The Place where it all begins (again)

2018-01-06 The Place IMG_5281_1024Saturday 6th January 2018

I went back to The Place this morning, and got there at 9:00am (earlier than I normally do!) ready for a new year of dancing, teaching and performing.

This term, I continue teaching my lovely little First Moves (children aged 5-7) and New Moves (aged 8-9). I was delighted to see them again and meet a few new faces. Amongst these was my new teaching assistant, Theia, who studies at LCDS. She was wonderfully supportive and took good initiatives in both of my classes. I noticed that she immeditaly established great contact with the children, which was a joy to observe. The accompanist who joined us for New Moves did a great job too.

By the way, there will be more on music and musicians in my next posts!

If you follow me through this blog, you probably know how much I love to work, take classes and meet people at The Place. Of course, there are many personal and historical reasons for this.

Dance history is something I would love to research further, teach and write about, actually. This morning, my New Movers were so eager to find out more about Martha Graham, and how and when dance positions had been codified in classical and modern dance techniques… Did you know that The Place was founded 50 years ago? And do you know what connects The Place to Graham herself? More to come on this blog throughout the year!

2018-01-06 The Place IMG_5269_1024Architecturally, there is also something quite unique about The Place. No wonder that calling it ‘The Place’ seems to be enough – as if there was only one place (for dance) in the world. Even though one side of the building looks like a perfectly normal dance school (with lots of studios, bright light coming through the windows, and attractive stretching zones), a walk down the mysterious corridors of the lower ground floor and across the cafe leads directly into the theatre! And there I was. Facing a massive poster announcing ‘Resolution – The festival for new dance’. Next to it, I felt small, but determined. Small, but proud to be a small part of it. And ready, so ready for it!

The opening night of Resolution 2018 is near, and tickets are selling fast. I hope you have you booked yours. My collaborators and I will be back at the theatre on Monday, so watch this space for more posts on #swappingshadows and #Res18!


Prochain article en français, bien sûr. L’alternance continue en 2018. A bientôt !

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Learning about dance teaching

For me, learning about dance teaching is like dance training itself: it’s a lifelong process.

Monday 6th November 2017

It’s been more than 2 months since I submitted the work plan and essays I had to write for the first unit of my Diploma in Dance Teaching and Learning. I’m still waiting for my marks. Still far from graduating as a dance teacher… And yet I already call myself one. Lately, I have been getting more efficient at lesson planning, more confident in meeting new colleagues, participants and teaching assistants, but sometimes also more firm and strict than I ever thought I would be. Teaching in primary schools isn’t just fun: it is also very, very challenging.

The next course days I will attend are scheduled in the spring 2018. So I try to keep reading, reflecting on my practice and accumulating as much practical experience as I can until then. I currently teach 5 dance classes a week, and I’m involved in 8 more sessions as a teaching assistant. This means interacting with children in primary school age and teenagers as well as toddlers and their carers. Social skills and behaviour management are equally important as dance knowledge, it seems.

Meanwhile, I’m busy with the creation of ‘Swapping Shadows’, which is very exciting! You will read all about it in future posts. Just watch this space for updates.

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La vidéo ci-dessus vous permet d’en savoir plus sur la formation en Enseignement et Apprentissage de la Danse que je suis pour le moment au conservatoire Trinity Laban. Malheureusement, elle n’est ni traduite, ni sous-titrée ! N’hésitez pas à m’envoyer vos questions si la formation vous intrigue, vous intéresse, ou si vous voulez en savoir plus sur mon parcours de prof de danse en devenir. Promis, mon prochain article sera en français 🙂

Leading my own Choreo Lab

Monday 19th June 2017, Siobhan Davies Dance

I’m proud to have led an hour and a half long session at Siobhan Davies Dance, as part of the Young Artists Choreography Lab! It was the 3rd of a series of 4 workshops delivered and attended by recent graduate dancers or ‘dance-curious’ people like me.

Simple & inspiring theme, knots!!

Knotting and unknotting – dance phrase by Yanaëlle Thiran

One of the seven participants said that she ‘loved learning the part of the phrase’, which you can watch above. So I’m curious to hear your thoughts, dear readers and friends: what do you think? What does this type of movement evoke for you? As another participant puts it:

How is the knot physicalised? Is it mental, is it metaphoric, is it your body knotted?

There a lots of approaches.

I really enjoy improvisation so I liked the fact that you gave us freedom to explore ideas & [that you were] flexible with your phrase

Teaching resources for my Choreography Lab at Siobhan Davies Dance, 19/06/2017

I found it very fascinating how many stimuli you receive from such a simple starting point!

Indeed, not only did we work from movement material and improvisation tasks, but also from props, text and images … with a selection of inspiring music, of course!

I loved working with the rope – a physical object to play with in so many different ways. And interesting to see how to play in the same way without the rope.

In brief?

Nice physical experiment on idea of knots. Encouraging practice, inspiring. Looking forward to see more work 🙂

And next time I get to teach this kind of workshop, we will explore

group knotting please!

A participant found the session ‘super well organised!’ Somebody else describes it as ‘very engaging, flows well’ and adds:

 need longer 🙂

Yes, I had a few more activities planned … But there’s never enough time!


Version française disponible sur demande !

Lecture du jour

The Reflexive Teaching Artist IMG_1596_1024

Monday 15th May 2017

Inspired by their own art experiences, the Teaching Artist facilitates experiences that inspire, guiding students to discover their own inspirations.

Dawson, K. and Kelin, D. A. (2014). The Reflective Teaching Artist – Collected Wisdom from the Drama/Theatre Field. Bristol: Intellect, p.6

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Inspiré(e) par ses propres expériences artistiques, l’Enseignant(e) Artiste facilite des expériences qui inspirent, guidant les étudiants à découvrir leurs propres inspirations.

Dawson, K. et Kelin, D. A. (2014). L’Enseignant Artiste Réflexif – Sagesse collectée du domaine de l’art dramatique/théâtre. Bristol: Intellect, p.6

Utiliser mes propres sources d’inspiration pour inspirer les jeunes générations. Voilà donc ce que je fais, dans l’idéal … et en pratique, ça s’applique ! Aujourd’hui, par exemple, avec les petits de 0 à 5 ans que j’assiste dans leurs tout premiers mouvements dansants, puis les enfants et ados des sessions MoveMe que j’anime dans le Nord de Londres. Tout un programme !

Sharing motivation

Tuesday 7th March 2017

Very motivational and inspirational . . . Made me want to learn to dance.

This afternoon, I taught a 2 hours long class at the University of Westminster. I had been invited as a guest speaker once again, as part of Nick Johnstone’s course in Professional Writing. The aim of this session? To offer graduating students in Creative Writing some advice to get started in the professional world.

Of course, my experience of writing is mostly limited to this blog. But I had a few things to say about freelancing, networking and taking chances as an artist. In fact, when I collected evaluation forms at the end of the session, I read this:

Really was surprised by how much I could identify your dance journey to my journey as a writer.

Another student suggested that I should become a ‘professional motivational speaker’. Why not? That sounds compatible with what a dance teacher might be!

Anyway, I’m excited to deliver this session again on Thursday, when I meet the other half of the class. Hopefully, at the end of it, I will get to read words like ‘inspiring’ and ‘motivating’ in various handwritings again 🙂

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Version française bientôt disponible !