and Morley Town Hall.
Kick Off is an all-male youth dance group in Leeds and we are looking for boys aged 11-18. If you are interested in joining our weekly sessions, click the button below to fill in an online application formJoin the project
"This morning, after last nights performance at NSCD, I overheard my son say, as he woke up and in a bright cheery voice: ‘Good morning world!’ A lovely positive start to the day and a massive turnaround for a boy who used to wake up angry (and quite often screaming) most mornings. Less than a year ago he was seeing a counsellor through CAMHS and being part of Kick Off Boys has massively helped him. He absolutely loves dancing and being able to use his huge amounts of energy in such a positive way has enabled him to feel so much more comfortable about himself and really helped to build his confidence. When he first started Kick Off Boys he was so thrilled and said it was the the start of his career and that he was in his first ‘company’! I am so very grateful that he has this opportunity as being part of the group is as important to him as the dancing and he loves to tell me stories about all the other boys in the group. He feels a sense of belonging and he thrives from the mix of ages and from being accepted by the older boys. I think it has helped him to feel that it’s OK not to be the same as everyone else. We are travelling to Leeds twice a week so that he can access The Kick Off Boys Project and the NSCD classes because it is so important for his well -being. I do think it’s really important to get boys dancing, I think the peer pressure and self-consciousness that comes with the teenage years must prevent so many boys from experiencing dance. Thank you again for offering this opportunity. We re so glad he is involved!" Parent of NSCD Saturday School & Kick Off Boys Youth Dance Project