I’m now in my last year of BA (Hons) Dance at Plymouth Conservatoire and 3rd year as part of Making Waves ambassador with Exim Dance Company. Throughout these past years I have enjoyed building confidence within teaching and attending sessions to help with independence within freelance, and support in professional development. It’s been great to be back with Making Waves Plymouth so soon, I have seen the group of dancers and myself grow throughout with strength and self-confidence.
This term we’ve been concentrating on improving further within technique, recapping what we learnt before summer break with balancing, flowing moves and safety within dancing in and out of the floor. Also learning new moves and performance skills. The dancers also created solos that travelled across the space and developed them into group movement that can be used in a performance after the Christmas holidays.
These past several weeks we have used focus as one of the main intentions to work on. I wanted the dancers to have a soft face and to see the audience and not just look. This really helped me too within my practice by doing different exercises to help us play with the idea of focus, what are we seeing whilst dancing through different directions.
During these sessions we have liked finding out different ways of warming up testing our stamina through energising movement. To massaging and enable stretches within partners when they were tired and achy. As well as enjoying being taught different technique phrases to introduce new movement to embody. We also revisited practice of how to safely get in and out of the floor through using drills across the space to help us break down the movement and to have a go at more difficult moves. Next, I wanted to test what they’ve learned by putting all the new moves together in a traveling phrase to see how well they picked up the safety and flow while still having fun with risk.
One of my favourite parts of these sessions is watching and helping the dancers to choreograph, they love creating phrases. Keeping with the theme of traveling, focus and moving in and out of the floor they put their new skills into creating a solo that flows across the space using different levels. Then they used these solos to influence group material that had moments of their choreography and transitional moves to connect the flow.
At the end of the term it was nice to come together and find out what they’ve learnt and enjoyed. I got responses that showed the dancers enjoyed the challenges and different levels of movement to be able to push themselves in fluidity and confidence with movement.
I look forward to being with Making Waves next time. Thank you, Exim Dance Company, for giving me the opportunity in helping these amazing dancers grow.
By Lydia Baldchin