My First Job: Nick McKerrow – ‘Don’t believe anyone who says you can’t do it’
As a city person, I’ve lived in London all my life. My first job was with Anjali Dance Company in 2007 and I’ve been with them ever since. I was doing a one-year course with Candoco and someone saw me and thought I would be great for Anjali, so I was invited for an audition. I was petrified and didn’t know what to expect but when I arrived everyone was very friendly. I realised this was my dream and I knew I was in the right place to train to be a dancer.
The audition was really exciting. We did an advanced dance class – I had to work hard to keep up because the other dancers had a lot of training. Everyone was so professional. One thing I could have done differently was make sure I had my practice clothes with me – my mum had to go off and buy some. I was very pleased when I was offered a place.
With Anjali I learned how to push through my fears and go for it. I’ve also learned how to teach workshops and give presentations and this has improved my confidence. Anjali has given me amazing opportunities. I have been able to express myself and I made a solo dance piece called Second Skin about my sexuality. It’s good to be able to let my feelings out in my dancing. I like dressing up – my motto is ‘always glam up’. We all made a work for a show based on our dreams and desires and I named it Unexploded Stories.
My advice to people with learning disabilities who want to dance is to try to find somewhere to train. It’s not easy as there are many things that can prevent people with learning disabilities from getting dance training. Don’t believe anyone who tells you that you can’t do it and don’t let anyone put you off.
We have made a new show, Genius, with Gary Clarke and Lea Anderson, two brilliant choreographers who were so inspiring to work with. Soon we are touring around the UK, Spain and Mexico. At Anjali we say: “Just do it.”
CV: Nick McKerrow
Training: Alessendre School of Dance, Larondina Dance Company, Candoco Foundation Course, Corali Dance Company, Roehampton University, Anjali Dance Company.
TV credits: Got to Dance, Game Lab
Theatre credits: Unexploded Stories tour, T4Two, Fruit for Thought, Second Skin
Other credits include: Opening ceremony of Special Olympics, GOlive Festival, La Casa Encendida, Madride
Nick McKerrow will be dancing in the UK tour of Genius until November 9. He was talking to John Byrne