Sunday Reads #11: Youthful Movement

28 June 2020

Since its launch in 2016, the annual audition for Chameleon Youth has taken place in July.  By the end of next month, we are usually welcoming a whole new cohort into the Chameleon community!  This year, as our studio is currently closed, the audition for 2020-21 will now take place in the Autumn.  

As we make this announcement, we take the opportunity to celebrate and salute Chameleon Youth, as part of our Sunday Reads series.  Sam Broadbent, our Learning & Participation Manager, writes the words.


“Chameleon Youth is an incredibly important part of Company Chameleon. Everyone in the team feels very proud of the young people involved and how the initiative has developed since its launch in 2016.

One of the reasons the team takes such pride in Chameleon Youth, grows from a shared passion and belief in the positive difference youth dance can make.

Both Kevin and Anthony, our Co-Founders, were first introduced to dance in their early teens at Trafford Youth Dance Theatre. Of course, the classes enabled them both to develop their dance talent and begin an incredible dance journey. But as young people, the classes also gave them much more.

At Trafford, Anthony and Kevin recall feeling part of a community, feeling supported by their peers; likeminded people who loved dance as much as they did. They learnt how to contribute, express and communicate their own ideas and work with others whilst doing so. As a result, youth dance built their confidence and self-belief, undoubtedly making a positive difference to their mental health, social skills and well-being.

As a dancer in Chameleon Youth, you become part of the Chameleon community, which is creative, welcoming, open and down-to-earth. Through our vibe, values and approach, we aspire to inspire all of our members, so they can achieve and develop as young dance artists, and as young people in all sorts of ways.

It’s been exciting to see Chameleon Youth develop over the last few years.  Our programme of activity puts Chameleon Youth on the map as one of the region’s flagship youth dance initiatives.

Our nurturing and supportive working environment encourages young people to find their creative voice through dance and movement.

Chameleon Youth is the only youth company in the region, to be part of a professional dance company.  This means dancers are taught by professionals with substantial experience of performing worldwide and working in the national and international dance sector.  Through Chameleon Youth, we pass on this knowledge and experience to create a unique youth dance offer.

Looking back over the last year, a personal highlight for me is seeing Chameleon Youth Seniors create and perform Avoidance. The performance took place in front of a packed audience at HOME in Manchester. The piece opened the show and was performed as a curtain raiser at the world premiere of our new production, The Shadow.

The experience allowed the youth company to feel completely connected to the professional arm of the company and gain invaluable insight into life as a professional dancer, through experiencing everything from the rehearsal process and dress rehearsal to the performance itself.

Looking ahead to the Autumn, we can’t wait to welcome new young people into the Chameleon community for the Chameleon Youth taster sessions and audition as well as welcoming back those returning members for another exciting year! Look out for further announcements in the Autumn or register your interest by emailing nicola@companychameleon.com.

Before you go, don’t forget to watch Chameleon Youth Seniors perform Avoidance at HOME in the video below.  Thanks for reading.”

Sam Broadbent, June 2020

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