From the small age of 3, I was a member of the Bojangles dance school back home in Lichfield, Staffordshire. I immersed myself into a heavy schedule of ballet, tap, Irish, jazz and modern classes. Alas, with the onset of GCSEs at the age of 15, I dropped classes one by one until I’d packed it in altogether. The demands of revising and preparing for dance shows didn’t agree with each other.
Over the summer, I watched my sister perform in our dance school’s annual show; it made me feel nostalgic and restless to dance again. I didn’t even know that Goldsmiths had a dance society at this point, and had wrongly assumed that if we did, try-outs would be necessary. Out of preference I would have chosen ballet out of familiarity, however my timetable only allowed me to attend the contemporary class. Why not try something different?
Having 90 minutes each week allocated to expression and exercise is something I’ve valued this year, needing an outlet to just be able to move in a large space and use your body creatively. I was sceptical at first as to the level of everyone’s abilities, but soon found that most hadn’t tried dance before.
I struggled to let myself drop and roll around the floor [un]elegantly. I often come home with bruised knees because I’m too scared to let myself go, after being told as a ballet dancer that I couldn’t even go ice-skating or use a trampoline in a friend’s back garden in case I injured myself by falling!
The class caters for all abilities, and if you feel like you need a little help getting a step right, or learning the choreography because you’ve missed a week; the teacher arrives ahead of time to give you individual feedback and encouragement.
Joining the dance society has made me feel more like I belong to a group of like-minded people who are working together to achieve something; we have a showcase event in March that we’re building some choreography for. Hope to see you there!
Classes for this year are held every Monday 5.30-7pm in The Stretch, taken by Laurie Ogden.
Words, Rachel Deakin