It’s been an honour to be a part of ‘Exim Dance Company’, it has helped me so much with my confidence issues by helping me expand on my movement skills and technique by attending classes of contemporary and different workshops from professional dancers. I have also been able to give back as an artist and build on my teaching skills through volunteering at different youth classes of ‘Exim’s’.
Whilst juggling adult life and work I have fitted in ‘Open Company classes’ of Contemporary with ‘Exim’ on a Monday night. I really love these classes, my self-esteem has grown through learning new technique skills, picking up new movement that I thought I could not do, to making loads of friends and finding out what it is like to be within a professional environment. I also had chance to squeeze in other classes of Contemporary on a Thursday night and Ballet on Tuesday. Thanks to ‘Exim’ I have grown as a dancer and teacher.
The first youth company I helped assist with was the heartfelt ‘Adapt’, a company of dancers with disabilities and without based in Plymouth School Of Creative Arts, they made me feel welcome on my first session. Helping out at ‘Adapt’ I learnt to adjust my movement to their ability. I made warm-ups fun for them by using creative movement and playing some games ,I broke down technique by using descriptive words to explain the movement and choreographed phrases for them to learn and add their own movement. Together as a family we reach new heights with inclusive dance, pushed through barriers of being scared and self-conscious and made a piece called ‘This Is Us’ to be performed at several venues. Our special piece was about how we came together as a company, where they started from to how much they have achieved to get where they are now. I am so proud of ‘Adapt’. I have had a wonderful time with them and loved dancing with them and performing ‘This Is Us’ at the University Of Plymouth for ‘Scratch Night’ and ‘Inspiring Volunteer Awards’. We travelled to Bath for Udance 2016 Regional Platform, joined in with other dancers at workshops and performed. We also were a part of the ‘Funky Llama ‘festival and created a new fun street piece for ‘Dance Machine ‘competition at the ‘Duke Of Cornwall’. Everybody that took part got an award for their hard work.
At the ‘Dance Machine’ contest I met ‘Space shot’ another youth company of ‘Exim’s’ that I was interested in but did not get chance to attend the classes. After seeing them at the competition I knew I had to put their classes in my diary. Even though I have not been there long I have really enjoyed assisting with ’Space shot’. It’s based in Ernesettle at St. Aidans church. They’re inspiring young dancers who are eager to create new movement with us. I have helped them with understanding the detail of movement by teaching them dynamics. We gave them descriptive words for them to be imaginative with, and taught choreographic devices to help them play around with ideas. They also learnt from one another, teaching each other, sharing ideas and performing in different venues. We are currently working on our next piece to be performed at ‘Ernifest Festival’ in September 2016.’Space shot’ have created loads of interesting movement for the piece, I’m looking forward to seeing the phrases coming together and watching them perform.
The journey with ‘Exim Dance Company’ has been exciting, throughout the last year I have been inspired to move in different ways I have networked with loads of brilliant dancers and have made some awesome friends, I’m really looking forward to my future with ‘Exim Dance Company’.
Lydia Baldchin – Assistant Practitioner