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.