29 May 2018
Author: Ujanah Ofuyaekpone-Shombe
Work experience at The Place was a wonderful experience, not only did I do the expected; watch rehearsals and dance classes, but I also discovered departments which I had no idea existed! All the staff were lovely and helped create the homely atmosphere of the place, all my asked questions were answered as well as the ones I didn’t even know I had. Although it was a long, packed and busy week it went by much too fast.
Upon approaching The Place for a work experience opportunity I had no idea that I would be leaving with a completely different view on the, what I previously thought to be, narrow and simple world of dance, I can assure you that dance is far from simple and narrow. I have been introduced to new possibilities for my future and been told ways to achieve these goals.
Before doing work experience I had fears that I would feel like an outcast and that I would be bombarded with masses of impossible work, however these worries were quickly cast aside when I was meet with smiling faces throughout the building and I when I found the work challenging there was always a helping hand to assist and answer questions.
My favourite part of the placement was getting to see the dancers in action on The Place’s stage with all of the lighting and sound in a full run through of a performance; it left me mesmerised to see such a talented group of individuals dancing as one all exerting the same amount of passion into the dance. Other activities I did included watching a LCDS contemporary dance class and I found it very beneficial to listen to their teacher’s corrections and watching the class gave me something to strive for in the future. We also were given a tour of the theatre and were told how everything happens and all the work that is put into bringing a show to life; being present during a 4 hour tech rehearsal makes the idea of working hard to sort out the lighting and sound a reality. Another aspect of the week was spending some time in the costume department- I can now assure you they have a wardrobe at least 20 times larger than yours! We were also introduced to a variety of other departments such as fundraising, classes and courses, creative learning and communications.
To conclude I just want to say thank you to everyone that made this experience possible and to all of those that set aside time in their packed schedules to feed my growing curiosity of the dance industry. My experience has inspired me to purse dancing and has given me the confidence to audition for more opportunities and not to be afraid of a new challenge!