We started The Curious Dance Company two years ago with the specific aim of building a strong youth dance company that would create original dance works to perform in both competitive stage dance festivals and non-competitive youth dance showcases around the North West.
There are not many youth dance companies that aim to work in both types of dance performance settings and we have worked hard to develop pieces that bridge both worlds whilst also being, what we feel to be, interesting and innovative youth dance pieces that challenge and celebrate our young dancers.
We hit a very steep learning curve in our first year of festivals. There are different etiquette and conventions that need to be observed and in initial competitive festivals we were picked up on areas like how we bowed and exited stage and we outshone by companies with years of competitive experience. We have learned our lessons fast. One area we have really focused on developing is our dancer’s stage presence and versatile performance abilities.
We are now on our second year of festivals and have developed so much as a company. We recently performed at the Lancaster Stage Dance Festival and looked like a strong more experienced dance company and had success with Charlie Nayler winning his contemporary solo section.
A week later we travelled to Nelson to perform in their stage dance festival. last year we placed third with a contemporary piece, our first placing. This year we came first in the contemporary group section with ‘Creep’ and placed second in the cabaret group section with ‘Kaleidoscope’. ‘Creep’ also won the trophy for the highest marking piece across the entire festival with a massive 89 marks. To top it all off Scot Chaplow was awarded the Boys Dance trophy and Charlie Nayler received the adjudicators Scholarship Award. A very successful day and a huge confidence builder for us as a company.
Next Weekend we perform ‘Creep’ at a non-competitive dance festival ‘BIGUPNorth’ at the Dukes Theatre in Lancaster and it will be very interesting to see the work along side other youth dance companies from around the North West.
We are only still just beginning our Curious dance journey, loving every moment and growing with every step.
There are three new dance classes starting this week – please spread the word…
Tuesdays 3.30 – 4.30 Beginners ballet (open class) with Nicola Parker
Tuesdays 4.30 – 5.30 Commercial dance with Nicola Parker
Wednesday 3.30 – 4.30 Advanced ballet (invite only please ask for details) Megan Alder-cox.
Two Curious dancers have been offered places at UK’s top dance conservatoires. Harriet Leaf and Charlie Nayler have both had incredible achievements in being successful in the highly competitive world of dance auditions. We are so proud of both dancers and have no doubt they will go far in whatever direction they choose to take. Both Harriet and Charlie have been with Curious right from the beginning and their journeys have been amazing to be part of. The amount of hard work, dedication, pain and passion that goes into achieving their level of ability and promise cannot be underestimated. Each dance school can only take a fraction of auditionees from all around the country and abroad so to have two from The Curious Dance Company is a true testament to the quality of provision and support we can offer.
For many young dancers their training and experience comes from a variety of sources. This is very much the case with Harriet who attends Rigney Bank dance school; has been a member of Cumbria Youth Dance Company and Ludus Youth Dance Company as well as many other dance experiences. Harriet is a beautiful dancer with a very striking stage presence.
Charlie came to dance relatively late and has received his dance training so far from me (Jasper Marriott) and Megan Alder-Cox. Together we run The Curious Dance Company. I teach Charlie dance at QES and Megan delivers his private lessons. Charlie has an athletic physicality and a powerful performance ability.
We are very proud of them both (I know I have said that twice!)
This week’s YouTube video is focused on Charlie and features his audition solo.
It has been a while since we have written a post here and a new year resolution is to create more regular updates of the companies progress; both here and on YouTube. We would like to open the doors to our choreographic and rehearsal process and invite you to see our journey as it happens (or shortly after I’ve edited video and written a new post).
The Curious Dance Company is evolving fast; it’s been a very exciting time for dance at QES (the school where we are based). The performance company has grown to 22 young dancers (2 boys, 20 girls) each bringing a talent, personality and creativity to the process of developing new pieces for festivals.
