Meet Rickesh: longstanding City Academy Dance student and certified Diva.
Rickesh gives us the lowdown on how City Academy has helped him grow in his passion for dance, boost his confidence and feel empowered along the way.
What made you decide to take a dance course with us?
As a shift worker I found that I was on my own most of the time. Days off on the weekdays on my own, working weekends not seeing friends. Instead of sitting at home feeling lonely I decided to go back to dancing as I love hitting the dance floor so much!
What were your first impressions of your course?
The first course I picked was Diva, but since then I’ve done two more Diva courses, Ballet and Commercial Street Improvers, and I have enjoyed all of them! Diva classes are a place where you can just let loose and sway those hips. My first impressions were very empowering, even if I was the only male. The more I dance the more I try to bring energy into each move. More attitude into every strut. More confidence into every pose.
Do you have a background in dance?
Way back when I was just a little boy growing up I did Bollywood dance. There’s nothing like a trip with the girls in your family to help bring your inner-fierce out. After a few years I stopped dancing. If I could go back I’d tell little me to keep going.
Has your dancing improved since attending the courses?
The more you do it the better you’ll be, even if you have two left feet. The more I dance the more I try to bring energy into each move. More attitude into every strut. More confidence into every pose. Even better if you can bring a few of those moves to the dance floor and sass your friends with them.
How does dancing complement your professional life?
I work in Retail and Catering. Working shifts it’s hard to fit in social activities, work and hobbies, but sometimes you just make do. Personally dancing has never impacted negatively on other parts of my life because I’m always dancing and singing no matter where I am, even to the customers: customer service with added jazz hands. Confidence is another factor: dancing in front of others really helps to boost that. You can use that in real-life situations when talking to people.
I adore the tutors. Always fun, energetic and engaging.
What is the social side of the courses like?
Social aspects depend on who is enrolled in the class: I’ve met some lovely people over the courses and we’re still talking and dancing together in future classes. I’ve only been with the Commercial Dance Company for two weeks and already there’s many socials in the works. I’ve not met most of the group but they’re always talking on the group chat and I think they’ve all grown close bonds with each other: I’m really looking forward to spending more time with them.
What has been your experience with our tutors?
Personally, I adore the tutors. Always fun, energetic and engaging. They don’t come in and just teach, they talk to you and let you be apart of something. Never a dull moment in Diva!
What would you consider one of the most valuable things you have learnt in class?
If in doubt… Bevel. But really the most valuable thing I’ve learnt is to be happy with yourself. Just be free, if you feel stupid doing it… do it more stupid, if you feel awkward posing it, pose more awkward. You’ve already done it so just go the extra step to stand out.
Divas come in all shapes and sizes, girl or boy. What they all share is confidence… attitude.
What do you think makes someone a great ‘Diva’?
Divas come in all shapes and sizes, girl or boy. What they all share is confidence… attitude. Every step they take has purpose. Every sound they make has meaning. If you can feel it, be it. Only you can make yourself a Diva. It’s not something someone can give you.
What would you say to someone who was thinking of trying a class?
Definitely do it! Doing Diva was the best first decision I’ve ever made. I’d make it again. Doing any of the classes is great fun. Sometimes it’s a matter of just throwing away the embarrassment: you aren’t on your own. Everyone else in that class is probably feeling the same way as you. The feeling at the end of the class is always completely different from when you started, you always want more. That’s why I’m dancing with City Academy twice a week.
Find out more about City Academy’s Diva Dance classes here.