IN a huge, bright, sun-washed rehearsal space in Scottish Ballet's Glasgow headquarters, principal dancer Christopher Harrison is stripping off his clothes – blue tracksuit bottoms, white socks, AC/DC T-shirt – and positioning a couple of plastic chairs just so.

Music starts, controlled from a mixing desk in the corner. A cluster of loud, pulsing, droning notes fills the air: Into The Garden by Sheffield post-punk band Artery.

Harrison sits, moves slowly forward so his face is on his knees, then tilts backwards until the chair he's on topples over onto the one behind it. Cradled precariously on his back like an astronaut ready for lift-off, he twists and stretches his limbs in glacially slow movements. There's something like rapture on his face. Or it might be intense concentration. Or pain.

Sitting nearby, chin in hand, is Dundee-born choreographer Jack Webb. Like Harrison, he's also set for lift-off: just a few months after winning the One To Watch prize at the Sunday Herald Culture Awards, his solo piece Drawn To Drone has been chosen for inclusion in Scottish Ballet's Autumn season.

As well as giving the 30-year-old Dundonian a platform afforded to very few Scottish choreographers it underlines his reputation as a fast-rising talent. For Harrison and the three other dancers who'll perform Drawn To Drone – Simon Schilgen, Pascal Johnson and Matthew Broadbent – it brings more welcome contemporary dance into the company repertoire and, I suspect, a breath of fresh air into the rehearsal studio: “Don't be afraid to make the audience wait,” is one of Webb's laconic instructions to Harrison when the music fades and the dancer rights himself. “It's OK for you to be as indulgent as you need to be.”

It's three days to opening night.

Tall and physically imposing, Webb is also engaging, polite, thoughtful and quietly spoken. When he talks, he has a habit of scratching his right arm with his left hand and he's doing it now as, seated in a meeting room post-rehearsal, he talks about his journey here to Scottish Ballet and to a moment in his career which he describes as “pivotal”.

Webb's is hardly a Billy Elliot story. He never had a burning desire to be a dancer so when a friend suggested he try the classes run by local Dundee organisation Dance Advance he went along more out of curiosity than anything else. Even then he wasn't brave enough to take part initially. He was nine at the time. The whole thing, he tells me, “really was an accident”.

A happy one, though. Soon he was participating and turning up every week for sessions that threw pretty much everything at him – street dance, contemporary dance, movement exercises – and was producing a couple of public performances a year to boot.

“I was doing it for fun as a child, so I wasn't taking it seriously at all,” he says. “Then time passed with me doing it for fun and I got really into it.”

Being one of the only boys in a dance group when you're nine is one thing. Still being the only boy in it when you're 15 is quite another, and it would have been easy for Webb's interest to wane in the teeth of the competing distractions teenage years bring. But it didn't. Instead he kept dancing, and for one blindingly simple reason: he came to need it.

“I think it was the one thing that definitely made me feel good as a child and teenager,” he says. “It was the one thing that made me really happy and the one thing I would look forward to every week. It was the real highlight. Teenagers can be a bit miserable sometimes … I think that was the thing that kept me going. At that point I hadn't thought too much about the level I was at or the quality of what I was doing. But what I had definitely thought about was how it made me feel.”

The reaction at school was predictable enough. Webb was never physically bullied but playground flytings aren't the most sophisticated of verbal interactions, and when insults are being thrown around, an interest in dance is fissile material.

“Of course there would have been times when it would have been difficult but I always had that thing that was mine,” he says. “People can say what they want about it but they can't really touch it because you're the one who's experiencing it and doing it. All they can say is a mere judgement on their part. It never stopped me.”

But in other ways he was in the perfect place to dance. Glasgow may be home to the national ballet company and Edinburgh to a venue – Dance Base – which is the envy of many European capitals, but if dance in Scotland has a home ground it's Dundee. As well as Dance Advance you'll also find Scottish Dance Theatre (based at Dundee Rep and the closest thing Scotland has to a national contemporary dance company) and the Scottish School of Contemporary Dance, located at Dundee and Angus College.

It was here that Webb headed in 2003, aged 16. His parents were supportive, if a little nonplussed: eager to see him succeed, concerned about the costs and the prospects. But they'd seen Billy Elliot. They had an Oscar-nominated film to hang their son's ambitions on.

Webb graduated in 2006. Since then he has been working as a dancer and, increasingly, as an in-demand choreographer. As well as his commitment to Scottish Ballet he's currently touring with his own show, The End, a work for three dancers which co-opts interested locals into the cast at every stop on the way. Typically, Webb takes a two-day workshop and then everyone who wants to can become part of the performance.

It can be a logistical nightmare but, based on his experience so far, it's worth it. A couple of days before we meet, he and his dancers performed The End in London. “After the two days, the whole group of people left feeling we'd created something really special,” he says proudly.

Three weeks earlier he had a full-on Billy Elliot moment too when his parents came to see The End in Dundee – performed at The Space, the Scottish School of Contemporary Dance's purpose-built studio.

