Contemporary Dance

Contemporary dance technique classes, choreographic workshops and performances delivered and directed by Dance Artist in Residence at Queens’ Adèle Thompson and administrated by Queens’ College Contemporary Dance Society.

Dance Artist in Residence at Queens’ College


Queens’ College is proud to be the only Oxbridge College with a professional Dance Artist in Residence. The post came into being as an initiative of Lord Eatwell to enrich and enliven the students’ artistic life during their time at Queens’. The post of Dance Artist in Residence ensures that dance at Queens’ remains at a most prestigious level.

Sara Matthews became the first Dance Artist in Residence (1998-2001) before becoming Assistant Director of Central School of Ballet in London. Next in the post was Kenneth Tharp (2001-2006), who was awarded an OBE for services to dance in 2003. Adèle Thompson was appointed to the post in 2006 after several years as associate guest artist.

Adèle Thompson is an independent dance artist, choreographer, dancer and teacher working in theatre, television and film. She is a former member of world renowned companies STOMP, London Contemporary Dance Theatre, Les Commandos Percu (for London 2012), and she continues to tour, perform and choreograph nationally and internationally. She regularly teaches at major vocational schools of contemporary dance throughout Europe, is a choreographic mentor for Youth Dance England and facilitates corporate workshops worldwide.

As Dance Artist in Residence Adèle delivers regular contemporary dance technique classes and choreography workshops with live musical accompaniment. She is artistic director and choreographer for the College contemporary dance company, QdancE, and produces and directs the annual performance “Sprung!” each Lent term. Adèle works in collaboration with the student-led Queens’ College Contemporary Dance Society and with other artists and art forms, enhancing the artistic life and activities of the college by bringing professional practice into the College environment.


Contemporary technique classes

Please contact Adèle directly for class times or for further information.

  • Beginners
  • Intermediate/Advanced 

Adèle draws from her vast experience as performer, choreographer and teacher of contemporary dance to deliver these energetic and eclectic sessions at two levels of progression. All classes have live musical accompaniment from composer and musician Terry Mann, and artist Angela Hinds draws during the classes each week.

Class description: Working with ease and a flow of movement through the body and particular attention to an appropriate and expansive use of breath, classes begin gently to uncover a deep sense of connected movement and culminate in more complex sequences that are both highly physical and technically and mentally challenging. Emphasis is placed on momentum, musicality and an expansive use of space combined with core strength and stability. With playful curiosity these classes explore, expand and focus on awareness of movement and kinaesthetic ideas of dynamic alignment through the body and into space, playing with weight shifts, quality and timing, always aiming to go beyond learning material to the dancing and the enjoyment of it.

Choreographic workshops

  • All Levels 

Sprung! and QdancEAlways commencing with a short technical warm up these workshops explore different ways into and manners of dealing with the art of choreography.

Sprung! is the annual platform of dance held at Queens’ in the informal studio setting of Fitzpatrick Hall. Sprung! is produced and directed by the Dance Artist in Residence in collaboration with Queens’ College Contemporary Dance Society. Sprung! is a self-selecting forum for dancers and choreographers of all levels, giving them a rare and wonderful performance opportunity taking pride in celebrating the rich diversity and creativity of dance at Queens', bringing together students, professionals, guest artists, choreographers, composers and musicians to work in exciting, eclectic and unexpected ways. QdancE is the College’s contemporary dance company under Adèle’s artistic direction.

Dress code for all sessions: Loose comfortable clothing and bare feet, no jewellery. Please bring water for rehydration.

Contact: Adèle Thompson, Dance Artist in Residence.

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