I am delighted to be a blogger and reviewer for Move It/Perform 2014. I’ll be taking classes, doing social media and interviews – I can’t wait to get started. Here is my “move it” …
Like most dancers, I don’t remember a time when dancing wasn’t a part of my life. I was first brought to a ballet class aged 5 by my mum as most little girls are and have never looked back. At present, I don’t dance as such in any consistent way yet I still consider myself a dancer because it’s in my blood and I believe it always will be whether it’s through my writing and blogging, work, taking the occasional class or watching the numerous productions I see whenever I can. There will always be that layer of appreciation and knowledge of the dance world that won’t ever go away and will always continue to fascinate me.
Ballet was where it started for me. At first it was just once a week and slowly as I got older and began to take part in shows and local competitions this quickly escalated to four or five classes a week at Euridge School of Dance in Devon where I grew up. The ballet fix reached its peak for me aged 14. I struggled to juggle my dancing with my school work so I left it behind and it must be said, without much of a thought actually, I didn’t anticipate the gaping hole this left in my life and I was almost in mourning for dance! It was at this time Strictly Come Dancing had its first series and I was introduced to a completely different genre of dance I had never experienced before. I was instantly in love and desperate to try it. There was only one hitch, finding a good Ballroom and Latin dance class around my neck of the woods was next to impossible. I tried the odd class but they were all full of elderly couple doing the slow Waltz … a million miles from what I had seen on the television. So for those few years dance eluded me slightly.
It wasn’t until my university years that I would reconnect with my dancing. I attended Royal Holloway, University of London and with the capital on my doorstep I finally rediscovered my love of dance through attending shows as often as I could, my favourite location being the Royal Opera House of course. In my spare time I took a huge amount of pleasure in reviewing what I’d seen for my student newspaper, I often reviewed Move It and always leapt at the opportunity to meet the Strictly stars who often attended to teach a class there. University also gave me the chance to join the Ballroom and Latin American Dance Society which over the two years I took part, gave me numerous opportunities to compete all over the UK including the Winter Gardens in Blackpool.
It was attending Move It in 2010 that would change my relationship with dance forever. I was handed a free copy of both Dancing Times and Dance Today inside which was the launch of their “Correspondance” competition, seeking young dance writers to review a dance production of their choice, the prize being work experience at the magazine. I was lucky enough to win and it was then I began to take dance writing a lot more seriously. Since then I have written for many dance websites and publications, gradually developing my niche as reviewing Ballroom and Latin shows. I long ago accepted I was no professional dancer but this didn’t mean I had to stop having fun with dance or taking new classes, in fact it was when I stopped focussing so intensely on one style that the fun really began.