Student Story: Jeanette Arthur

jeanette arthur dance foundation student

Jeanette travelled from Belgium every week to attend our Dance Foundation course. We caught up with her to ask her about her experience.

I was very excited to join the Dance Foundation course, as I had never found another course that offers novice adults such a comprehensive dance education in such an accessible format. I found it very hard to find a company that offered beginners classes in a broad range of dance styles. Most classes I found seemed only suitable for children/teenagers or people who had danced as children then stopped and wanted to start up again. Nothing is really out their for adults who are just starting out, so City Academy is very special and was exactly what I was looking for. I have no background in any performing arts. As a child I competed as a gymnast and did dance a little but nothing consistent. The course was totally suitable for my level and unusual in that it included subjects like contact improvisation, along with discussions and practical applications of how dances are choreographed.

We all lead busy lives in professional jobs but are so passionate about dance and were finding a way to fit it into our lives.

The group taking the course was an interesting mix, everyone having different backgrounds and experiences, and bringing something positive and stimulating to the class. Our common connection was that we are all passionate about dance, it was great to be able to talk dance all day with like-minded people without them growing weary of the topic! I hope to stay in touch with many of them as we all bonded very quickly and supported each other throughout the course, helping and encouraging each other in a very kind and positive way. We all lead busy lives in professional jobs but are so passionate about dance and were finding a way to fit it into our lives. The level of commitment is amazing considering how busy we all are.

Considering we were only dancing for one day per week, I was amazed at how much everyone improved. Over the six-week period, we developed strength and flexibility, various ballet and contemporary techniques along with an improved ability to absorb choreography more quickly.

The teachers bowled me over with their generosity...they really knew how to inspire us and pass on their expertise.

The Dance Foundation quickly became a regular part of my life; I already miss it very much. I’ll miss not practicing my plié and tendu and our collective groan at the contemporary warm up. A comprehensive course as good as this will be a hard act to follow.

The teachers bowled me over throughout the course with their generosity in sharing their dance experiences, their patience and their expertly structured approach to classes. They really knew how to inspire us and pass on their expertise. It is quite exceptional to have all of the teachers on a course be so very good.

Although generally uplifting and inspiring, the course was tough in places. The biggest challenge I faced was the level of fitness and stamina that is required to dance for all day, even if it is just 1 day per week. I was exhausted and aching every weekend, and the last class of the day was very tough mentally and physically. However, it really did show me what I was capable of and it was certainly more than I thought!

The showcase at the end of the course was something I wasn’t initially enthusiastic about doing, but it turned out to be so much fun as well as another experience that I learned from. Performing and rehearsing are two completely different experiences and require slightly different attitudes; I hope to practice those more in the future. Overall the course has left me with an even deeper appreciation of dance and even more determination to make dance a bigger part of my life.

Although I live quite far away I feel the experience was very much worth the extra time and cost involved in travelling from Belgium. There really is nothing else like City Academy for providing high quality progressive dance education with other people 'like me'. I have already booked my next City Academy dance course and am looking forward to continuing my dance education with them.