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An important part of what we do here at Motionhouse is to offer artistic opportunities to young people. After three very successful apprentice placements last year, we are delighted to welcome two more apprentice dancers to join Motionhouse this year – Joe, a recent graduate of the Northern School of Contemporary Dance, and London Contemporary Dance School graduate Leanne.

Find out a bit more about them below…

Tell us a bit about you – what got you into dance? Have you been doing it all your life?

Leanne: I moved to the UK – Harrow – at the age of seven and got involved in ballet, tap and modern dance. When I moved to the UK, my mum’s first thought was to take me to after school dance. She wanted me to not only build physical strength but to make friends and settle into the new environment. I thank my mum because, from that moment, dance has always been in my life. It will continuously surprise me and, most importantly, it brings me happiness.

My first experience of contemporary dance was when I studied A-level Dance at Stanmore College, leading onto evening classes at The Place. I then studied at London Contemporary Dance School, graduating with a First Class Honours. During my time there, I was proud to receive the Peggy Hawkins scholarship.

Joe: I started dancing at the age of thirteen in my hometown Manchester. It was a workshop with Company Chameleon that set me on my crazy adventure in the world of contemporary dance, starting on their all boys dance project STRIDE.

After literally ‘finding my feet’ and seeing the possibilities of what a body could do, I auditioned for the Lowry CAT scheme and spent the next three years training and learning new techniques in Contemporary, and started my love-hate relationship with Ballet. I was fortunate to be offered a place at NSCD of where I spent another three years developing as an Artist/Dancer and even bagged myself a degree.

Why do you love dance?

Leanne: For me, dance gives me a freedom that I lack in my normal social life. I love that it feels right – no over thinking just a physical force that makes me feel alive. I love that dance cannot only touch but also brings people together for the purpose of joy, experience, and relation. The idea that dance can give so much is something that will always leave me in awe. It expresses what cannot be said which is something so special and so powerful.

What are you most looking forward to about your apprenticeship with Motionhouse?

Joe: The thing I’m most looking forward to in this apprenticeship is performing Captive. I cannot wait for the day my hands stop hurting and I can do the swinging section like a monkey with a smile on my face. I’m so excited to work with the company and see how they create material for their new work Charge next year.

Leanne: I am looking forwards to obtaining skills that the Motionhouse Company uniquely offers. I want to build strength, performance and most excitingly for me, the acrobatic twist that the company is renowned for. I am also extremely excited to experience and be involved in the making of Charge, their next production. The opportunity of being part of this company is going enable me to achieve all that I believe in and by the end of my year experience I want to feel like an accomplished professional dance artist ready for the dance world.

Where do you see yourself in three years’ time? What would you most like to be doing?

Leanne: I will be dancing. I want to be a strong confident individual, hopefully working in a company where I’ll have the opportunity to always be challenged in developing my mental and physical skills, exploring everything that dance offers. Alongside this I would like to continue my love for teaching, inspiring and encouraging young dancers to follow what they love.

Joe: The dream like any aspiring dancer is to perform and perform and perform! My secret passion is in choreography and in a few years I would love to be able to create my own work!

What inspires you?

Leanne: I am inspired by my parents, who have not only funded my dancing but have followed and encouraged my love for this art every step of the way. I’m most inspired by things I face and work through in my daily life. I love that there is always something or someone to relate to. I’m inspired by these common grounds and hope I myself can inspire others in every facet of life.

Joe: My passion and inspiration in dance is from the people I am surrounded by, everywhere I go people have something to bring to the table and it is always refreshing and exciting when something that sounds impossible comes together.

We can’t wait to see what Joe and Leanne achieve during their time with us. We’ll be sure to keep you posted!