We offer a range of classes: Acro for boys; Dance for performance; Acro Dance and Advanced Acro. New classes are in the pipe line: Ballet for beginners and advanced and a commercial dance class (watch this space for more announcements).
We will update our YouTube channel weekly with footage from rehearsal and other bits and pieces we get up to in the studio as well our adventures in competitive and non-competitive festivals. Please support us by liking the videos, subscribing to keep updated and let others know what we’re up to. Here’s our video of our first week back after the Christmas break. Hope you enjoy…
Half term workshop with Megan Alder-Cox and Nicola Parker.
Megan and Nicola will be running another fantastic day workshop on Monday 23rd October; 10am to 5pm at QES. The day will cover Commercial and Contemporary dance styles as well as strength and flexibility training. And all this for just £15.
Hope you all have had a great summer. We start our rehearsals on the 7th September and with a couple festivals just around the corner we have to hit the ground running. The 14th September will be our audition – so spread the word! We are looking for a dancer that is talented and dedicated to join our fantastic company.
In other news – we have had our logo redesigned and there will be a catalogue of new logoed dance wear!
We have a busy year planned and we are really looking forward to creating new pieces.
We are now only weeks away from Can you Dance? in Leeds (parents: please see the letter on the letters page for details of this and other upcoming events). Our pieces is just about finished with a few tweeks and lots of rehearsal needed. (dancer: check out the rehearsal video on the closed facebook page). This is a new event for many of our dancers and it feels like a real treat: a day immersed in all things dance. There will be master classes and many amazing performances to inspire us.
We are really excited about showing our new piece ‘Kaleidoscope’ as it’s a real upbeat jazzy number – perfect for the event.
All our dance pieces from this year will be being performed at our annual dance showcase (again: see letter for details)
This is our first run through of our latest piece – Amicus Curiosus (Curious Friends). We are performing this piece in the Cumbria Youth Dance Festival and also applying for Lancashire Dance Festival (fingers crossed we are selected).
We filmed a rehearsal run for the Lancashire Dance Festival team to cast their eye over. There are two dancers missing, a few mistakes and we haven’t got all the choreography down yet, but we feel it’s a strong piece and are happy to show it off.
A true Curious Collaboration; everyone in the company has contributing something to the creative process. With this being our third piece we wanted to create a work that reflected our growth as a company – With a Little Help From My Friends – seemed a very apt choice.
The big builds in the Joe Cocker orchestration enabled us to play with the number of dancers on stage. At times filling the stage with our twenty strong dancer. Then dropping down to a focused few and occasionally just a solo.
We now have serious rehearsing of all our three pieces to do with four performances coming up over March and April. It’s been an amazing year so far and we have a lot more planned.
This is the start of brand new phase for The Curious Dance Company. Our very first Curious Dance classes started today.
We now have two Acro Dance classes and a Dance for Performance class to complement our performance company. This is such an exciting development for us as we now offer a broad dance experience all under our Curious umbrella.
The Dance for Performance class is a curious mix of styles, from contemporary to musical theatre, designed to bring the very best out of each student whilst challenging them to develop a strong technical foundation. All delivered with an energetic and driven style that is the hallmark of Megan Alder-Cox’s teaching. Megan has an impressive talent for developing dancers’ technical and performance abilities in a short amount of time – she really knows how to get results.
The Acro class was all about core fitness and the initial assessment of the pupils’ abilities. Acro puts a demand on the body beyond most dance styles and requires the development of strength, flexibility and coordination (especially whilst upside down in the air) to a high degree. This requires a precision in the delivery to ensure clear understanding and safely at all times. Megan is an excellent Acro teacher with full qualifications and an ability to make the tough feel fun.
We are looking forward to a fabulously Curious 2017. The Curious Dance Company rehearsals start on the 12th January and Curious Dance classes start on 16th January.
Our Curious Dance artist Megan Alder-Cox is now offering dance coaching – this is an amazing opportunity to fast track your dance training – click on this link to find out more.
MAC Dance Coaching