“They hadn't seen anything I'd done for a while so it really felt like a moment where I went, 'Yes, I'm really doing this. It's the only thing I do in my life. It's my job, my career, my work. And now you've come to see this piece at the place where it all started'.”

Although Edinburgh-based, Webb doesn't seem to spend much time in the capital. He has a large black rucksack with him today because, as he puts it, “choreographers are always on the move”.

“One day I'm here rehearsing Scottish Ballet dancers, the next day I'm going to Shetland to do The End with my dancers, then at the end of October my show will be over and I'm going into someone else's show as a performer. So my role changes again, which I like.”

That show is Lady Macbeth: Unsex Me Here, in which Webb and two other male dancers each play Lady Macbeth in a work blending Shakespeare's story with choreography drawing on British Sign Language. It's the latest production from Glasgow-based Company Chordelia.

Webb did stay long enough in Edinburgh to land a part in Sunshine On Leith when it filmed there in 2013, however. You can see him in the Bollywood-style dance finale on the Mound, created by acclaimed South African choreographer Arthur Pita.

“I live in Leith, first of all, and I thought I'd really love to be in a film which is referencing this area of the city and working with this iconic music. Then obviously to work with Arthur as well – he was there and taught all the choreography.

“I had a really fun time. It was unusual in terms of what I would normally have been doing, but these days I feel like there is no 'normally' any more.”

Another unusual move was to work with Turkish-Cypriot fashion designer Hussein Chalayan, one of couture's more challenging creators. It came about after Webb saw a work created by Belgian choreographer Damien Jalet for Scottish Dance Theatre. Webb emailed Jalet to see if there was any chance of them working together – “A little bit cheeky,” he admits, “but if you don't ask you don't get” – and found out there was: as a dancer in Gravity Fatigue, a collaboration between Jalet and Chalayan, to be performed at Sadler's Wells in London in October 2015.

“Being there with a really well-known choreographer and a very famous fashion designer does take it to another level of prestige, which is exciting,” Webb says. “Your job as a dancer is to keep you feet on the ground. Literally. But it was a big deal because of the whole fashion element.”

Scottish Ballet is a step up even from that, though, and Webb knows it. Although he's an Associate Artist at Tramway, where Scottish Ballet are based, he had had no dealings with the company until he joined its Anserinae Choreographic Mentorship Scheme, set up to nurture emerging choreographers. His task, under the watchful eye of choreographer and teacher Kerry Nichols, had been to create a new piece inspired by the re-worked (no tutus!) Swan Lake the company was rehearsing at the time.

Drawn To Drone was the result, performed once (by Webb) at a private showcase in Edinburgh. He thought that would be the last of it until he received a call from Scottish Ballet's Artistic Director Christopher Hampson asking if he would like to perform it himself on the upcoming autumn tour, or to choreograph it for the company. He chose the second.

So after the Sunday Herald Culture Award, after this “pivotal” introduction to the world of international ballet companies, what next for the accidental dancer?

“I want to keep making my own work but in terms of the scale of it I'd like it to get bigger,” he says. “But I'd also like to start to work with other companies … When you go into a company as a guest choreographer and make a work for them, there's something really exciting about that.”

He also has plans for his own company – “I think it will happen quite soon, but I need to feel that the time is right” – and a grander vision for shaping a uniquely Scottish contemporary dance vernacular.

“I've thought about this a lot,” he tells me. “There's no Scottish style of contemporary dance because it's so young in the grand scheme compared to classical ballet. But it's something I've thought about doing a project on. I think there is definitely an energy which is very closely linked to working in Scotland or being Scottish.”

He defines it as “a sort of wildness” and says he sees it in the work of many of his Scottish-based contemporaries. It's informed by landscape, geography, weather.

“Most of the year we're kind of in darkness and it's probably raining, and I think it does influence what you do and how you do it. And there's definitely an underlying feeling of wildness that comes out in the work. It's not a negative thing, it's a positive thing.”

And does he think dance can take that energy and wildness, those disparate aspects of life in northern latitudes, and turn then into something representative and uniquely Scottish?

“Absolutely. Yes. I think it's one of the best ways. That real physical experience of life in the world, and how to talk about it, is something I'm always trying to do with my work. It's the thing that can hit people the hardest – the real visceral quality of it, the tangible, physical experience of a body moving in space.”

Back in the Scottish Ballet rehearsal studio, clad only in shorts and falling backwards on a white plastic chair, Christopher Harrison knows all about bodies moving in space. But as the session ends, fellow dancer Simon Schilgen has a question: what do we do if the chairs collapse? I watch Webb as he formulates a response, trying to figure out if he genuinely hasn't considered it or is actually thrilled by the prospect. Either way, his answer is simple enough. “Just start again,” he says with a grin.

Drawn To Drone is performed as part of Scottish Ballet's Autumn Season at Eden Court, Inverness on Friday and Saturday and at His Majesty's Theatre, Aberdeen (October 14-15); The End is at Mareel, Lerwick (October 8) and the Lemon Tree, Aberdeen (October 15); Lady Macbeth: Unsex Me Here tours Scotland and England in October and November starting at the Lemon Tree, Aberdeen (October 22)