After sending out an email about a month ago to the NSCD, the message was finally passed on to the students. So far I've had 6 responses of interest from all year groups, which gives me a lot more choice as to what routine would suit my animation the best.
Since I already have footage from Rachel, who danced solo, I thought it could be a good idea to get at least one more routine from another dancer in response to Rachel's, so that I can explore the concept of feeling lost further.
This would work by having the two separate routines playing through, fading or cutting from one to the other, to suggest two people are lost and are trying to find their way; in the end they will find each other, shown meeting in the centre of the screen.
If I go through with this idea, I could gather as much footage of different routines as possible and choose the best parts of each; then the two characters in my film could be represented by multiple people.
In order to get the students at the Northern School of Contemporary Dance involved, I could propose this idea to them, show them the footage I received from Rachel, and ask them to interpret their part of the routine in their own way.
Since it's late in the process already, I will have to set a deadline in the next couple of weeks for them to work towards so that I can have the full animation prepared and can have enough time to finish the final piece. I can ask them to produce a minute long dance each, since I will need to cut it down to 1 minute anyway, which will give them more time to work on better choreography.
In my statement of intent, I wrote that I would ideally start animating on 7th March; since I have potential contacts from the Northern School of Contemporary Dance and my visual style isn't completely figured out yet, I think it's better that I spend roughly 2 more weeks piecing it all together, with the second reference video and my visual style complete.
From this experience in contacting schools, I realise it takes a while for the administrators to process my email to get to the students; if I had emailed in December or January then I could have allowed them more time to produce a good piece of choreography, which would have been ready for me by now. However I can still work with what I've got - I already have footage from Rachel so even if the other half of the animation isn't quite set up yet, I can at least start the final piece with what I've got within these next two weeks.