Dancer / choreographer / circus artist / movement director
"I grew up in Chesterfield, a historic town in the middle of England, and began dance at 3 years old with the local dance school - mainly so my mum could take a much needed break from an obscenely energetic, A.D.D and otherwise boundless me"
"Simple tap, ballet and 'freestyle' were on offer in the 400 year old, dusty church hall, but it gave me those first few moments of performance that sparked my creative ambitions.
10 years later at Brookfield Community School - still with the same passion (and energy) as always - I met Nia Yule, the newly appointed dance teacher. At BCS I performed in every school musical, choir, theatre production (often in the leading role) and studied theatre, dance and art but without this lady, undoubtably my performance path would be completely different - she introduced me to Contemporary Dance. She offered me so many new experiences and ideas but finally after taking me to Derby Dance Centre (DeDa) during a workshop, I was scouted by Jamie Thompson of Nottingham Youth Dance and from then my dance world opened dramatically further.
I studied contemporary and neoclassica dance techniques and toured throughout the Midlands, performing works from (then) upcoming choreographers Morgann Runacre-Temple (Ballet Ireland), Regina Wielingen (Rambert) and also Jamie. We received rave reviews as young newcomers at the Edinburg Fringe Festival until in 2008 I decided to audition for the prestigious London Contemporary Dance School, a.k.a 'The Place'...and to my surprise (and to Nia's delight), got in!
"'The Place' gave me all and everything I never knew I needed to know about contemporary dance. We had the pleasure of working with some of the finest contemporary directors and choreographers, including Richard Alston, (resident dance company to The Place), Tom Dale, Ben Duke of 'Lost Dog Dance Company' and most notably Daniel Kramer (King Kong), for whom I performed for in 'Pictures from an Exhibition' at The Young Vic.
On top of our heavy technique training schedule, we had a high focus on improvisation and choreography, and through building strong creative relationships between my colleagues, I feel like we built a power house of choreographic energy and healthy competition.
I became more focused choreographically into Physical Theatre, creating many short pieces, all performed in LCDS's termly platforms in 'The Robin Howard Dance Theatre'. My final year solo piece, based on the Nicolas Winding Refn's 2001 film 'Bronson' - 'Rob The Post Office' - was selected for the our 2011 graduation show and received an incredible response.
Shortly before I graduated, I received a call from Romanian director Horia Suru, who'd I'd met working in France a couple of years before. He asked me to come to some old (but rather lovely) 20th century proscenium arch theatre in Braila, Romania (Teatru Maria Filotti) to choreograph a new show based on the not very famous at all 1969 film, 'To Sir, With Love' or 'Domnului Profesor, Cu Dragoste' as it would be called, because of course it would be all Romanian. So, I managed to make special arrangements with LCDS to take leave and create this spectacular from the deep unknown.
I didn't speak Romanian then (and don't remember what I leaned now) but working with 16 young school kids and a handful of Romania's best theatre actors was an extraordinary experience. We premiered in October 2011, and due to rave reviews (see here) and high demand, the show was running in TMF's in high repertory for 2 years until sadly had to close when we lost our leading man. Me and Horia are planning to resurrect the idea, but that's all for the future...
Thanks to that experience, and during this time being shortlisted for Matthew Bournes New Adevntures Choreographic Award, I was fully confident in creating my first professional full length solo work 'UNSOUND'. Adapted from Hunter S. Thompson's 'Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas', I presented it back in familiar territory - The Place's annual Resolution! platform for new choreographer's in February 2012. It received positive reviews and it was around this time that I successfully auditioned for Franco Dragone's 'The House Of Dancing Water'. So whilst in waiting, I teamed up with my old uni friend, John Ross as assistant choreographer on 'EPIDEMIC' - produced by The Old Vic. Their community theatre arm 'Old Vic, New Voices' brought together one of most amazingly diverse team of professional actors and passionate volunteers, to merge together a story facing obesity and mental illness that was “Simply above and beyond expectations. Superb!”
Finally, in July of 2012, I packed my suitcase that I'd been living from for 8 months, rearranged the sofa I'd been sleeping on for 3 months, took the Eurostar to a tiny town called Lint in Belgium and began on my new voyage into the unknown.
I walked into the enormous training facility and nearly shed a tear to see four shockingly strong boys flying above my head to the sounds of the 'Staps' Act. We trained for full PADI Scuba licences, diving from 8 meters and strength and conditioning that no dancer would normally undertake.
Myself and my fabulous fellow dancers transformed into the evil '7 Daughters' role. A month later we arrived in Macau, at City Of Dreams, ready to get on the stage of the, arguably, largest show on earth. 3 years later and 1242 shows under my belt, I decided to get back to to reality, I've diversified into Dancer and House Troupe; performing acrobatics, diving and flying harness work, and I want to work more in circus.
Since leaving Dragone I performed in Stockholm with the GYNOÏDES as a base and dancer, which had incredible forst season. I worked again with Horia Suru on COLUMBINUS, in Baia Mare, Romania, which is now running in TMB's monthly repetoire, and we won Grande Prize at The National Theatre, Bucharest's Teen Fest in September.
The summer was filled with my first encounter with Cirque Du Soleil on 'Scalada Vision', which was an absolutely amazing gig and led me to create the short film 'CREEK' - a short with hand balancer Sascha Bachmann.
Myself and long term friend Joshua Ecob stared NGDance in April of 2016. After a nostalgic, if slightly anebriated, conversation about how we'd met in Nottingham Youth Dance. We wanted to share the experiences we've has so far as professional dancers, and thus it was born.
Still alot to create, alot to perform and lot to teach. But so far, I think where I'm heading is enough to make any 3 year old me, in an dusty church hall, dream big."