1 February 2018
Author: The Place

Talented young artists from London Contemporary Dance School join inaugural Sadler’s Wells Young Associates Scheme

We’re delighted to share the news that Anthony Matsena, a current third year student at London Contemporary Dance School and Ruby Portus a graduate from 2017 have been named as Young Associate Artists for Sadler’s Wells.

Both young artists were nominated by us for the programme and have been involved since August 2017. After the initial summer school, Sadler’s Wells selected seven artists to continue to the next round, both Anthony and Ruby were selected for the next stage. They then worked towards a choreographic sharing in December in order to select the final four artists that would make up the inaugural Young Associate Artists. The other selected artists are Christopher Thomas who graduated in 2017 from fellow Conservatoire for Dance and Drama (CDD) affiliate school Rambert, and Wilhelmina Ojanen who graduated from Trinity Laban in 2017.

Young Associates is a two year early-career choreographic development programme and will provide them with the following support:

  • Bursary of £4,000 per year.
  • A commission for a performance in the Lilian Baylis Studio in October 2018
  • 1-2-1 mentorship with an established artist
  • Professional development opportunities through workshops and masterclasses given by Associate Artists and Visiting Companies.
  • Commission for a joint large-scale project in 2019
  • Continued support and mentorship from Sadler’s Wells

More about the Young Associates

Anthony Matsena
Anthony is 23 years old. He performed at Sadler’s Wells in 2015 as part of Apex Rising with National Youth Dance Wales, and is currently in his third year at London Contemporary Dance School. His dance background is in hip hop.

Christopher Thomas
Christopher is 21 years old. He started his career as an actor before training as a dancer, graduating from Rambert School of Ballet and Contemporary Dance in 2017. He is currently working with Mark Bruce Company on its new production of Macbeth. His Awards include the Charlotte Kirkpatrick Award 2016 and Young Choreographer 2017, and he is co-founder of Retrospect Dance Theatre.

Ruby Portus
Ruby is 21 years old and an NYDC alumni. She graduated from London Contemporary Dance School in 2017, and performed in Home Turf and Elixir Festival 2017 at Sadler’s Wells. She is currently in Verve (the post-grad company of Northern School of Contemporary Dance).

Wilhelmina Ojanen
Wilhelmina is 22 years old. She graduated from Laban in 2017 and is currently a member of Transitions (post-grad Company of Laban). She started her dance training in hip hop, before moving on to jazz, ballet and contemporary dance.


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