A few weeks ago I attended the annual Move It Show at the Olympia Exhibition Centre.
If you’ve never been, think of it as a huge playground of dance performances, seminars and jazz hands. I’m not going to lie, for someone who wasn’t born in pointe shoes, it’s slightly intimidating… like stepping through the Narnia wardrobe into a world created by the producers of Dance Moms.
But once you get past the initial fear and the plethora of astoundingly talented child prodigies, you realise just what a fantastic resource the three-day event is. I visited on the Sunday and personal highlights were a special performance from Michael Flatley’s Lord of the Dance Dangerous Games – HOW IS IT POSSIBLE TO MOVE YOUR FEET SO QUICKLY AND NOT TRIP UP?! – and the two seminars.
The first – Healthier Dancers: Fitness and Holistic Care was led by Charlotte Tomlinson, MSc of Fit 4 Dance and Khyle Eccles from Athletic Artist. It emphasised the importance of nutrition and strength training for a dancer’s well-being. After experiencing yet another injury, I found this particularly useful. No dancer really wants to substitute a class for a weight training or Pilates session, but the session explained how such activities can transform you into a stronger, all-rounded dancer.
The second – Self Confidence: Your Key to the Dance Industry was run by Megan Preston, founder of Dance London. An inspiring figure herself, she guided us through some practical tips on conquering nerves during classes, auditions and day-to-day life. It was really valuable to discuss confidence with the other group members; at first look, the room appeared to be full of self-assured outgoing performers. However during the session, it was reassuring to learn that everyone experiences self-doubt at some point, the important thing is how to address it.
For dancers who aren’t professional or haven’t years of technical training, it is difficult to find supportive advice about your individual journey. However, Move It 2015 achieved the perfect mix of practical accessible seminars and inspiring live dance performances.
I look forward to what 2016 will bring.