Scottish Ballet’s Youth Exchange programme provides participants with a wealth of artistic, professional and cultural experiences, helping to prepare them for a job in the dance industry.

In October 2016, we began making a new dance work with 18 fantastic first year students from Tisch (School of the Performing Arts), New York University. Scottish Ballet Creative Associate, Lorraine Jamieson started a creative process with the group using Bryan Arias’ Motion of Displacement as inspiration for a new dance work.

We underestimated how much Jennifer would get out of the Youth Exchange. It has provided more than just dance, it has given her positive role models and a focus on what she wants to do. We will be ever grateful for all the work that the Education department do.

Participant Parent
Youth Exchange Gallery

Scottish Ballet Youth Exchange 2016/17

In October 2016 e were delighted to begin making a new work with 18 fantastic first year students from Tisch, New York University, where Scottish Ballet Creative Associate Lorraine Jamieson began to create a new dance piece with the group inspired by Brian Arias's Motion of Displacement.

14 dance students from Scottish Ballet's Youth Exchange travelled to New York in April 2017 to work with the dancers from NYU. They completed the new work together and performed it at The Joyce Theater.

Scottish Ballet partnered with Joyce Theater Education team in New York, and the exchange explored themes from the triple bill that the company toured to New York at that time (a triple bill that included Bryan Arias, Christopher Bruce and Christopher Hampson).

It has been amazing to learn new styles, be inspired by the people around me and dance in the beautiful Scottish Ballet studios. I feel that the group as a whole really bonded in New York and became a family. I think it was everyone’s equal efforts which allowed this to happen.

Youth Exchange Participants


  • Participants and applicants experienced an industry standard audition and recruitment process. 45 candidates applied, 31 candidates were auditioned and 23 were interviewed in Scotland.   
  • Through the programme, 13 participants were offered individually-tailored dance and performance ‘work experience’ packages that are not available through their colleges and schools.
  • One participant from the 2015/16 programme was invited to return and develop their experience as Rehearsal Director.
  • Weekly skills-development sessions in the professional studios at Scottish Ballet, giving them the opportunity to broaden their professional and cultural horizons, develop their dance technique and choreography and build on their creativity and individual strengths.
  • 32 participants made new friends across the world, experienced a different culture and dance training in that culture, learnt new transferable skills, and made a meaningful connection with Scotland’s national dance company.
  • The exchange participants worked collaboratively to learn and perform a new dance work.
  • The exchange participants took part in a performance at Joyce Theater, New York to an audience of over 150 people.
  • First Minister Nicola Sturgeon visited YEX rehearsals in New York. The dancers were then invited to a reception with the First Minister in Scotland in June.  

Scottish Ballet will start recruiting a new 2018/19 Youth Exchange group next spring to start rehearsing in autumn. 

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