Dance Live!

Dance Live! is an exciting dance event for schools and colleges brought to you by The Guildhall Trust.

Embracing an ever-evolving digital world and how this is changing the face of modern performance, Dance Live! sees those in KS2-4 and Further Education compete with choreographed routines to the backdrop of a giant digital screen with pupils showcasing a range of skills from dance, performance and off-stage technical skills to creative design.

With a focus on raising aspirations and developing skills for creative career choices, Dance Live! also delivers a range of supportive workshop opportunities for schools.

Following the overwhelming success of Dance Live! we are now also pleased to launch Dance Live – Studio Edition, for dance schools, studios and youth dance companies. Head to the Studio Edition page for more details of this event.

With a focus on raising aspirations and developing skills for creative career choices, Dance Live! is an amazing, inclusive, developmental experience for your students:

  • FREE workshop for every new School or College
  • Experience of performing on a professional stage
  • Develop off-stage and technical skills
  • Develop friendships, teamwork and confidence
  • Health & wellbeing benefits
  • Improve attainment and aspiration levels
  • Links to Ofsted and the Gatsby benchmark

Workshops take place Autumn Term. Heats March 2023. Final in Portsmouth May 2023.

® Dance Live! is a registered trade mark of The Guildhall Trust

Dance Live! 2023

We are Expanding!
To include Eastbourne, High Wycombe, Guildford and Poole as well as Portsmouth!


Dance Live! 2023 is taking place at the following locations:

Portsmouth Guildhall (Portsmouth):

Monday 20th Feb SENIORS
Tuesday 21st Feb SENIORS
Wednesday 22nd Feb SENIORS
Thursday 23rd Feb JUNIORS
Friday 24th Feb JUNIORS
Monday 27th Feb SENIORS
Tuesday 28th Feb SENIORS

The Lighthouse (Poole):

Thursday 2nd March SENIORS
Friday 3rd March JUNIORS

The Swan (High Wycombe):

Monday 20th March SENIORS
Tuesday 21st March JUNIORS

G Live (Guildford):

Monday 27th March SENIORS
Tuesday 28th March JUNIORS

Eastbourne Theatres (Eastbourne):

Wednesday 29th March JUNIORS
Thursday 30th March SENIORS

*Please note, dates and venues are subject to levels of registration and performance places are offered on a first come first serve basis

Finals take place at Portsmouth Guildhall on Tuesday 25th to Friday 28th April 2023 (Senior and Junior events to be confirmed after close of registration).

To register, please complete the following form: The deadline for registration is 5pm, Monday 11th July 2022. Please make sure you have read the Dance Live! 2023 Information Pack here before registering. If you have competed in Dance Live! previously, please still read it thoroughly, as some rules have changed.

Please note that by registering your school, you are not making a financial commitment; this will be done later in the school year.

Dance Live! Patron

Mark Smith

Head Judge & Patron

Dance Live’s first Patron, Mark Smith, is a Choreographer, Movement Director, Dance Teacher, Workshop Leader and Director, Founder and Artistic Director of Deaf Men Dancing, Patron for The Imperial Society of Teachers and Dancing (ISTD) and was nominated as Best Choreographer in the Off-West End Awards and the Broadway World UK Awards for Ace of Clubs, Call Me Madam & Iolanthe and Live Theatre & British Theatre for Tommy.

Dance Live! 2022 Judges

Check out the judges line-up for this year’s annual Dance competition for schools and colleges below.

Hayley Jane Simmons

Heats Head Judge - Portsmouth & Poole

Hayley Jane Simmons is a vibrant and innovative choreographer whose experience has encompassed musicals, pantomime, summer seasons, variety, children’s shows, corporate presentations, cruises and numerous other events in the UK and overseas. Having enjoyed a successful career as a dancer and performer herself, Hayley Jane has a strong empathy with the performers she works with and the wonderful ability to inspire and motivate.

Benjamin Durham

Heats Judge - Poole

After my parents not being able to keep me off the dance floor at my aunt's wedding when I was five, they decided to enrol me in my local dance school and from that first lesson I was at dance classes almost every day after school. While judging I'll be looking for a strong sense of performance and dedication to the conveyance of narrative through movement. I want to feel the emotions of the piece by the way it's performed, but most of all the sense of freedom and enjoyment that dancing gives you.

Julia Walter

Julia started her career in Brighton 20 years ago working for Yes/No Productions, an independent global entertainment company and also home to internationally acclaimed show, STOMP. After 15 years and a career break to take a postgraduate degree in Law, Julia joined the RSC and the General Management team of Matilda the Musical for it's hugely successful UK & Ireland tour. From Matilda Julia joined the Audience of the Future team as Project Manager on behalf of the RSC. She is now Creative Digital Producer at Chichester Festival Theatre. 

Thomas Buckley

Thomas Buckley is a digital artist and storyteller using digital media. Thomas has a passion for art that makes you feel human and connected. Often working in projection, immersive technologies (VR, AR, XR) and interactive installations. Thomas has worked with big industry names and as a Royal Shakespeare Digital Fellow Alumni, he has worked internationally to deliver artwork that merge theatre , emergent technologies and immersive experiences.

Callum Bowman

Callum started dancing at 15 years old whilst studying at Brune Park and attending Whitestones school of dance. Callum officially began his Musical Theatre training at Southdowns College. The highlight of his professional training was gaining the lead in a contemporary piece created by Paul Roberts. This is now captured on film, ‘Youth’. In early 2019 a call from Matthew Bourne led him to join the world-renowned New Adventures company, where he made his full professional debut in the iconic Swan Lake.

Lou Doye

Lou executive produces immersive experiences with present and future technologies. In 2019 she became a digital fellow to the Royal Shakespeare Company and Magic Leap to explore theatre and new technologies. Lou has driven large-scale events and produced projects for QXR Studios, Atlantic productions, Alchemy Immersive, Oculus Quest Meta, Magic Leap, Royal Shakespeare Company, BMW, Kenwood & Delonghi and Rolls Royce to name a few, and more recently created an Oculus Quest experience for Meta starring Sir David Attenborough.

New To Dance Live?

If you haven't heard of Dance Live! before, or want to know more about our brilliant event, you can watch our video below or download our 'Introduction to Dance Live!' e-resource, available here.

Find out more about Dance Live!

FREE CPD and Training Courses for Teachers and Support Staff

Join the 1000+ teachers who have benefitted from Prospero Teaching’s CPD accredited courses.

With courses ranging from an Introduction to Autistic Spectrum Disorders, Teaching Phonics and Safer Remote Teaching there is plenty to choose from!

Explore the full range of courses available here: Dance Live – Prospero Teaching


We are delighted to welcome Prospero Teaching as our Sponsor for Dance Live 2022!

Founded in 2000, Prospero Teaching is an award-winning education recruitment agency with offices throughout the UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. As well as being an approved and dedicated supplier to the Department for Education, Prospero Teaching supplies staff across Primary, Secondary and SEND Schools; from small community schools to large secondary schools.

Dance Live! 2020

Dance Live! 2020 was the inaugural dance event for Schools and Colleges by the Guildhall Trust

Dance Live! Studio Edition

Dance Live! Studio Edition is an exciting dance event for dance schools, studios and youth dance companies.


Get in touch

Contact us for more information

Instagram: @danceliveportsmouth


A huge thank you to all of this year’s Dance Live! Sponsors.


A huge thank you to all of this year’s Dance Live! Supporters.

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