Guiding Principles

Dance Base's mission is to get more people dancing. The organisation exists to encourage and celebrate the potential for dance in everyone.

As Scotland’s National Centre for Dance, it offers a vibrant and uplifting focal point for dance as an art form, a way to exercise, and a way of life. It reaches out to inspire wellbeing and creativity, and cultivate a future for dance in local, national and international communities.

Dance Base operates 3 artistic programmes:

  • A public class programme providing over 100 classes in over 40 different forms of dance throughout the year.
  • A professional support programme, supporting and promoting professional dancers through classes, workshops and performance opportunities, including a Fringe Festival platform, continued professional development and management resources.
  • An inclusive participation programme working with individuals and groups with a wide range of interests and abilities. We take dance to nurseries, primary and secondary schools, youth groups and adult day centres. We also bring groups to our beautiful studios at Grassmarket for classes and to watch professional company rehearsals.

Over 2.500 people a week currently experience the physical and emotional benefits of dance at Dance Base.


Dance Base has been active as an independent company promoting and delivering dance activity in the city of Edinburgh since 1994. The company undertook a major development with the move into new, purpose-built premises in the heart of Edinburgh’s Old Town in June 2001. Scotland’s first purpose-built National Centre for Dance was officially opened by our Royal Patron, The Prince Charles, Duke of Rothesay KT, KG on 21st September 2001. A month later our Artistic Patron, the internationally renowned choreographer Mark Morris, celebrated with Dance Base by creating and dedicating a new work performed by his company at the Festival Theatre in Edinburgh.

Building and facilities

Located in the Grassmarket in Edinburgh, the centre caters for dancers of all ages and abilities, providing an accessible programme of activities that offers a diverse public a non-competitive, sociable and enjoyable way to keep physically fit and develop new creative skills. The 4 world-class studios provide dancers with excellent facilities and an inspiring environment in which to dance.

Each of the 4 studios has a unique connection to the beautiful city outside. Studio 1 is our biggest space, renowned for its glass roof, looking up to Edinburgh Castle. Studio 1 converts to a black box theatre with a full rig, automated blackout system and retractable seating bank. This theatre space is used for regular showcases and hosts dozens of home-grown and international performances every August, as part of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

Studio 2 and Studio 4 both have unique views of Edinburgh’s Old Town and are used as residency spaces for professional dance companies and artists to develop work and share their progress with the public.

Studio 3 is a contemplative temple space, which opens out onto the secret Dance Base garden. Studio 3 also converts into a bespoke theatre space for the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

14 – 16 Grassmarket
United Kingdom

Dance Base Festival

2 - 26 August 2024

registrations are open

The home of dance at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.