I have many half finished blog posts at the moment, but today I just want to make a fun post about dance by doing the ‘Dancer Tag’ or answering some questions about dance, mostly because this time next week it will be show day for my studio’s summer showcase and I’ll be practically living at the theatre next week. I’m just so excited, so I have decided to once again bore you all about my love for dance. Enjoy!
1. How long have you been dancing?
It’s difficult because technically I have been dancing since I was about 4-5 years old, I did ballet and tap in my village hall for a few years until less and less people were going so the classes had to stop running. I guess you could say I stopped dancing then, but looking back, I didn’t really ever stop. I went to a street dance class on Saturday mornings in the leisure centre for a while, I went to a cheerleading camp, lots of one off classes in school holidays, I even remember doing a ballroom dancing class once! But when I was 10, year 6 in school, I started going to a studio for one class a week with two of my friends. We would do this line dancing class as an after school club then we would go to this class afterwards, and it was really fun. I loved performing in a theatre, it was something I’d never done before and it was amazing (although I think we performed a cringy piece about fireworks that first year!) After one year, my two friends stopped going, but something made me keep dancing. And the rest is history!
2. What are your favourite styles of dance?
Contemporary is and always will be my love, I’ve done other styles but I don’t think that anything else compares to it. In the last two years, contemporary dance has honestly taken over my life, and I’ve loved every second.
3. What are your least favourite styles of dance?
Maybe ballet, if any. I really love ballet and I adore watching it, but sometimes I feel there are too many limitations and restrictions. Although I appreciate that this is simply the nature of the style, I feel contemporary is more suited to me personally.
4. Are you a competitive dancer?
No! In the UK, I don’t believe there is as much competitive dance as in America, for example, although there still is competition. I wouldn’t want to do it anyway though, I much prefer the team spirit of a company and my favourite part of shows is when we all perform a piece together and our only intentions are to showcase our hard work and put on an amazing show.
5. What is one dance flaw you have that you would change?
I’m constantly trying to improve my posture, as it’s not very good and it is a correction I frequently get from my teacher. I need to basically open out more and look up more as well.
6. What do you want to improve on?
As I have said, I need to improve on my posture, but also my flexibility. I’m not naturally flexible whatsoever, and so I need to work a lot on it which is really hard. I have set a goal for myself to be able to do the splits by the end of summer, I’m determined to put the work in.
7. Barefoot or dance shoes?
Barefoot! I don’t even own any dance shoes, and in company we are always in barefoot.
8. Tights or no tights?
I prefer no tights as sometimes they’re a bit uncomfortable but it depends what I’m feeling, sometimes I like to wear tights and shorts to class.
9. What is your favourite dance wear brand?
I don’t really wear a lot of brands for dance, I find a lot of my dance wear from high street stores or online dance shops for leotards etc. But I really like Pineapple, and Capezio is beautiful.
10. What styles of dance do you currently do?
Well MYDC (Monmouthshire Youth Dance Company) is the majority of my dancing (every Wednesday and, from September to March, lots of weekends and half term holidays), then I also do Monmouthshire Connected Dance Company once a week, where a few of us from MYDC work with dancers with a range of disabilities, both visible and hidden. It is difficult, but so rewarding and so much fun, easily one of the best things I’ve ever done in my life. I also attend an open class on a Tuesday which is a mix of lyrical, contemporary and hip hop.
11. What studio do you currently attend?
The organisation I am involved in is called Dance Blast, which is actually a charity as such, and is arts funded. Each year MYDC do a project called Ignite, which culminates in two shows in March, where we create pieces within our groups, and then the youth members choose choreographers to commission, then they come and create a piece for the show as an intensive. This project completely relies on art funding from the council each year if it is to happen. Fortunately, we have received the funding to do Ignite for the fifth year (this will be my third Ignite).
12. What studio was your first class at?
As I have said, it wasn’t a studio as such, just my local village hall, and my teacher was called Miss Barbara. We used to push off the bottom of the stage to practice pliés and the backs of chairs as ballet bars! I took about four ballet classes a month or two ago at my studio and it was probably my first experience of using a proper ballet bar in a class!
13. Is dance your favourite sport?
In a word: yes! I am honestly so useless at every other sport!
14. What dancer do you look up to?
I think I would have to say the choreographers/dancers that I have worked with because they just inspire me so much. Particularly John Ross, who choreographed a piece in October of last year. He was just so talented yet so down to earth and funny, and I loved watching him in a separate show he danced in. Also I love Beth Powlesland and Eithne Kane, who we worked with in February of this year, and I’m very much looking forward to performing that piece again in October alongside their own piece.
15. What style of dance do you find the most difficult?
I would definitely say ballet. I do like it but I haven’t done it for long enough to have the technique that ballet requires, and so I find it extremely difficult.
16. Why do you love dance?
I cannot even find the words to answer this sufficiently. I love dance because I’ve gained a passion in my life and I can’t imagine not being involved in something which completely and utterly consumes me, which dance does. I’ve made amazing friends for life and the experiences I have had, and the experiences I will have in the future, thanks to dance, are experiences I will never, ever forget.