Alex Gosmore: Assistant Choreographer!

Alex Gosmore: Assistant Choreographer!

This year, RISE member Alex has been assisting our Director Helen Wilson in the choreography of our Udance piece! It's Alex's first time as a choreographer so we spoke to him to see how he was getting on...

RISE Activity Weekend!

RISE Activity Weekend!

Last weekend RISE went on their annual residential trip! We had an amazing weekend full of team building, laughs and love!

The Leaders started out packing up the cars with the huge amount food needed to feed over 30 people!

Denis Veloso using his Tetris skills to get the car filled!

Denis Veloso using his Tetris skills to get the car filled!

The Trainees get started cooking up a feast with Head Chef: Denis for the young people's arrival!

Immie, Chloe, Maia and Denis!

Immie, Chloe, Maia and Denis!

After arriving, making all their beds and tucking into homemade Feijoada; the young people get stuck into a quiz made by leaders Deanna and Charlie!

Pure concentration faces!

Pure concentration faces!

Followed by a 'Trashion' competition! The teams had to create two outfits using only the recycables they were given!  


On Saturday Morning after a lovely breakfast cooked by some of the young people, we started the day with another team game: Shelter Building!


Whilst the leaders worked hard setting up the next activity, we played the simple but hilarious game: Cat and Mouse!


Despite the rain, we soldiered on and started the next activity of the day: The Obstacle Course!


As we all worked up a huge appetite, one of the teams went about preparing dinner!

cooking dinner.jpg

After dinner, the most infamous event of the weekend got underway: The Talent Show!

Orange Team!

Orange Team!

White Team!

White Team!

Blue Team!

Blue Team!

Green Team!

Green Team!

Followed by a Dance Freestyle Tunnel...


...And a Hot Chocolate before bed!

Story Time!

Story Time!

RISE were a tired bunch by Sunday morning so we started the day with a leisurely walk!


The then, onto the final activity: The Treasure Hunt, finishing with a Piñata full of sweets for each team!


We had such a fun weekend! 

Introducing the RISE Trainees

Introducing the RISE Trainees


The RISE Trainee scheme is in it's second year and going strong! We began the year with three trainees: Chloe, Imogen and Maia and have recently been joined Lucy! We spoke to them to see how they are getting on...

What made you apply?

Chloe: I applied because it came at the right time for me as I finished my university course early in order to get more dance experience and ultimately apply to dance school. 

Imogen: Returning to Bristol after travelling I wanted to get back involved with the dance community. As I had been in RISE before my training, at Falmouth university, I knew Helen already and a conversation with her about the training scheme really made me think that it would be a brilliant way to get involved with dance again. 


Maia: I applied to the course for three main reasons. Firstly, because I love dancing and wanted to continue after I outgrew my previous dance company. Secondly, because it keeps me fit. The final reason is that it helps me become a more versatile performer; I am auditioning for drama school this year and so dance can be very important in this process, especially for the musical theatre courses I am auditioning for. I also wanted to challenge myself; contemporary is a style of dance I have never really explored and so I decided to push myself out of my comfort zone and experiment a little.

Lucy: The idea that I would be working in a more professional way with dance. Having recently graduated from university in Bristol, it was really appealing to have a closer access to the real dance scene and work with others who have similar aspirations and interests. I had met and worked with Rise earlier in the summer and saw their incredibly high standard, so although it was daunting I thought it would be good to try and build myself up as a dancer and artist by learning and being from such amazing teachers and dancers.

How are you finding it so far?


Chloe: The scheme is really great, it’s hard work, both physically and mentally. Physically, as I have never had training days that last 9-5 before which is so wonderful that I can now have this experience, but also, it’s tough to push through till the end and maintain the same energy and make the most of each day. It’s really interesting getting to know the rest of the company because Helen puts such an emphasis on everyone being supportive of each other and that openness is really obvious from the first time I met everyone.

Imogen: So far, I am finding the training scheme really helpful in re-discovering my passion for dance. Also getting involved with so many aspects of the dance world is helping me to learn what parts I enjoy most and what parts I struggle engaging with. 

