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Published on: Wednesday October 4, 2023

Ahead of the Nottingham Young Creative Awards showcase, we chatted to dance category winner Hannah Alvey about her experience.


YCA Showcase Key Information

WhenFriday 6 October 2023, 7.30pmWhere

Lakeside Arts

Book FREE tickets here

The Young Creative Awards (YCA) is an annual competition for young people between the ages of 11 and 24 years who either live, work or study in Nottingham. YCA has ten creative categories for young people to apply to and we are proud to sponsor the dance category.

This year’s winners are performing in a showcase at Lakeside Arts on Friday 6 October 2023. The showcase is a one-off opportunity to watch performances from some of the winners in the dance, music, and film categories.

The dance category winners are:

 Elizabeth Atkinson (11 – 15 category)
 Samuel Onwuteaka (16 – 18 category)
 Hannah Alvey (19 – 24 category)

Elizabeth and Hannah will be taking to the stage at the showcase.


Hannah Alvey spoke to our Assistant Producer Jessica Ashley about her duet, Holding onto it, her experience applying to YCA, and what this opportunity means to her as a young artist.

Listen to or Read Hannah's Interview


What inspired you to apply for this year’s Young Creative Awards?

I have looked at this award for many years, but I have never applied, and I think my confidence in applying was put off by the fact that it was a competition and an award. I looked at it slightly differently this year, and I thought “just submit a work and see what happens”. It was also one of my last years to apply so I thought, let’s go for it.

You have submitted a piece of choreography for your YCA entry, which was a dance film called Holding onto to it. Could you tell us more about the work?

This work was originally created for a dissertation, and it was called Listening to Touch and that started the whole concept for the piece. It looks into consent in studio settings and creating space to have a conversation about it. From this I created a solo, which was basically exploring trauma in the body and how your body responds and can crumble or survive in these conditions, which created the structure for Holding onto it.

Holding onto it is a duet between myself and dancer, Rosie Roberts and it’s basically a conversation between me and Rosie; Rosie becomes my thoughts and she’s the internal monologue around trauma and how it can manifest such as dissociation, anxiety, stress – all topics like that and that’s how the duet has been created.


Aside from the YCA showcase, do you have any future aspirations for the work?

I see the work hopefully being used for educational purposes; it would be filmed in a slightly different way. The piece currently is more for entertainment purposes, to be moving in the space together live, but I hope that me and Rosie can come together to create a film and hopefully tour, and do more research into how different people respond to trauma, different people either enjoy touch in studio settings or outside studio settings, build a whole kind of topic and environment around it and hope that more people and more artists can get involved and see where the work goes.


How have you found developing the work from a video piece to a piece for the stage?

It’s been a challenging process, I thought that it would be a lot easier than it was, it’s been a lot of mental work in terms of some things look great on camera, some things don’t look great in person. But it’s been a really good process; we’ve had help from FABRIC with the studio space, which has been amazing, and really helped the process, and also to have Rosie in the space with me. We’ve figured it out, we’ve finished the piece today and it’s now about rehearsing it for the 6 October.


What do opportunities such as YCA mean to young artists such as yourself?

It really means a lot. Since I left Trinity Laban, coming out as an artist, there doesn’t seem to be a lot to get you up the ladder. It kind of feels like you’re swimming by yourself, and you’ve got to figure it all out. Whereas this opportunity gives you the step to find your feet and just be able to put a work out there and just see what happens, and see if it goes any further, or if you want to take it any further. But it does give you the chance to have your work seen and I think that’s the most important thing.


What advice would you give to any young artist wanting to apply to YCA next year?

I think just do it. The hardest thing is starting, and I think that’s what I found, I kind of procrastinated applying for quite a while. Whereas I think if you have a piece or even a thought in mind, just create something – it doesn’t have to be perfect, it doesn’t have to be as put together or as refined as you think that it has to be – just get it out there and take the risk, I think that’s the most important thing.

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