Take 20 young dancers between 11 and 25 years old, 2 amazing professional dancers and a talented West End coach, add enthusiasm, hard work and inspiration and that’s Chantry Dance Company Summer School.
The Week for me was an amazing opportunity and an insight into the life of a professional artist. I learnt not only loads about dance technique but it was awesome to see everyone in the group develop as we worked hard on three dance pieces ready for the family and friends performance on the Friday.
One of the pieces was from CDC’s Autumn tour but we got to be there when it was being created. Watching Paul turn emotion into action and then action into dance phrases was remarkable. Every movement, however small, had its meaning and this gave the overall piece such power. I can’t wait to see the finished performance of ” The Happy Prince ” when it tours the country .
For another piece we were trained by West End choreographer Gail Gordon. One of the aims of the Summer School is to give participants a taste of working in a professional company, Gail certainly gave us that! Although it was hard work she got the best out of everyone. I knew she wanted me to succeed and I trusted her even when I was finding it hard to stay on my feet. I was reminded of how if we totally trust God ,although there are going to be tough times the result is awesome!
The third piece was reflecting on how war affects a small Russian community as their men go to battle. This time a large part of the choreography was down to us! This composition was the most memorable for me personally, I danced a duet with a talented teenage dancer and learnt so much from the other participants. However the most powerful thing was the emotional engagement with the characters within the story and exploring the impact of loss on a community.
Throughout the whole week the passion of the teachers to support and encourage all the dancers was clear. Religion wasn’t mentioned but it was great to see Rae and Paul living their faith and being a great example to the professional dancers of the future!