Maia: The course has been absolutely amazing so far! I have found a huge increase in my technique and performance ability, as well as my general fitness. I truly love going to class and learning my craft!

Lucy: I've only had one session so far, but it was great! Great to get myself dancing again and to be involved in a creative project.

What has been your favourite part of the scheme so far?


Chloe: So far, my favourite thing has been the week intensive for the performance group over the half term. I really enjoy the physical pushing myself/being pushed and I can feel a difference in my stamina and strength since the start of the course already. 

Imogen: Currently I have enjoyed feeling part of a group again, whether this be in rehearsals or class. There is a real sense of friendship amongst the company. My favourite part is probably performing and creating again.  

Maia: My favourite part so far was performing in the Mini-Moon festival, where the trainees, Helen and some other teachers performed a Chinese-inspired piece at the O2.

What are you most excited for this year?

Chloe: I think I’m most excited to be able to say that I have created work that I’m happy with! 

Imogen: This year I am most excited to get my peak performance body back and start using it to its full advantage. I am also very excited to see how the company improves and what the young people create together.

Maia: This year I am most excited for the Residential weekend in November. I cannot wait to spend a weekend fully bonding with the company, getting to know each other and having lots of fun participating in the different activities.

RISE Intensive Week!

RISE Intensive Week!


This half term, instead of relaxing and being off school like most teenagers, the RISE performance group spent the entire week working hard at RISE Intensive Training!

Each performance group member spent 10am to 4pm, Monday to Friday, taking class and learning the new UDance piece. This group are so dedicated we even had poor Faye break her hand on the Monday and still attend the rest of the week!

We spoke to some of the young people to see how they were finding the week!

How have you found the intensive week?

Zerya: The intensive week has been incredibly challenging and tiring, but also really exciting and generally a joyful experience.

Silas: Hard, but when we repeat exercises everyday I can see how I am improving and building strength.


Faye: I’ve found the intensive week intense, fun, tiring, challenging, exciting and has made me feel a stronger and more experienced dancer.

Sadie: It's very intense and challenging but so good to see how our bodies are improving and getting stronger each day.

Alamay: The intensive week has definitely pushed us all to our limits but we’ve all bonded as a group and it’s great seeing us all developing and getting stronger over the week.

Sophie: The two of the days this week I attended have been more challenging than the whole of Duke of Edinburgh that meant I couldn't make the other three! I have really enjoyed being pushed like a proffessional and feeling out of breath continuously for 6 hours.

What do you think about the piece?

Zerya: I think the piece is great even at this point and will look amazing when it's finished, so I think we will have a great chance of getting into Udance.


Silas: I love how the piece is looking, it is really interesting and a lot more mentally challenging, which is good.

Faye: I'm loving the piece so far. I love trying new interesting moves and working as a team. It feels great to dance and is really exciting to watch it all coming together.

Sadie: I love how the piece looks, I think it’s different, exciting and powerful.

Alamay: I love the piece so far, the choreography is great and as a collective it looks really nice. There is still room for us to clean it up but I’m excited to see the final product.

Sophie: The piece is unlike any piece I have done before, I love the music and I constantly have to be counting or thinking about where I need to be. The piece makes use of everybodys' skills to create the best movement.

What has been your favourite part of the week?


Zerya: My favorite part of the week was, after lots of trys and practices, we finally nailed the opening section, also the jelly bean game was pretty fun too.

 Silas: I think my favourite part of the week so far has been bonding as a group, this week has given me a chance to get to know some of the new people and more about the people I already knew.

Faye: My favourite part of this week have been making our solos and improving on them, as well as getting to know everyone better.

Sadie: My favourite part of the week has been creating a new tight relationship as a group and really building a strong bond.

Alamay: My favourite part of the week is seeing us all bond together and create a safe and fun atmosphere whenever we’re together.

Sophie: My favourite part of the week was at the end of Thursday when we started to see how the piece fitted together and felt like we had only one day left to polish and finish.


