2007 marked the twenty-first birthday of the Northern School of Contemporary Dance, a unique dance training institution based in Leeds, attracting students from across the world.

Contemporary dance in Leeds grew out of the pioneering dance education which took place in schools during the 1970s and early 1980s and led, in 1985, to the founding of the Northern School of Contemporary Dance. NSCD rapidly established itself as a world-class contemporary dance institution which today offers professional training at foundation, degree and graduate diploma level. Over the years the number of students at NSCD has increased from the original group of 12 to almost 200 currently training at the School.

In 1987 the School moved into its current home, a former synagogue in Chapeltown, and over the next decade underwent a series of phased developments to extend the site and enhance the training facilities. This extensive re-development, which included the refurbishment of Brandsby Lodge and the creation of four new dance studios and additional teaching facilities, was completed in 1997 with support from the National Lottery through the Arts Council of England.

NSCD now offers all the modern training facilities you would expect from a conservatoire dance school whilst still maintaining the building’s intrinsic character and integrity. At the heart of the site is the Riley Theatre where, since 1988, the School has hosted an impressive range of performances by professional dance companies, students of the School and local community groups.

Today NSCD enjoys an international reputation as a centre of excellence for the quality of dance education and training it provides. The School also remains committed to its founding principles of equal opportunity and open access, nurturing and developing talent without regard to race, gender or social background.

21st Birthday Gala commemorative programme









apply online

Click here to apply for our full-time courses


To receive the latest news about performances, auditions, open days and more straight to your inbox Sign-up

school area

Please choose the section that applies to you: