July/August 2018 | Thank You Summer
Thank you summer;
Those gloriously scorching days saw me making the most of a two week holiday, driving through and camping in Europe’s beautiful landscapes (breathtaking experiences galore), attending a family wedding, visiting and spending quality time with family and friends in the UK, as well as general sun soaking wherever possible. This was the perfect time for a lot of rest, relaxation, adventure and learning. Learning that it’s important to take the time for these things, to reenergise and therefore allow preparation for bringing the best of me to a lot of work to come.
Even though there was an unusual amount of free time during the summer months, there was work during that time too, don’t get me wrong.
Thank you summer;
I led A level students at Sandringham School, St Albans, in a heatwave-infused but incredibly energetic contemporary workshop as part of their Arts Week at the end of term. It was great to move in the space with such enthusiastic and enlivening students.
I volunteered for a week at LifeTeen UK’s summer camp in Alton, Stoke-on-Trent. Working on behalf of NYMO and BCYS as a youth leader and Faith Dance workshop facilitator, surrounded by the astounding scenery of Alton Castle and a group of inspiring people in the leaders as well as young people in attendance. A ‘relentless’ week of activity and life affirming faith was a joy to be a part of. A particular highlight is having the Vicar General Monsignor Tim Menezes join my Faith Dance workshop from start to finish and get creative in the choreography section too – so much life and soul in an exceptional church leader!
Image: Neil Roseman Image: Yani Perera Image: Neil Roseman
Unexpectedly, the power of communication and networking showed itself with an offer for me to contribute to and take on a new role in the local area. I’m looking forward to facilitating a monthly workshop for families at Stevenage Museum (A-MUSE), on behalf of BEEE Creative starting this Autumn. As a result of this conversation I also gained more work, expanding my freelance marketing offerings. I had the pleasure of working with Jennifer Irons of IronINC, to create, plan and lead on marketing content for her new solo show, Yukon Ho!, that was heading to Edinburgh Fringe Festival at the end of August – an exciting new challenge working on a “bonkers” but brilliant work.
Dance teaching never really ceases, just quietens over summer. So to keep things bubbling over, I’ve been adding movement to a few of the adult discos at Kids in Action over the last couple of months. I also prepared and delivered dance workshops, with a different theme each day, to young people attending Expressions Academy’s Summer Arts Fest. Workshops included inspiration from Cats The Musical, Morris dance and the Pink Panther - a very fun week inspiring young people to learn and create, through dance and other art forms.
Images: TCW Production
A random but entertaining addition to work is being hired as a choreographer by All Steps First Dance,for soon-to-be newlyweds looking for support in creating their perfect first dance. There is an element of the unknown and a nervousness leading up to these sessions, but that is soon disregarded as you meet some lovely people who have enlisted your help to support the smooth running and enjoyment of their special day, which feels great.
Seeds were sewn for new projects which will be spoken about as intentions and plans develop, but I will be looking forward to working closely on these.
Finally, this time wouldn’t be complete without a bit of CPD, including a Kerry Nicholls Masterclass and professional class with Eleesha Drennan as part of the MK OU Dance Group’s summer school which are always a chance to push myself and keep training.
Now summer is drawing to a close, I’m bracing myself but also giddily looking forward to the organised chaos in my diary that is September onwards as a new school year begins. I have to thank summer for a memorable couple of months that brought rest, relaxation, adventure and learning, and now I am back in full business mode. Bring it on freelance dance!