Introducing RISE Performance Group 2017/2018

Introducing RISE Performance Group 2017/2018

RISE Performance group are for the members of the company 16 and over who want to receive more advanced training or workshops and get to perform at national events like Udance!

Performance Group have to work really hard to push themselves and are role models for younger members of the company!

This year we have loads of new faces so we spoke to this years members - old and new - about what it's like to be in this elite group of RISE! Meet RISE PGroup veterans Alex, Jenna & Cato and newbies Zerya, Sophie & Silas.



What do you like most about Performance Group?


Alex: The thing I like the most about performance group is the contrasting pieces we create each year, it's never the same! That gives me a really wide scope of dance training in different styles.

Jenna: What I like most about performance group is the way it pushes your technique and how much it has helped me to improve as a dancer.

Cato: What I like most about performance group is how much better it has made everyone at dancing and the strengthened the relationships we have as a group.



What has been your favourite performance with the group?

Alex: my favourite performance with the group was Kenjo at the UDance nationals in 2015, the theatre was huge and it was so exciting to share the stage with other youth talent.

Jenna: My favourite performance with the group was the beep beep section (I can't remember what it's called lol!) I loved the style of the dance and really enjoyed performing it at REACH!

Cato: My favourite performance was Sam's, from TrashDollys piece, 'Creed of Youth', because it was such an interesting concept of movement that I’d never experienced before.

Would you recommend this group to anyone and why?

Alex: I would recommend this group to anyone who wants to pursue a career in dance as it pushes technical ability as well as creativity and versatility.

Jenna: I would definitely recommend performance group to anyone who is more serious about dance and wants to widen there dance training to more styles.

Cato: I would recommend to anyone who wants to push their fitness and skills as a dancer in a fun and prolific way.

Are you excited to be in Performance Group?


Sophie: Im really excited! I looked forward to being able to be in it all of last year.

Zerya: I'm very excited to be in Pgroup.

Silas: I am so excited! It is that extra step up that I've been waiting for!

How has it been so far?

Zerya: It’s been challenging and enjoyable.

Sophie: So far, I've enjoyed the change from normal RISE rehearsals and it has made me much more motivated.


Silas: It has pushed me even though we've only had a few weeks, I've noticed the small things improve already.

What are you most excited about for performance group this year?

Zerya: I'm excited about pushing myself and being a part of the elite group of RISE, as well as new experiences; mainly Udance.

Sophie:  I'm most excited about all the new oppotunities and me developing as a dancer.

Silas: I'm probably most excited for Udance as I've seen my sisters go off for their weekends away many a year and I've never been!

Welcome Back RISE!

Welcome Back RISE!

RISE is back!

Our last year has been hugely successful! We sold out our two REACH performances at the Trinity Centre, collaborated and performed Rights to Move with Creative Youth Network and participated in the National Udance festival!

This is our 10th Anniversary and we are looking forward to a year full of hard work and fun!

We have many new members this year, so we asked them how they are getting on…


What made you want to audition?

Greta: For me personally, I’d heard about RISE in January and thought about auditioning but then forgot about it. Then in august I spoke to Alex (RISE Member) and Delilah (Former RISE Member) and they said that I should audition and that it would be so much fun, so in the end, I auditioned and was so nervous but it was worth it!

Lucy: I was very impressed with a performance I saw, straight away I wanted to be a part of it!


How are you finding it so far?

Sarah: So far, I'm finding it challenging but I'm really enjoying the feeling of getting fitter, better and learning new things.

What are you most excited about this year? 

Sarah: The most exciting thing about being accepted is knowing you're a part of a new thing, like looking forward to everything we're going to learn and get better at.

Greta: I’m most excited for learning new styles and developing my dance further. I love the idea of meeting new people. For me, when I got the text saying I had been accepted, it boosted my confidence about my capabilities as a dancer.

Photo Credit: Shadiamond Alcott

Photo Credit: Shadiamond Alcott