• Tell me how you have found joining the Dance4 CAT programme during the Covid 19?
Joining the Dance4 CAT programme during the pandemic has been a kind of experience I have never experienced! At first, I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to talk with current CAT students and I was also nervous that I wouldn’t enjoy it as I expected as I would be at home. How wrong I was! This opportunity has presented many things to me, even being at home. New friendships, I felt so welcomed straight away and I couldn’t be more grateful for that. The CAT programme offers insane levels of dance and versatility in even one style and I do not feel as though I am missing out, even at home, the remote learning with Dance4 CAT has been incredible, we have continued working with a vast variety of artist, all unique and amazing in their own ways whilst giving us, as the students the knowledge and ability to broaden our choreographic vocabulary. I feel inspired every Saturday and during the pandemic, it’s hard to be inspired! Sometimes, getting up on a Saturday morning isn’t for me, but once greeted with bright, lovely and joyous smiles, the day feels better within seconds.
• What are you most looking forward to about returning to the Dance4 CAT studios?
I am beyond excited to be in the studios, experiencing the CAT programme firsthand. Whilst being online I’ve gathered how the typical CAT Saturday runs and with that, I am so looking forward to dancing with the other students, being able to work with amazing artists in person. Working with an artist in person is a whole new thing and the opportunities that CAT present, assure me that the in-person lessons will be 10x better than the already insane experience I’m having now! I do miss dancing with other people and feeling the connection to the music in the studio, it motivates us to push through the aches and sweats and that is what I am most looking forward to when returning to the studios.
• In what ways do you think you have developed in your dancing so far from being on the Dance4 CAT programme?
So many. Before joining the CAT programme, my understanding of dance was very little compared to now. During the programme I now understand that dance doesn’t always have to be pretty, I know that dance is about telling your story or feeling the reach and the pull when moving. The power of isolated movements and contrast in whole space activity. The creative box in my choreographic brain was untouched until I joined CAT, now I understand the power of influence and willingness to let the body move and allow each move to be it’s own. My range of dynamics has improved drastically! I now understand that dance is more than arms and a few leg swings, it’s including each part of your body. Feeling the movement in my fingertips, my hips, neck, elbows, toes, ankles. The CAT programme allows you to have that knowledge and gives you new chances every week to add new things to your style of dance and to your story as a dancer. The CAT programme has also made me realise that mental health in dance is just as important, we forget that we must look after our body and this programme, for sure opens that bubble of thought and includes that conversation a lot!
• How has it been having the opportunity to work with lots of different choreographers?
This is something I’ve never experienced before, I’m so used to one teacher every lesson, 3 days a week for hours and learning a specific routine. Having the opportunity to work with a different artist so frequently has allowed me to understand that everyone dances differently, everyone has their own ‘style’ of contemporary dance and their own story to tell. This opportunity has made me a better dancer because now, I have lots of experience with all interpretations of a very broad style allowing me to expand my horizons in dance and taking these skills from all artist elsewhere, gives me much more confidence in accepting other peoples style and not just sticking to a leap and leg extension. Working with lots of artists has really taught me that dance is about a range of dynamics and how powerful it is to use extension, isolation, contraction and throwing in the odd strange shapes. Make it fun and that is a brilliant lesson I’ve recovered through working with a variety of artists!