Award-winning choreographer Wayne McGregor appointed country's first ‘Dance Champion’ for young people by Margaret Hodge

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4 April 2008

The acclaimed dancer and choreographer Wayne McGregor, is to be the Government’s first Youth Dance Champion.

His appointment, by Culture Minister Margaret Hodge, follows swiftly on the heels of the recent publication of Tony Hall’s Dance Review and the Government Response, which identified how cross-Government work could raise the profile of, and increase access to, dance for more young people, both in and out of school.

Wayne McGregor’s new role as Youth Dance Champion will see him working as an ambassador, inspiring and championing dance, and a promoter of dance to young people, both boys and girls. 

Margaret Hodge said:

“I am thrilled that Wayne McGregor has agreed to become Youth Dance Champion.  His career, still in its infancy in many ways, has spanned the whole spectrum of dance.  He will be an inspiring role model for young people across the country. What we have begun with our response to Tony Hall’s Review - and are supporting through the creation of an expanded Youth Dance England - we will continue by raising the profile of dance among young people, as well as schools and parents.

“I believe Wayne is the perfect choice to help us keep the fantastic momentum we now have for young people’s dance. I’m looking forward to working with him to realise our commitment that every young person can have the chance to dance.”

Wayne McGregor said:

"I am honoured to be the first Youth Dance Champion. I am passionate about dance which is not only an enormous part of my life, but has opened many intriguing doors for me; I am very pleased now to have the chance to help open similar doors for other young people. When I first discovered my talent for dance, I was fortunate enough to be totally supported in my choice of future career. Not all young people are as lucky in that respect. I am proud to be a part of such an exciting initiative that I believe will inspire and create opportunities for more youngsters to try dance for themselves and be captivated by its visceral power."

Linda Jasper, Director, Youth Dance England, added:

“I am delighted that Wayne McGregor has accepted the role of youth dance champion. Wayne has a great commitment to young people's engagement with dance and has combined his choreographic and performance career with producing exceptional high quality education projects. All of us at Youth Dance England look forward to working with Wayne to realise the ambitions of the Dance Review to increase young people's participation in dance across England.”

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Notes for editors

  1. Wayne’s new show, ENTITY, is premiering at Sadler’s Wells from 10th April.  It is a diptych of contrasting works performed by ten dancers and set to live music, and follows on from the electrifying performances of Chroma, Wayne’s Olivier Award-winning work created in his role as Resident Choreographer for The Royal Ballet.   For more information visit http://www.randomdance.org/.

  2. Wayne McGregor is one of the world’s most inventive choreographers, renowned for his physically testing choreography and ground-breaking collaborations across dance, film, music, visual art, technology and science.


  3. During the past 18 months, Wayne has created work for Glastonbury Festival, Paris Opera Ballet and The Royal Ballet. He has directed an opera at La Scala, Milan.

  4. In December 2006, he was appointed to the prestigious position of Resident Choreographer of The Royal Ballet, the first in 13 years and the only one ever to come from the world of contemporary dance. In March 2005 Wayne was appointed an Associate Artist at Sadler’s Wells and his company, Wayne McGregor | Random Dance became a Resident Company in 2001. Wayne McGregor | Random Dance is also Associate Company of DanceEast, Suffolk,

  5. Wayne’s awards include an Olivier Award for Best New Dance Production for Chroma, a South Bank Show Award for the Royal Ballet Triple Bill, the Outstanding Achievement in Dance Award in Time Out’s Live Awards 2001 and the Time Out Award for Outstanding Choreography in 2003.  He was also a recipient of the prestigious Arts Foundation Fellowship in Choreography in 1994, and in 1997 he was awarded a Lisa Ullmann. travel scholarship for research into dance and technology


  6. Wayne is also known to young people, as his work is often studied as part of the GCSE dance curriculum.

  7. Copies of the Dance Review, Government Response and Audit of Dance Provision in English Schools 2006/07 published today, can be downloaded from the Department for Children, schools and families website.

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