20 April 2018
Author: The Place and Julian Lewis

Meet The Teacher: Julian Lewis

We spoke to Julian Lewis who teaches on our evening classes programme at The Place. 

Can you tell us about your background in dance?

I first began dancing when I was 6 years old, taking part in competitions, festivals and also doing my own one-man shows for my family! After pursuing contemporary dance at GCSE/A Level and as part of a local youth dance company, I decided I couldn’t live without it and completed my professional training at Trinity Laban. Since graduating, I joined the postgraduate company EDGE at London Contemporary Dance School, have worked for several companies and projects as well as producing my own choreography and developing a range of teaching roles.

What can we expect from your class?

My Ballet Introduction class is a great way to take your first steps in dance, or to perhaps revisit the art form after many years or even an injury. With a strong focus on basic technique, you will be guided through a series of exercises at the ballet barre as well as in the centre and travelling across the room to build strength, flexibility and coordination. I also like to introduce how to work well with the music and make the most of the wonderful live musician, as well as explore how we can change the ‘quality’ and ‘perform’ the movement. What I like the most is observing improvement in individuals and the buzz I get from witnessing what I have delivered performed back to me, particularly if the exercise/phrase of movement is demanding or challenging to achieve. I also enjoy my personal journey as a teacher to reach this point, planning new approaches to deliver the movement and experimenting with new ways of choreographing my class.

Who was your most influential teacher?

There have been too many to choose just one! I definitely feel very lucky to have experienced some fantastic teachers during my training, and I feel they all came at the right time in my learning. Whilst at Trinity Laban, I developed my understanding and embodiment of technique from ballet teacher Teresa Kelsey as well as contemporary teachers Gary Lambert and Melanie Clarke. Once I came to The Place, to experience classes taught by Hannah Kidd (former dancer with Richard Alston Dance Company) was particularly beneficial as she really helped me understand some habits I still had, and I really saw her as a role-model in terms of how I wanted to dance.

What has been your biggest challenge as a dancer?

Being a perfectionist! As a perfectionist, I’m always striving to achieve my absolute best which can sometimes be very stressful or overwhelming, particularly as the dance world can be so unpredictable and competitive. This was particularly challenging whilst training, with so much to learn and so many assessments, deadlines and auditions ahead of me.

Who would you invite to your dream dinner party?

The Spice Girls

Find out more about Julian's class


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