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Work Experience at The Place – Kaitland Baker

11 January 2018
Author: Kaitland Baker

I was incredibly excited when I applied and was accepted for a week of work experience at The Place. I had heard of the Place through my school curriculum and was always interested in the training they offer, as well as the productions! My week allowed me to explore these different methods of training, yet also all the different departments that ensure the schools and productions run smoothly.

Throughout the week, I took part in a range of practical activities, learning about all the different departments involving in dance. For instance, I really enjoyed one of my first visits to the costume department. Here, I was provided with the task to sort out the costumes and understand how the department manages to handle so many costumes moving in and out. Then I had a chance to look at all the different costumes that can be used by the performers – which was an amusing experience. Later I also had the opportunity to talk to the Classes and Courses department and learn how they organise the timetabling of the classes. I also learnt about the different classes that are available to me (including LCDS), really sparking an interest in me the idea of a conservatoire – rather than simply the traditional university route. It was also really interesting to listen to the Creative Learning Department and how The Place works with other schools and young people around the area. This was lovely to hear about and their passion for dance really showed through the opportunities they create. Finally, I also liked the tour of the theatre, to discover how intricate the working of backstage is. This really opened my eyes to other methods of working in dance if I decide I no longer want to perform – I can still be backstage even if I’m not dancing!

The definite highlights of my week were watching the rehearsals of the London Contemporary Dance School and EDge. It was amazing to witness the development of the students as they start in their BA Year 1, all the way through to the Post-Graduate company. I was able to watch a range of different styles such as: the Year 1 and 2 Contemporary classes, the Year 3 ballet class and finally an abstract contemporary performance that EDge were working on. This part of the week really helped me with my own decisions as to where I would like to continue my higher education training in dance - and that auditioning for a conservatoire isn’t really that scary!

Finally, I also had the opportunity to assist with and also take part in a ChoreoLab workshop. This allowed me to witness a mock audition class and also numerous tips on how to make an effective solo for my A Level studies and my audition pieces. I really appreciate this being added to my timetable and it shows that the team at The Place were really enthusiastic about giving me lots of opportunities during my work experience.

I would just like to add how helpful everyone had been this week, allowing me to feel more comfortable and really getting to know me. I would also like to thank Keira Marron, who took the time to organise the whole week and keep me occupied with lots of activities, which really broadened my horizons in the profession of dance. She was incredibly friendly and always checked to ensure I was okay, continuously learning new things and never bored! A big thank you for this opportunity! 

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