News Story

As an aspiring dancer and choreographer who plans to do a degree in dance next year, it was incredibly captivating to learn about all the different aspects of a dance organisation during my work experience at The Place. During my time, the week certainly opened my mind to the diverse range of careers within the industry that I had not considered previously.

Currently I am a member of One Dance’s Young Creatives Cohort 2020-2022 where I am working on a piece which will be premiering at the Midlands Arts Centre in June this year. Due to this, interacting with the different departments during my work experience was not just interesting but an asset to aid this process. I was able to talk to members of the technical department as they explained their approach to staging a dance work. Here, I was able to gauge inspiration for how I will creatively direct the visuals of my own work.

Later on in the week, I was lucky enough to watch technical rehearsals for Resolution festival, where I gained an additional understanding of how lighting can be experimented with to enhance movement work.

Furthermore, I was able to have discussions with the head of costumes, who gave me a broader idea of how audience members might interpret a dancer’s costume. As a young person who is passionate about activism, it was great to hear about the costume department’s commitment to widely source second hand and long-lasting fabrics, some of which have been in that cupboard since the 70s!

Being behind the scenes in the dance industry is a pathway I have not deeply considered prior to my week here. However, talking to the team, which is full of previous and current dancers, I have begun to ponder a wider range of job opportunities within the industry. I have experienced the work of the: Marketing, Press, Classes and Courses, Human Resources and Community Dance staff which collectively contribute to the running of The Place.

Finally, I realised what a hub for dance The Place is from the CAT programme to the extensive Classes and Courses and the London Contemporary Dance School, and have loved observing some of the classes and sneakily joining in. I was particularly excited by their unique approach to the students’ ballet classes where they train to drums and more modern music. LCDS’s involvement in the outreach schemes, performing in schools and encouraging young people to take dance classes, is also an amazing aspect of the course.

I had a lovely morning with LCDS at Samuel Rhodes School, watching the students perform and seeing the joy it brought to the audience members. I have had the best “open day” for LCDS through being able to see their classes first-hand and talk to some of the teachers and students.

To conclude, I would like to thank Richard from HR for creating such a diverse timetable where I was able to experience the work of almost every single department, and the staff and students for taking the time to welcome me – even teaching me how to play chess!

By Martha Thompson