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Laura Nicholson

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Laura is Head of Children and Young People’s Dance at One Dance UK, the national sector support organisation for dance. She believes that access to high quality dance education should be the entitlement of every child, and advocates on this basis to government departments, MPs, education leaders and other key stakeholders. Laura strategically leads on a national programme of dance activity for young people, including the annual U.Dance National Festival which showcases and celebrates the best youth and school dance work from hundreds of young people, and the national Young Creatives programme for aspiring choreographers. 

Laura previously spent 12 years working in the secondary education sector, developing a highly successful dance and performing arts curriculum at an inner-city Leeds secondary school, as well as creating and leading an extensive enrichment and performance programme for students and the wider community. She then took up the role of Assistant Headteacher at a Wakefield secondary school, leading a unique specialist curriculum pathway providing free-of-charge and accessible arts training in mainstream education, attracting students from across the north of England and bringing about significant whole-school improvement. 

Laura recently worked as the dance education consultant on Step-By-Step, a primary dance resource for BBC Teach. 

Laura will be delivering a keynote alongside a One Dane UK Youth Dance Ambassador as part of the Opening and Closing Sessions.


One Dance UK is the sector support organisation, leading the way to a stronger, more vibrant and diverse dance sector. We provide one clear voice to:

• Support all those working in the sector to achieve excellence in dance performance, education and management

• Advocate for the increased profile and importance of dance in all its diverse forms and settings

• Enhance dancers’ health and performance

• Identify gaps, provide opportunities and improve conditions for dance to be learnt, discussed and seen

One Dance UK is also the Subject Association for dance in schools. As a membership organisation for teachers and dance education professionals, we seek to ensure all young people in the UK have equal access to a high quality dance education. We support the learning and teaching of dance wherever it is located within the curriculum and actively work with a range of physical education and arts organisations, government departments and statutory bodies to help shape national policy for dance in the curriculum. We promote high quality learning and teaching in dance, provide a range of resources and professional development opportunities for those teaching dance in schools and in initial teacher training and support the dissemination of best practice. Find out more.

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