Raising the Bar - celebrating the success of deaf young performers

We are looking for deaf young people who are the performing stars of today, to Raise the Bar and show the world how good they are!

Raising the Bar logo

The ‘Raising the Bar’ project was developed by the National Deaf Children’s Society in 2015 to drive expectations of what deaf children and young people in the UK can achieve in dance and music.

See below for an amazing short film where our 12 stars from 2015 tell you about their experience at our first ever Raising the Bar masterclass at the REP in central Birmingham.

In 2016, we launched our second Raising the Bar event, introducing a third new workshop in drama. Doubling the number of places available, 24 lucky winners received a place at the masterclass directed by leading deaf professionals in the industry, at the prestigious mac birmingham in the West Midlands. The showcase proved that deaf young people can perform to a very high standard, a very well done to everyone involved.

Following the huge success of both events, we are now planning Raising the Bar 2017. We are delighted to offer 32 places at our new Raising the Bar masterclass, that promises to be even bigger and better! You will need to enter online, as well as send us a short clip of your talent. See below for details on how to enter the new competition for this year:

Raising the Bar 2015 Film

Enter the Raising the Bar competition

Want to apply for a space at one of our amazing four workshops:

Drama, Dance, Music, or be part of a Signed Song video? 

It's easy to apply!

Please note: this competition has now closed.

If you had a problem with your entry, or need to get in touch, please e mail buzz@ndcs.org.uk  


Just click the image below:

Raising the Bar

Please note - you may need to refresh the link if Survey Monkey does not load. 

Young people and their parent or carer will need to check out the competition Terms and Conditions before they enter.

The competition is open until midnight on 12 February 2017.

Please note that the online application form and film must both be completed and sent to us in order for us to accept the entry.


Be in a Signed Song Music video!

In partnership with Deaffest, there will be a fourth workshop at Raising the Bar this year, to create a music signed song video. Led by world famous Rosa Lee Timm who starred in the viral video of Pharrell Williams 'Happy' at Deaf Camp in America, you will have the opportunity to star in a new video filmed in Birmingham in April!


 - Raising the Bar 2017

We are looking for 8 young deaf people who can sign, to be part of this new exciting film.

You must be:

  • aged 8-18yrs
  • deaf
  • use BSL or have some BSL skills
  • have lots of enthusuasm!

 Please let us know if you would like to take part in this amazing opportunity by completing the online form below, and then sending us a clip of you using BSL - perhaps you could:

  • sign a song
  • or recite a poem
  • or tell us a story!

Don't forget to be as creative as possible!  Please e mail your clips to buzz@ndcs.org.uk.

Link to online form here: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/XY66VSF 


Please complete by Monday 27 February!



More details about Raising the Bar 2017

We are delighted to announce the launch, for the third year running, of our Raising the Bar 2017 competition. The competition will be open from 9 January 2017 until 12 February 2017.

We are searching for talented young deaf musicians, dancers, actors and signed singers between 8-18yrs, from all over the UK.

The prize is a spot in one of FOUR workshops at the Raising the Bar masterclass on the weekend of 22-23 April 2017, led by successful professional deaf artists, from Music and the Deaf, Deafinitely Theatre and Deaf Man Dancing and NEW for 2017 - working with Deaffest to film a signed song video! 

At the end of the weekend, there will a chance to perform in a spectacular showcase on an amazing stage. There are a whopping 32 places on offer!

If you know a young person who might be interested please do spread the word.

It's really easy to enter. All we need is for an online form to be completed, and to receive a link to, or to receive a file of, the young person performing for two minutes max, just a snapshot of what they can do. Files can be e mailed to buzz@ndcs.org.uk or sent via WeTransfer / Dropbox, or you can send us a link to your uploaded video on You Tube or Vimeo.

We appreciate that some parents and carers may be concerned about travel costs or other associated costs. Accommodation for the child and one parent, and food for the child during the workshops will be provided.

For families where costs are a barrier for their deaf child to attend please get in touch with us as the Inclusion Grant may be able to help. Just email me2@ndcs.org.uk or buzz@ndcs.org.uk.

Young people and their parent or carer will need to check out the competition Terms and Conditionsbefore they enter. The competition is open until midnight on 12 February 2017.

If you need any further information, please do not hesitate to get in touch by emailing buzz@ndcs.org.uk.

Good Luck!


Raising the Bar 2017 partners

We are pleased to be working with the following organisations on Raising the Bar 2017:

Music and the Deaf - www.matd.org.uk

 - Raising the Bar 2017

Deaf Men Dancing -www.marksmithproduction.com/deafmendancing

 - Raising the Bar 2017

Deafinitely Theatre - www.deafinitelytheatre.co.uk

 - Raising the Bar 2017

Deaffest, in partnership with the Arts Council and Zebra Access:


 - Raising the Bar 2017 - Raising the Bar 2017

 - Raising the Bar 2017

Ruddock Performing Arts Centre - http://ruddockpac.co.uk/

 - Raising the Bar 2017



Music and Performing Arts resources

We have a number of resources that are available to support professionals working with deaf children and young people.

If you would like more information or some extra support, please contact the Inclusive Activities team at me2@ndcs.org.uk.