As part of The Vision Project we took time to talk to our wonderful participants. In this series which we have called PEOPLE OF VISION, we explore how they came to join in with The Vision Project and what they have taken away from it.
- What parts of The Vision Project have you taken part in and what inspired you to participate in it?
Hearing you all talk about it at our show in April, it sounded amazing. The thought of all the workshops and the putting of Art and music together. I do that within my role at school, I look at the links of music, art and fashion....The emotion within music and fashion and art, such a connection that is truly magical. I also then like to see how art and music can help healing and learning through trauma, rehabilitation, as well as through anyone with learning challenges too.
2. How have you found the dance rehearsals?
My love of dance, art and fashion have been with me since a very young age (3!! is the earliest I have been told of). Dancing is part of me, it is my escape and freedom from the big wide world. It is to me that magical feeling that Santa inspires. So, rehearsals have given me access to that feeling.
3. You have taken part in various dance pieces with First Dance Studios - most recently in the 2022 show - how was that for you and what did you take away from that?
I do have physical challenges now, having had both hips replaced and legs that are slightly different legs because of the replacements I have had to learn a new way of dancing. I can't move the way I used to, no more drop splits, high kicks and tricks that need an outward rotation on the hips for me. During lock down I started dancing again, and this gave me the confidence to start again, the teachers I worked with taught me that I could still move, just in a different way. Finding First Dance has allowed me to take that back to the stage. I love the theatre; it feels like home. It is a way of life I knew I missed but didn't know how much til I was back there.
4. What did you feel when you watched Dan and Diana dance as part of the 2022 show?
As a young dancer the modern dance elements didn't inspire me the way my ballet, tap and Jazz did, but I am older and have experienced so much more of life, so watching Dan and Diane and seeing contemporary through wiser eyes has given me a new love for it. Ir is just wonderful to be involved.
5. A few little nightingales have told me about your creative side - what else do you do outside of dancing?
I feel very lucky to have worked with all I have. From leaving school my only two passions were dance and fashion. Whilst being a professional dancer and National Champion I was able to design and decorate the costumes we wore, in my late 20's I started to venture into the fashion industry and continued until crossing over to teaching in 2009/2010. At home I have a very big love of all things Elvis, Strictly, my dog, Mikey and of course my son Harri. I am very lucky to have some wonderful friends who have known me since my early 20's and are still a big part of my life.
6. As part of The Vision Project, you have designed and are making the costumes for the performance - what was your approach to creating our outfits for the dance?
At rehearsals, the feel of the dance, listening to the music and watching contemporary style performances have all lent themselves to and overlay of very floaty, dreamy fabric. They create an illusion of a whisper and a breath, effortless and graceful with each motion. It is not about the body inside of it, it is about the shapes and how it floats away.
7. What has been the most rewarding or challenging aspect of designing the costumes?
I will answer that one when we have cut them out, stitched them together, made sure they all fit and then filmed the routine. Although I don't see and of this as a challenge, it is what designing and making is about, it is creating a vision, a feeling, an emotion.
8. What are you most excited about the performance?
Feeling the emotion of doing the routine together, living in that moment and being lost within it.
9. What would you say to anyone who would like to join in with the dancing?
If you are worried about how you might appear to others, don't, just be brave, no one looks as we are all lost in the moment, have a go and lose yourself in that moment. Come and learn how your body moves and expresses itself.
10. Finally, if you held a textile workshop what sort of things would you cover?
What would you like to be covered? I think I have questions for you all before I give you that answer. It depends on what resources we have access too, what time scales we would be working to, when it would need to be done, there is just so much that can be done.
Thank you so much Teresa, such an interesting story. We are very excited to seeing the costumes.