The Dance Architect Youth Choreographic Award (October 1st - 3rd) is a unique choreographic award for emerging contemporary dance choreographers and creators, aged 15 - 25 years old.  

Each year 100+ young choreographers present new works in our show case series, with two being selected to further develop and stage their works in a fully funded theatrical season in the following year.


The Dance Architect Youth Choreographic Award is split into two age groups; 15 - 20 and 21 - 25. 

Successful applicants are given the opportunity to present a short contemporary dance work (6 minutes) in the Showcase Series (October 1 & 2). This initial presentation is the first development of a work that the aspiring choreographers would further develop and extend to a full length production if they receive the award. 

The top ten works (as selected by the industry jury) are then invited to perform at the Showcase Series Final (October 3rd) where two choreogtraphers will be announced as the award recipients.


The recipieints of the Dance Architect Youth Choreographic Award receive;

Theatre Performance Season

Studio Residency at Transit Dance Studios

Personal Mentorship from Dance Architect Jury

Marketing & Promotion Package

Lighting & Sound Theatre Package

$1000 CASH


PAUL MALEK Artistic Director  

ADAM WHEELER Choreographer/Director  

CHRIS CURRAN Executive Producer  

JAYDEN HICKS Creative Associate  

PLUS special guest Jury members

JO LLOYD Choreographer



In 2016, emerging choreographers Pol Andres and Estelle Brown were awarded the first ever Dance Architect Youth Choreographic Award. Their debut season of their original works titled Arahkan & Promontory was presented in 2017 at Gasworks Arts Park and received rave reviews. 

In 2017 the award was presented to Kayla Douglas and India Stewart, who both showed enourmous talent and potential. 

They will be presenting their debut works as part of Dance Architect 2018 with a three night season 5 - 7 October. We are thrilled to be producing their works. 

Tickets for their debut season go on sale July 1, 2018  


Dance Architect will be an immersive and invaluable experience taking place over one week in Melbourne, the arts and culture capital of Australia. Take part in 2 days or the whole week, there are inspirational events, educational opportunities and performances across this exciting week in dance.


Transit Dance Studios

64 Dawson Street,

Brunswick VIC 3056

PH: (03) 9376 0516

Our inaugural summit will be held at the brand new Transit Dance facilities in metro Melbourne.  

More about Transit Dance


Vibe Hotel 

from $115/night

Quest Moonee Valley 

from $139/night

Oaks on William

from $132/night



When do applications open? Applications open 30th May 2018. Visit:  

When do applications close? Applications strictly close on Wednesday, 1st August 2018 at 6pm.  

Does it cost money to apply? There is a non-refundable $50 Registration fee to submit your application for the Dance Architect.  

When will I find out if my application is successful? All applicants will be notified of their acceptance by COB Wednesday 8th August 2018  

Do I need to have my piece created by the application date? No. We are only wanting to get an idea of your passion, ability and initial idea for your work through the first application.  

How are the applications selected? Applicants are selected by our jury of industry leaders.  

What if I turn 15 or 26 in 2018? Age will be taken as of the 1st July 2018, you must fit within the age bracket as of this date.  

What if i’m not available on one of the Showcase Dates in October? Unfortunately if you are not available for the Showcase dates, you won’t be selected for the program.  


Who are the judges? Artistic Director Paul Malek, Executive Producer Chris Curran, Dancer Jayden Hicks and Choreographer Adam Wheeler  

How are the works judged? Works will be judged on their creativity, bravery, structure and design. Covering across all basics of dance creation, choreography, artistry, intention, performance, staging and the impact on the audience.  


When will the season be held? All details will be given to the two award recipients after the 2018 Showcase in October. Expect this to be around October 2019  

Can my work be altered? Yes! The award recipients will have several months to develop and expand their initial concept into a 15 - 30 minute work. Along with personal mentorship from Producers Paul Malek, Adam Wheeler, Jayden Hicks and Chris Curran.  


Where will the performance be held? Transit Dance Theatre - 64 Dawson Street, Brunswick  

When will the performance be held? Monday 1st October 2018 | Over 18 Rehearsal and Performance Tuesday 2nd October 2018 | Top 10 Showcase & Award Presentation  

Will I be needed both days? At the end of each Showcase 5 works will be chosen to perform in the Showcase Grand Final on Wednesday 3rd October  

Does my work have to be in the genre of Contemporary? Yes, this award has been created for aspiring Contemporary Dance choreographers and makers.  

How long can my piece be? Each piece must be at least 5 minutes long without exceeding 6 minutes  

How big is the stage? Th stage dimensions are 8 x 10 metres.

Who can be in my work? Maximum of 15 dancers. You choose your dancers as long as they are between 13 - 25 years.  

Can my dancers be used in other Dance Architect choreographers works? There is a limit of two works per dancer.  

Can I create and dance in my own work? Yes, you can.  

As choreographer, can I create a solo for the showcase? The two chosen winners will expand their first development into a 15-30 minute work to be performed in 2019 season. If you believe you can develop your solo work to this, then we would love to see it.  

What is the award? The two lucky DANCE ARCHITECT™ award winners will receive: Three show performance season. Studio Residency at Transit Dance Company studios for development Personal Mentorship from Producers Paul Malek, Adam Wheeler, Jayden Hicks and Chris Curran. Marketing & Promotion package Lighting and Sound theatre package $500 cash for production costs $500 Energetiks Voucher  

How many award recipients are there? There will be 1 Dance Architect award presented in each age bracket.  

When will the award recipients be announced? Ten applicants will go through to the Showcase Grand Final. Two award recipients will be announced at the conclusion of the performances.  

Have more questions? Email our friendly team at


Dance Architect is very grateful for the wonderful support from all our sponsors and vendors.  

Dance Architect is proudly presented by  

Transit Dance Initiative Inc. is a not-for-profit organisation which aims to advance, promote and support dance and the performing arts sector.  

Providing platforms such as Dance Architect, Origins Dance Company, UNDRGRND Melbourne and a number of opportunities in development. It is the vision of the Transit Dance Initiative to be a champion for personal and professional artistic growth in dance across Australia and beyond.