Today marks the end of my 6 month internship with Exim Dance Company, and time has flown by!
Over the course of the internship I have led, assisted and team taught in so many different settings, reaching over 377 participants. I have managed 2 projects, filled out funding applications, learnt company repertoire and met so many lovely people! It’s impossible to list everything I have learnt over my time with Exim, but here are a few of my personal highlights.
Very early on in my internship, I led a taster dance session alongside Tammy Mildren at RIO’s Cultural Education Challenge launch day in Plymouth. This was a big leap for me in realising that I can handle public speaking at large events, and create fun, accessible dance material for all ages and dance abilities. We managed to get everyone on their feet to have a little boogie with us -including the Lord Mayor! (See the video below from Plymouth Music Zone.)
Teaching so much every week has definitely been a highlight of the internship for me. Inclusive practice is an area of dance I’m really interested in, so it has been great for me to learn so much about this area specifically, and really build my skills as an inclusive practitioner. Working consistently with many classes over a 6 month period has meant that I’ve seen a truly amazing amount of progress in many of the people we teach, and learnt a lot about my own personal teaching style along the way. Working independently alongside the support of a community driven company has allowed me to experiment with new ways of working and really find my own voice.
Leading on Exim’s performance at Resolution 2016 was a brilliant opportunity for me to develop my marketing skills. I had experience writing a press release, designing adverts, managing a marketing campaign and leading communication between other South West companies performing in the festival.
Alongside developing my organisation and project management skills, I really enjoyed shadowing the company over their research and development period for ‘The Birth of Memory’. Observing how Adam Benjamin worked with the dancers, and learning the repertoire was great for my professional development.
Over my 6 months with Exim Dance I have led on social media marketing for the company. Over this time I have consistently raised the profile of Exim’s social media, to market upcoming performances, classes, community projects and news. The twitter reach grew 4.5 times higher than it was in August, an increase from 4,000- 18,000 people. Over the course of my marketing campaign for Resolution I came to realise that marketing in this way is a strength of mine.
Managing Exim’s involvement with the ‘City of Dance’ project led by Fotonow CIC was really interesting, and it was great to have a creative project that I could get my teeth stuck into. I was provided a brief from work placement students at Plymouth University, and researched dance’s presence in Plymouth from WW2 to present day. I worked with two young dancers from Exim classes, and choreographed a duet for live performance and film. I really enjoyed working with the young dancers, organising rehearsals, and producing something that stuck to the brief within a very short time frame. The key learning curve for me in relation to this project, was dealing with unexpected injury in a dancer, and making final decisions. Although the project didn’t run exactly to plan, I was extremely proud of what the dancers had achieved and really enjoyed the opportunity to choreograph a duet for Isaac and Destiny.
Overall, I have learnt heaps over my 6 months with Exim. I have realised and developed some of my personal strengths, and challenged some of my weaknesses. I’ve had an amazing time teaching so many wonderful students, and have a clearer idea of the practitioner, artist and performer that I hope to be. I’m excited to now move on and use these freshly affirmed strengths in my own independent projects, classes and performances in the future. Thanks for having me Exim!