Return to the Studio
Lucy Evans has worked as a dance artist and teacher in a broad range of contexts, she currently works at Trinity Laban, The Place and Bird College. In this article she reflects on the return to the studio with Trinity Laban CAT programme, one of the National Dance CATs.
Returning to the studio this month with a spring in our step, I am excited to be inspired by fellow teachers, and our participants. There has been no better to time to share our ideas for a fun, creative and safe term. Part of the National Dance CATs, Trinity Laban CAT programme were lucky enough to return to the studios for three weeks before Easter. We wanted to share what we have enjoyed, alongside more that we hope to squeeze out of Summer term!
Sharing rhythm and energy from the music has been a boost for our mood and energy. Now is the time to build your back to the studio playlist!
I have returned to improvisation tasks and structures that I know are enjoyable and I feel confident delivering. The beauty is that these can be tailored to whatever you want to encourage and nurture in your classes. Exploring resistance, dancing with confident body language and clear focus or even exploring articulation in our legs to the level we do in our arms. Enjoying the beautiful and thoughtful responses, followed by conversations about movement and technique in turn promotes ownership of set material.
Handing Over Creative Control
In preparation for our student led choreographic project Choreomission, we guided our students to respond to a theme and direct one another in duets. This freedom led to enjoyable sessions and some lightbulb moments as the young dancers figured out how to get the best out of one another.
Celebrating One Another
We have made time to celebrate International Women’s Day and Neurodiversity Celebration Week. Making time for more in-depth conversations to share experiences has helped us understand one another better and feel closer after a time of being apart.
Focusing on Different Choreographers
Working digitally, we explored the repertoire and creative processes of a variety of artists. We will return to this in the studio, as a way of developing and recognising the quality of work achieved online by teachers and young dancers. It offers the chance to layer performance and stage skills, such as dancing in formations and taking cues from one another in preparation for when live performances return.
Opportunities to rise to the challenge is an important part of how dancers recognise their own progress and experience pride in their achievements. ‘Feedback Point’ sessions in place of assessments, continuing with our selection process for student led work and focussing on empowering environments to encourage risk taking in classes are strategies that we are using to do so.
I hope we can approach the next term of dancing together as an act of celebration and a reminder of the myriad of positive effects that dance can offer to our participants.
Do you have students who would benefit from being part of a National Dance CAT?
Auditions are now open! Fully funded places are available!
Check out Trinity Laban CAT auditions here: https://www.trinitylaban.ac.uk/course/centre-for-advanced-training/
Or find your nearest CAT here: https://www.nationaldancecats.co.uk/your-nearest-cat/