We are looking for 150 young people, aged 14-21 years, from the West Midlands, to be part of an exciting large-scale performance project, leading to the headline opening event for Birmingham International Dance Festival 2020.


The project, Apaches, will run from March-June 2020 and is targeted at young people who are passionate about dance and movement and can commit to taking part in the full creation, rehearsal and performance process. This FREE opportunity is open to young people of all levels and styles of movement.

Apaches will be led by Saïdo Lehlouh of French Company Black Sheep, with a team of professional dance artists from the West Midlands. Young people will take part in group residentials and workshops, creation and rehearsals, and a celebratory large-scale performance in Birmingham’s Centenary Square for the opening of Birmingham International Dance Festival 2020 (BIDF 2020). Apaches is produced by DanceXchange for BIDF 2020 and co-commissioned by Birmingham Hippodrome, in collaboration with their B-Side Hip Hop Festival.

If you are an interested and passionate young person who fits our brief, we’d love to hear from you! See below for further details and how to apply  👇👇


Apaches encourages the development of individual expression and seek to genuinely reflect young people’s voices. It offers an amazing opportunity to:

  • Be part of an exciting, unique project
  • Take part in the high-profile opening event of Birmingham International Dance Festival 2020
  • Work as a team with other young people and make new friends
  • Develop new skills and learn different movement styles
  • Build a sense of pride and achievement, and some great content for your CV
  • Gain new experiences by working with outstanding UK and international dancers

For those aged 18-21, with more dance experience, there may also be additional opportunities to develop your leadership skills as Apaches Ambassadors.


We are looking for young people with some experience of dance and movement in one or more forms, including (but not limited to) Contemporary, Hip Hop, Ballet, Kathak, Martial Arts, Gymnastics, and more.

You must also be:

  • Aged 14-21
  • Resident in the West Midlands*
  • Positive, highly motivated and full of energy
  • Engaged and passionate about dance and/or movement
  • Enthusiastic to get involved, gain new experiences, and develop your skills
  • Respectful of others and eager to contribute as part of a team
  • Reliable, open and committed to the full programme (see Project Schedule below)

Applications are especially welcomed from young people in receipt of free school meals, those who identify as LGBTQ+, People of Colour (POC), young people registered as disabled, young people in care and young carers, who meet our project criteria.

*Applicants must be resident in the West Midlands: Birmingham, the Black Country, Herefordshire, Worcestershire, Warwickshire, Solihull & Coventry, Shropshire and Staffordshire.


Apaches will take place throughout the period of March-June 2020. This will include regional group workshops, residencies with Black Sheep, rehearsals and an end-of-project performance.

There will be 3 separate groups across the region, based in Birmingham, Worcester & Wolverhampton. Participants will need to commit to attending group dates in one of these settings as well as the final rehearsal and performance dates in Birmingham. The schedule is as follows:

Birmingham Group 1 / 14 (Half-term), 26 of April & 8 (Bank holiday), 26 May 2020 (Half-Term)

Worcestershire Group 2 / 15 April (Half-Term) & 3, 9, 27 May (Half-Term) 2020

Black Country Group 3 / 16 April (Half- Term) & 3, 10, 28 May (Half-Term) 2020

All will need to commit to the final rehearsals and performance dates in Birmingham:

  • 31 May & 4 June: Full Group performance rehearsals
  • 5 June: Rehearsal and Performance day at Centenary Square, Birmingham

Travel to Birmingham for the final rehearsal and performance dates will be provided for the Worcester and Black Country groups. Locations and times of all sessions will be provided at a later date.  Some support may be available to assist with travel expenses.


To apply, please click this link to complete for our online Application Form.

Please Note: You are welcome to provide answers in audio or video form, following the instructions on the Application Form. Applications close at 12am on Sunday 15 March 2020.


Your application will be reviewed by a selection panel, and you will be informed of the outcome by Friday 16 March 2020, via email.

If successful, you will then be provided with details about your group and further project information, including the specific locations and times of sessions.


If you have any questions about the project, please contact: Jamaal O’Driscoll, Festival Participation Producer, at

Photography Credit: Peter Koppers

Download the application form here: Apaches Information Pack