Dancer Katie Hagan explains why creative Goldsmiths students need to start dancing, and points us towards the best places to get going.
Creativity, self-expression, performance and interpretation: a student cannot exist a day in Goldsmiths without stumbling across one of these terms. But as creative as Goldsmiths may be, there is one art form that often gets overlooked: dance. Often associated with those ‘too-much-tan-and-sequins’ troupes on Britain’s Got Talent, people seem to forget the artistic and expressive side of it.
If you’d like to broaden your knowledge, start by experimenting with the different elements of this lively art. What greater place to begin than London? The hardest move in dance (excuse the pun) is starting a class, so here are a few suggestions to get you started:
Yoga: If you’re not sure about dance, yoga is the best place to begin. Yoga, as a healthy sport, relieves the pressures on the mind through physical movements. As a meditative occupation, yoga is the simplest way to detox without drowning yourself in herbal tea. On a practical level, yoga increases your level of balance and body control. Yoga classes are dotted around London. The nearest class (apart from those in the Goldsmiths gym), is taught by Natalie Fishwick in West Dulwich. Prices begin at £10 for the first class, and for drop-ins it is £12. For more information see: http://nataliefishwick.co.uk/. The beauty of yoga/pilates is that it adapts itself around your schedule. Perhaps attending a class prior to exams might be your saviour?
Ballet: It is a misinformed view held by many that Ballet is all about tutus and Tchaikovsky. There is far more to it than that! Ballet strikes the balance between rhythmic expression and technical movement, and a combination of the two shapes ballet’s mesmerizing quality on stage. Ballet is stooped in tradition yet its history inundates choreographers with the temptation to reinvigorate old techniques. Classes for beginners are held in Greenwich on a Thursday evening until the 3rd of April. If you are not keen on catapulting yourself straight into a class, venture to the local cinema on the 30th March, and be entertained by the Bolshoi’s Marco Spada, a quintessential ballet with a brazen bandit as its lead character. Prices/timetable for Greenwich Dance: http://greenwichdance.org.uk/engage/class/ballet_beginners_T2/
Contemporary: Look no further than this style if limitless self-expression is what you need. Contemporary dance is diverse – it can be bizarre, technical, lyrical, or edgy. The style embraces elements of both hip-hop and ballet, with a far less structured method. Contemporary dance is intrinsically linked with creativity, and is the style that nourishes a dancer’s interpretation. For nearby classes taught by a practicing dancer, try the Goldsmiths dance society. Contemporary classes are held on a Monday at half-past six. Search ‘Goldsmiths Dance’ on Facebook to join.
These are simply a few examples of the dance forms that exist out there. Of course, there are many more . Swing, jazz, or hip-hop, whatever it is you want to try, just make the first move and start dancing!