Friday 26th January 2024, 4:13pm Remembering our founder – Nadine Senior MBE


On 28 January 2024, we remember our founding Principal Nadine Senior MBE who sadly passed away eight years ago.  Nadine’s passion and spirit remain a driving force here at NSCD and our thoughts today are with her family, friends and former colleagues across the industry.

Nadine founded NSCD in 1985 as the first conservatoire dance school within the public sector. To this day, it remains the only provider of conservatoire-level Higher Education dance training in England outside of London. Nadine established the school to give young people from all backgrounds access to the highest quality vocational dance training, following the success of her earlier teaching work at Harehills Middle School.

Nadine was a true trailblazer. As we remember Nadine and her educational vision, teaching and leadership, we celebrate the immense impact she has had on our industry and community. The tremendous impact of Nadine’s contribution continues to resonate. It underpins not only NSCD but Leeds as a city of dance, with Phoenix Dance Theatre, RJC Dance and many other individual artists and arts administrators indebted to and touched by her inspiration. NSCD alumni can now be found all over the world working across many areas of dance, sharing their passion with new generations of future dance artists.

Nadine led our school until her retirement in 2001. In that time, NSCD set up an Access Programme for young people, an Undergraduate Degree Programme and outreach and community provision which continues to evolve and grow.  She also worked to expand our building facility and in 1998, a multi-million pound redevelopment of the School was officially opened.


NSCD CEO & Principal, Sharon Watson MBE, DL, herself a former student of Nadine, commented:

“This remarkable individual dedicated her life to transforming the way we approach learning and nurturing young minds. Nadine’s work can be seen in the countless lives she touched.  We are forever grateful for the impact she has had on our lives and the lives of countless others. Her legacy will continue to shine brightly, guiding future generations towards a future filled with creativity, curiosity, and a passion for learning.”

Nadine Senior Legacy Fund

Established in memory of Nadine Senior this fund supports talented young individuals to access dance education of the highest quality, regardless of personal circumstance.

Your donation will go towards providing vital financial assistance for students from groups currently underrepresented in Higher Education, including those who:

  • are from postcodes where participation in Higher Education in low;
  • are the first in their generation to consider Higher Education;
  • attend schools and colleges where performance is below the national average;
  • are care experienced;
  • have a disability;
  • are young carers;
  • are estranged from their families;
  • are from under-represented ethnic backgrounds.
Make a donation