For young, aspirational performers, finding a way into the industry can be quite hard. Navigating schools, auditions, workshops and programmes can be daunting. So when something like the National Youth Dance Company and its Experience workshops come around, it can be life changing.
The organisation – run by Sadler’s Wells – invites 30 young dancers to join the company and train with professionals at the forefront of the industry. The 2018/19 season will be led by Guest Artistic Director, choreographer Botis Seva.
To help potential NYDC members, Experience workshops are held up and down the country. During the workshops, participants will learn repertoire from NYDC productions and take part in creative tasks. They will also meet members of the current company to get advice on dance training and careers in dance. These workshops are used as an opportunity to recruit for the 2018/19 company. They are open to dancers from all backgrounds and abilities, with experience in any dance style.
To find out more about the programme and its benefits, we spoke to Nya Bardouille, 18, a member of NYDC.
What inspired you to get into dance and how?
Ever since I can remember, I have always loved dancing. I started to take it more seriously because I was inspired by the people around me that I saw dance. Seeing how dancers are able to express themselves through movement is truly magical. In special cases such as the National Youth Dance Company, you’re able to see people’s spirit in the studio when they dance. It’s truly freeing.
How did you find out about the NYDC Experience Workshops?
I heard about the Experience Workshop through friends I knew already in NYDC and platforms like UDance. I attended mine at The Curve in Leicester last summer.
How did it feel when you first walked into the workshop?
It was a mixture of nerves, excitement, drive and motivation. I wanted to take part and learn more.
What did the experience teach you?
I can do whatever I want if I believe in myself. The workshop was such a mixture of activities it was a fantastic experience. Especially in the final auditions for NYDC, I felt I left with no regrets. Even if I had not been successful in this process, I was content with how I performed in such an environment where I was learning so much with all the other dancers.
What has being part of the company taught you?
I have learnt that I can trust myself and people around me way more than I previously thought. I have learnt so many things from Sharon Eyal (choreographer and the previous Guest Artistic Director for NYDC) and the NYDC team that has been invaluable and priceless – especially the fact that dance can be way more of a spiritual process than I ever thought it could be. Being in NYDC has helped me to push past my limits as a person and dancer.
What do you hope to teach this year’s participants?
That progress is a journey and not a destination. Growth is continuous and none of us initially felt comfortable and had to learn this. The process of finding a way for it to become almost habitual was treacherous and addictive at the same time. I want them to stay open-minded and commit to everything, both inside and outside of the studio. It is such a great experience!
If there’s one piece of advice you have for aspiring NYDC Experience Workshop participants, what would it be?
Be yourself. The National Youth Dance Company is based around a dancer’s individuality and how we can fuel and inspire each other. Be confident and strong in your own ability and leave with no regrets.
To find out more about NYDC, visit their website.
Looking to break into the theatre industry? We have loads of information on our Inspiring Future Theatre hub.