DEANNA IS ONE OUR JUNIOR TEACHERS, TEACHING IN SCHOOLS AND ADULT CLASSES FOR RISE YOUTH DANCE. SHE'S A VALUABLE MEMBER OF OUR TEAM AND WE SPOKE TO HER TO SEE HOW SHE IS FINDING THIS YEAR WITH!
How did you get involved with RISE?
I got involved with RISE Youth Dance 10 years ago, when Helen Wilson started up the company in my high school. At first I thought this would just be a class that I would grow out of, but Helen opened my eyes and allowed me to realise that having a career in Dance was possible, as she was living it.
When I was younger, I really took passion in dance - I didn’t really enjoy anything else! I know waking up on a Saturday morning isn’t the most appealing of things, but it was what I looked forward to most in the week. Being creative was something I just couldn’t get enough of and of course, the Family that you gain when become a apart of RISE.
Why did you decide to become a teacher?
This is a really funny story...
At one point during my studies, I decided to take some time out of education and I took part in an internship with RISE, where Helen mentored me through all aspects of a dancers career. I remember going for coffee and Helen said that she sees a lot of herself in me, which at the time I could not see! However, she explained that teaching would be something I would be really good at. Of course, I thought she was talking crazy and that I was going to be on stage dancing and not teaching. Then, she started to mentor weekly, teaching a childrens class at Parson Street Primary School. At first I dreaded it, but one week I was ill and the children did nothing but ask about me. This was when it clicked, that I did have a passion. The growth the children gained allowed me to feel like I have done something good. Funnily enough, I still teach at Parson Street and most of all Helen was right!
How are you finding teaching for RISE?
Working with RISE really is a dream! I am extremely lucky to be able to graduate and go onto become a freelancer and just be a dance teacher. I really owe it to Helen for her constant support and belief that I am capable of delivering classes on a weekly basis, under the company name.
I am lucky enough to teach children up to adults in a huge range of dance styles. Having the RISE family inspires me to keep learning new things, as this allows the company to grow and develop, to keep getting better.
What projects, RISE or otherwise, are you up to at the moment?
At the moment I couldn’t be busier! Weekly I am teaching a multitude of classes at a range of ages and levels under RISE. A new RISE class that has begun is the adult Dancehall classes every Wednesday. This is an exciting new style I am focusing on, to research and develop my understanding of the culture and movement vocabulary, to then embrace this and pass it on to others. Helen and myself have the pleasure of working together on Thursdays where we go to Gloucester, working with Strike a Light Organisation to educate those into dance. This is a great opportunity for me as I then am able to keep on track with my teaching techniques and learn from Helen as I work alongside her.
I'm also currently being independent and getting back into Street dance. I'm going to events and classes with professionals all over the UK and abroad and focusing on battling and free styling.
Recently I auditioned for Avant guarde Project and was offered the training programme with them which will be heading to London every Saturday to work under the ‘Guarde’ project. This really was a dream come true and cannot still believe it!