I was truly delighted to be asked by Exim to share my journey so far – a journey that started with them. My time with the company provided me with an incredible platform, I witnessed first-hand the difference that dance can have on a life. On anyone’s life. This has inspired and impassioned my current role and my career as a whole.
I began working with Exim as a volunteer. Eager for experience of a dance company and welcomed with open arms by Claire Summers I spent time understanding how the company ran. After a brief stint working abroad I returned to Exim as Intern Tour Manager for ImPACT Exim’s first tour. Over this period I learnt an incredible amount and was awarded the Creative and Culture Board’s Intern of the Year 2015, an honour I could not have anticipated. I then became Producer and in turn General Manager. My work as Community Practitioner and General Manager with Exim allowed me to work across all aspects of the company. Being part of the delivery team for projects like ADAPT Youth Dance allowed me to understand the difference that the project made to each young dancer whilst at the same time understanding the work it took behind the scenes to run and fund the project.
As a Plymouth University Graduate working for a company founded by alumni which continues to be ran by alum it was exciting to be part of a team with the same training and values but with a range of different experiences. The team taught me so much and my time with Exim led me to many amazing opportunities; a role with Plymouth Dance and roles as a freelancer before I began my work with RIO.
In my current position as Consultant for the Real Ideas Organisation my experience at Exim informs my work daily. A large part of my role focusses on championing the importance of the arts in education and supporting schools to provide arts opportunities through Artsmark and Arts Award. I witnessed the effect the arts can have first-hand on the lives of young people in my time at Exim and this feeds my practise at RIO every day. It has given me the enthusiasm and practical understanding of the importance the arts have in education and a young person’s life and this knowledge is integral to my work.
I will always be grateful for the incredible time I had with Exim, the wonderful, creative and brilliant friends I made there, and the opportunities the small company with the big heart led me to. I will continue to follow their work, and am excited to see where 2017 takes them.
To find out more about what Jade is doing now at RIO take a look at her profile here.