Half term with James Wilton Dance Company

Reporter Katherine Bett from That’s Surrey TV visited Dance Woking at the Dance Studio,
Bishop David Brown Secondary School on Thursday 15 February to watch one of their rehearsals. Four young dancers were taking part in a three-day dance intensive to learn James Wilton Dance movement and create a 5-7 minute piece, which will be performed on Thursday 22 March, as a curtain raiser for James Wilton Dance Company’s Leviathan at Rhoda McGaw Theatre.

Initially apprehensive as there were only four dancers taking part the dancers soon realised and appreciated the benefit of a small class; which enabled them to have more one to one contact time with Sarah Taylor, James Wilton Dance Company’s Rehearsal Director and Dance Woking’s dance teacher Laurie-Ann who was assisting the class.

By Katherine Bett Published on Feb 15, 2018

After the session the dancers gave their feedback as well as asking Sarah some questions:

Questions for the dancers from Sarah:

What would you take away from this experience?

Rolling! James Wilton movement is very floor based!

What would you prefer 2 or 3 days?

3 days as it enabled more time to work on technique, correction & skill development

Less rushed, and enabled better friendships to develop and better dance experience

Questions for Sarah from the group:

How often do you train?

On tour there is a lot of travelling to the different theatres so training structure varies slightly, but when off tour training is very intensive, the structure is very similar to the 3 day intensive where the day starts with technique class followed by a break then into creative development and learning repertoire.

 How did you get into professional training?

I would recommend getting as much experience at different styles as possible; so this type of 3 day intensive is very valuable; dance outside school, GCSE and A Level Dance

Different schools have different criteria and styles that they teach and focus on; some may be more contemporary led, others more creative; some schools look for potential more than technique; the schools aren’t looking for the finished product; it takes years of working to gain experience; I’ve has just turned 30 and feel that I am only just full filling my potential! Basically potential teamed with hard work, passion as oppose to a ready made dancer

And Laurie-Ann

A dancers career can seem very short, for example when dancing in the West End your career maybe done by about 23; but with contemporary your career tends to be longer with dancers continuing into their 30’s

Final word from Sarah regarding age

In Leviathan one of the dancers is 43!