Channel 4 has commissioned Dance School (w/t), a new 8x30’ coming-of-age drama series from Duck Soup Films. Adjacent to the production will be 10 industry training placements available to individuals with no previous broadcast experience.
Dance School follows an eclectic group of dance students as they navigate the intense highs and lows of coming of age in today’s complex world – captured through stories which are as joyful and funny as they are raw and truthful, brought viscerally to life via irresistible dance choreography.
Teacher Jackie - dynamic, determined, tough but passionate - heads up the Saturday class at the LAH and brings together our core friendship gang and dance ensemble: Puppy, Kobby, Liam, Tim, Francesca, Tash & Nohail– each of them unique, emotionally-complicated, independently-minded and trying to make their way in the world.
The drama series will champion characters who have been meticulously workshopped (with support from the Young Audiences Content Fund (YACF)) and inspired by true stories from inner-city Leeds.
Dance School is a celebration of resilience, determination, and spirit which never shies away from relevant and hard-hitting themes. The series will shine a light on the pressures young people face but also provide a dynamic and energising insight into the city of Leeds and its people.
Street casting and recruitment starts in summer and the production will shoot in the Autumn in and around Leeds. The production will present a fantastic opportunity for 10 Leeds-based people to break into the broadcast industry.
Caroline Hollick, Channel 4 Head of Drama, said: “I am thrilled that my very own home of Leeds is the hub of such a brilliant and activating series, bursting with irresistible dance numbers. Dance School is a heart-warming portrayal of the hardships young people are increasingly exposed to, but it’s equally a celebration of inspiring and authentic stories that will resonate with our viewers...
"It’s important that Channel 4 not only reflects the voices of the nations and regions but also continues to support growth and training to individuals. I’m delighted that by partnering with Duck Soup and the NFTS, 4Skills can open doors to the next generation of emerging talent, ensuring the creative sector remains accessible to all.”
Rebekah Wray-Rogers, Co-Founder of Duck Soup Films says: “We are beyond delighted that Duck Soup’s first drama commission is born and bred in our own city and commissioned by Channel 4 since its crucial move out of London up to Leeds...
"We have been enormously lucky to collaborate with such an eclectic group of talented creatives to build Dance School and are buzzing with excitement to finally bring this exceptional series to the screen.”
Sinead Rocks, MD Channel 4, Nations and Regions, said: "This is an amazing opportunity for ten people to break into the broadcasting industry and gain real-life work experience on a national television drama series. This really has the potential to be a life-changing moment for these ten trainees and show the kind of impact Channel 4 and 4Skills can make on people's lives."
Jackie Edwards, Head of the Young Audiences Content Fund says: “The Young Audiences Content Fund were delighted to support both the development and production of Dance School. We were drawn to the inclusive and authentic approach, one that will beautifully reflect an under-represented community in the UK – it is exactly the sort of production that the Fund set out to support.”
Caroline Cooper Charles, Chief Executive and Executive Producer for Screen Yorkshire says: “It’s a joy to join forces with such fantastic partners to support Duck Soup and to bring audiences a story whose heart and soul is rooted in one of our region’s most vibrant cities”
The series is created by Lisa Holdsworth and Theresa Ikoko.