Stratford-upon-Avon College recently welcomed a contemporary undergraduate Dance company featuring a former student to perform for current Dance and Musical Theatre students.
Intoto Dance is made up of dancers from London Studio Centre who are studying their undergraduate degree. The tour they are currently on is their final assessment before graduating and becoming professionals.
Lucy Ridings was a member of this company after previously training at Stratford-upon-Avon College from 2016-2017.
Lucy decided to attend college to broaden her performance skill set: “I had previously done Circus before college and though I loved that too, it was more about solo performance, and I wanted to work more as a collective. Dance allowed me to do this.”
She has extremely fond memories of the College: “I made friends for life here! Also, it was a great starting place for me and allowed the chance to realise what career I wanted to go into.”
After building her skills at college, Lucy was accepted at London Studio Centre (LSC) to study dance. The LSC course is designed for students wishing to pursue careers in contemporary dance and uses intensive training to develop technique and hone creative individuality in performance. That training is now coming to a close and this current tour is the final assessment for the dancers.
The performance was a stunning showcase of ability and talent. The ensemble moved seamlessly and effortlessly through each set of choreography, and it was an amazing opportunity for current students to see another avenue of dance performance they could follow.
Dance Lecturer, Phil Watson-Smith, explained why this was a wonderful experience for current students: “They get to see the progression they are currently striving to achieve. They are coming to the end of their college journey and they can see these undergraduates at the end of their university training and the start of their professional journey. And it’s great for the company to include a dancer who started where they are now.”
Lucy was so glad to return to the college: “It was so nice to be back and to see familiar faces!”
She had some advice for anyone wanting to progress in a similar field: “Network, network, network! Speak to people about their experiences. The dance community are so lovely, and they can give you insights into training and companies. Also watch as much as you can as the biggest insight is to see it with your own eyes.”