5 January 2018
Author: The Place and Luke Birch

Q&A with Luke Birch

Meet our new adult classes teacher Luke Birch. Luke will be teaching Contemporary Improvers and Level 2 Contemporary on a Monday evening. We wanted to get to know him a bit better..

What made you start dancing?

I started dancing at art college after high school. I was doing a course in art and design and me and my best friend (who I met at gymnastics when we were 7) thought we would enrol for A level dance on a Friday just 'for a laugh'. The teacher was a goth with a big tattoo of an octopus who I thought was really cool. The first dance I ever did was to the Sex Pistols 'pretty vacant' so of course I was completely hooked! The teacher was so supportive and encouraging and I loved the feeling of moving and knew after this year it was something I always had to do.

What do you find the most rewarding when teaching?

I love working with people and encouraging them to find joy and pleasure within movement. I love seeing people improve and watching the different ways people process and develop the material given in class. I am constantly inspired by watching people work with my movement material/improvisation scores, and taking it to places I wouldn't have thought of. I couldn't carry on teaching without this feedback from participants. I enjoy trying to embrace the different personalities in the room and working out ways to give different sorts of information about the material so everyone can process and develop their dancing with individuality and character. I enjoy working hard without taking ourselves too seriously, it's great to sweat and laugh together. The most rewarding thing is seeing people walking out of the studio with a smile on their face.

What are you most looking forward to about teaching classes at The Place?

I'm really looking forward to coming back to where I spent a year training in Edge (LCDS postgraduate company). I love the energy of the building, and the mix of dancers that pass through, it feels like a real hub of activity and I think this energy will feed into class. I'm looking forward to meeting the participants and getting to know them over the weeks and enjoying watching them dance. I feel so honoured to be invited to teach here and cant wait to get started!

What advice would you give to someone who is nervous about dancing for the first time?

Everybody has to start somewhere! If you have a passion and curiosity for movement then you will go far. You can teach somebody technique, but you can't nessicarily teach people to have that fire in the belly. Pleasure in the sensation of movement is so captivating to watch and really nourishing for the dancer. It's good to be bold and push yourself into new ventures and know that after the first ten minutes you will be so absorbed in moving that any nerves will disappear, I promise!

Find out more about Contemporary Improvers and Level 2 Contemporary.


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