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  • to create unforgettable contemporary dance experiences that inspire;

  • to encourage and promote contemporary dance for the benefit of the general public, in particular but not exclusively by creating and commissioning innovative contemporary dance works;

  • to produce performances, workshops and related educational events and materials and other performances in art forms, including without limitation film, music, visual arts, and theatre;

  • to continue to collaborate with other organisations in different ways and connect with small to medium venues and communities in the North East of England, the UK, and across the world, to enable the fostering of understanding between people, to enrich their lives, and to open their minds to different perspectives.



Eliot Smith Dance (ESD) is an award winning North East leading contemporary dance company.

The group is based in Gateshead (England) and rehearses predominately in Northumberland. Led by its Founder and Creative Director Eliot Smith, the Company performs for audiences in their hundreds across North East England and other parts of the UK, and has performed by invitation in Paris, Rome, and New York.  


Since its founding in 2011 (and opening in 2012) the Company has comprised technically and theatrically accomplished dancers drawn from the UK and throughout the world. Dancers have come from as far afield as Italy, Germany, France, Colombia, New Zealand, Spain, and Cyprus.  ESD performs dance works using classical techniques, working in collaboration with carefully chosen composers, musicians, and designers.


The Company has built up a rich repertoire, consisting of more than 27 works and still growing, created by Eliot Smith and guest choreographers from the UK and around the world – aiming to create works that are dynamic, diverse, and relevant. 


ESD performs in theatres and non-traditional venues such as museums, local halls, and cathedrals, as well as outdoors, aiming to excite and inspire its audiences regardless of their dance experience or knowledge.  ESD prides itself on bringing new audiences to contemporary dance with its accessible dance programmes alongside its Education and Beyond programme in both urban and rural settings.


Over the past 10 years ESD has made significant developments and achievements including:


  • 70% sold out performances;


  • 70% average audience attendance;


  • 50% of audiences who were first time attendees;


  • Reaching over 60,000 people via national and international performances, events, and participation / education programme;


  • Reaching 200,000 audience members online through its website and social media activity;


  • Collaboration with some of the UK’s high-profile museums, galleries, universities, cathedrals, and dance organisations;


  • Gaining a following of loyal audiences and supporters which resulted in the establishment of The Friends of The Company.


In early spring 2021 ESD created a new virtual space, VIRTUAL ESD.  This was inspired by ESD Digital, launched in light of the pandemic in early 2020, and is a refashioning of ESD’s season of activities into a digital form, tailored to allow people to continue engaging in and benefiting from dance and culture.

ESD returned to live performances from July 2021 and celebrated their 10th anniversary. 




ESD creates unforgettable contemporary dance experiences that inspire.

Dance is a performing art, and ESD believes that art can support people in helping them to understand themselves and each other. Dance can open the mind and heart to find new ways or new solutions that go beyond words. Dance is an education for living, presenting a diverse perspective on our surroundings. Dance is a healer, of both our health and our wellbeing.


ESD believes in the art of dance.



Adam Davies


Lian Draycott


Yamit Salazar


Niki Tsonopoulou

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Rowan Parker

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Olivia Kirk


Jacob Gale


Charley Mitchell


Alumni Dancers




Her Grace The Duchess of Northumberland 

Maggie Boogaart

Dominic White

David Embleton Young


Eliot Smith, Founder, Creative Director and Secretary to the Board​


Yamit Salazar, Rehearsal Director


Yamit Salazar, Interim Education

Pat Pierpoint, Administrator (Projects)

June Svenson, Administrator (Finance and Contracts)​​​

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