How did you start in dance?
I’ve always wanted a career in dance. At secondary school I danced six days a week and then I studied dance with aerial performance at Edge Hill University.
What is the best piece of advice you have for students today?
It’s harder to train when you’re working. Training should never stop. Going to regular classes, trying new classes and continuing to study will help keep your approaches fresh, feed your creativity and keep you fit.
What would you change about training in the UK?
I hope universities and conservatoires continue to respond to the demands of the sector by offering unique specialisms and links between national and international dance artists.
What is the best part of your job?
I love anything dance-related, whether I’m teaching children, delivering dance and dementia sessions, guiding our in-house youth dance and circus company or going into a fall-prevention classes to deliver a chair-based exercise session. It’s rewarding to put a smile on someone’s face through dance.
And your least favourite?
I wish I had more time to train my body, make more plans, evaluate and learn more.
Who are the practitioners you admire the most/who should students look up to?
I remember taking an Edward Scissorhands workshop with Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures team and loving the creative approaches to choreographing and storytelling. Bourne’s work made contemporary dance accessible. I admire choreographers who give me the opportunity to get lost in the worlds or stories they create. My favourite companies include Company Chameleon, Joss Arnott, Jasmine Vardimon and Akram Khan.
What is the one skill every successful theatre/dance professional should have?
Be open-minded. This will help you to step out of your comfort zone, expand your creativity and knowledge and keep learning.
Isobel Davis was talking to John Byrne. For more information go to: deda.uk.com