18 April 2017
Author: Hope Eyre
I would like to start off by saying how much I enjoyed my week’s work experience at The Place. Due to the activities I was able to get involved in and the very friendly staff and students I met, I feel I have gained a huge amount of knowledge not just about The Place, but also about the world of dance. I also now understand that as a dancer, there is not one fixed path I should follow, but instead, there are so many options available to someone who is and wants to be involved in dance.
My week spent at The Place was a perfect balance of both practical and theoretical activities, and I was able to become familiar with all aspects of the organisation’s work, in a nurturing and encouraging environment.
I spent time with the Richard Alston Dance Company, the Centre for Advanced Training office, Classes and Courses, London Contemporary Dance School and Reception. During my time in each of these departments, I had the chance to get to know the people involved and how their role contributes to the running of the school, which was very interesting. I was also able to do some office and admin work in some of these sections, which gave me a glimpse into the work they do day to day. Even though I may have doubted the fun of these jobs before I got stuck in, I enjoyed each one and believe each task has given me something new.
I was also involved in more practical activities in departments such as Costume, where I had the fun job of photographing and labelling costumes. I also had the chance to explore the incredibly vast costume room, where there were enough clothes for the whole of Kings Cross! I really enjoyed getting involved in the Costume department as it gave me a chance to view the depth and detail the department has to go to, in order to create costumes for each show.
Another opportunity, which was so enjoyable, was having the chance to observe classes. I watched London Contemporary Dance School’s Year 1 Ballet and Contemporary classes and a Shift class. Shift is a senior youth dance company based at The Place. I loved observing classes as it gave me a real sense of what I could achieve if I work hard and exploit any potential I may have. Also, seeing the students do what they love has given me the motivation to dance as well as I can, as I now understand the rewards it can bring – being able to share your passion with others. I found the exercises in the classes to be dynamic and interesting, whilst the teachers were inspiring and encouraging. It was truly fascinating to see the students feed off the energy of their teachers and it was obvious classes are very enjoyable!
On my last day, I was lucky enough to observe a sharing of a piece from the postgraduate performing company at The Place – EDge. I had never experienced a sharing, so I found it intriguing and captivating. Even though the performance was short, it was very powerful and I am very grateful I had the chance to experience it.
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed my week at The Place. I found it incredibly constructive as it gave me so many experiences and showed me the possible routes I could take as a dancer. A massive thank you to Keira Marron and Laura Naldrett for arranging my week at The Place and for making it so interesting and lots of fun.