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National Youth Dance Company

Archive for March, 2022

Alumni Blog : Adanna

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2022

Ever since I was young, I always knew being a dancer was a creative place for me to express how I thought, felt, even battling my inner saboteur. Whether it was on stage or even behind it, the theatre was always an environment that I naturally gravitated towards. I never understood why I like theatre so much as a kid but there is something whimsical about spending a night at the theatre and feeling like you belong.

I remember like it was yesterday, I had gone to Sadler’s Wells before with my college for other dance shows, but this was exciting and different going to see NYDC Michael Keegan-Dolan In – Nocentes, my friend was in the performance. This day was a pivotal moment for me, because seeing those young dancers that I could related to; breathing, dancing, syncopating in time as one huge professional unit was something in my dance life that I always wanted to be at a part of. I knew that I wanted to do the exact things that they were doing. I felt the energy of the dancers even though I was in first circle. After the show in awe of what I just witness, on the way home I sat on the tube headphones in, music on visualising my own movement, my own style and feeling sensations of creative I was determined to seize my moment of being able to perform at Sadler’s Wells Theatre.

At this stage in my young career, I was slowly growing out of my timid shell and really started to embrace my identity as a dancer. When I first heard about NYDC I was still in college studying dance and I was already a part of another youth dance company, but I wanted to do more and challenge myself into gaining new experiences, expanding my dance vocabulary, making friends and future networks. I remember my audition process; I was such a nervous wreck because I knew I had the passion and movement quality with room to grow. It was a hard audition because within the whole process I discovered a new quality of moving that made me feel more unique and curious to explore.

The day I found out that I was going to be a part of NYDC I was in such a state because I was convinced that I wasn’t going to get it. I guess at the time people around saw my potential more than I did. I was going to work with Damien Jalet an amazing international choreographer and his team of special artists.  Once I settled down, I embarked on my NYDC experience and it was one of the most eye opening, sweatiest, and expressive things I had ever done. During my time with NYDC I really enjoyed the moments where we would have scheduled time to reflect and digest about the day or even the experience. Here are somethings I wrote down to keep me grounded and motivated.

Quotes for my NYDC dairy – age 16

“You are truly enough, and the best is yet to come.”

“NYDC is a place for me as young person to capture every moment and dance like no other person like you.”

“You have the talent, the creativity and the ability to do great things.”

“POWERHOUSE.”

I still live by these quotes today entering my adulting years because they remind me of where I once was and where I’m heading. However, when the pandemic became global last year, I honestly didn’t know what I wanted to do or where I wanted to start. I knew I wanted to work behind the scenes in the arts to explore and gain more knowledge on how theatres operate.

When I say the STEP internship programme found me, I didn’t find it I was so happy to see a job ad for Sadler’s Wells Theatre for Producing and Touring Intern, Learning & Engagement Intern. I applied for both in hopes to get either one because I knew how I wanted to absorb any job role to best of my abilities.  It was full circle moment for me when I was going through the interview process and got through to final rounds and had been offered the Learning & Engagement Intern role till this day, I’m still in a bit of shock but also extremely humble realising that I now work with Sadler’s Wells.

The things I want to achieve on this internship are going carry me into every Career milestone I reach, I want to be more confident in my communications skills, believe it or not I do struggle with verbal exchange and in this stage in my life being on this internship will challenge me to do more of this. I also desire to be a black arts dance producer of contemporary fusion creations that will evolve a message of cultural unity and love, I still love to dance and want to explore my movement vocabulary more by having this goal in mind and experiencing this amazing opportunity I have access to people with the knowledge, I’m seeking and doesn’t get better than that. Lastly, to travel and still do work that I’m passionate about as well dancing and meeting new people. I do have my eyes on New York and Japan two completely different places, but both have such rich cultural opportunities that I’ve always dream of making homes there, I now know my journey has endless opportunities for me waiting to be discover and explore. After all the world is my oyster.