I have been dancing since I was three years old. This was when it was Judy Tompsett’s school of dance and later on changed to Marsh Tompsett school of dance. I clearly remember my first show, it was Aladdin and I was a butterfly. It was my very first time ever performing on a stage in front of a large crowd, but somehow at that age stage fright doesn’t seem to hit you (I know that because I was talking on stage…!) MTSD has become part of my normal routine and it’s also my main source of exercise. I feel as if dancing is different from running or sports, you use your body in different ways, you move rhythmically and it feels good when you can perform an exercise or piece without mistakes. MTSD has also given me a lot of friendships and being surrounded by confident young people is very empowering. It’s a very friendly community, and something that I am very grateful to be part of.
For this month’s blog, I wanted to share one of my favourite pieces of choreography EVER.
This group won “Got to Dance” some time ago, but for me, they are unforgettable. It’s a massively successful reinvention of hard shoe Irish dance, brought right up to date. Irish dancers have probably been in the shadow of Michael Flattley’s Riverdance/Lord of the Dance for years, but somehow this genius choreographer (centre of the group) has managed to blaze a totally unique trail and create something really powerful and really fresh. I don’t think I’ve seen a tighter ensemble. It’s incredibly inspiring.
Parents, please forward or show this to your kids – they’ll LOVE it!!!!
For those of you who got Round & About magazine through your door today, check out page 42!!!! Lovely little article on MTSD including some photos of students who can now consider themselves local celebs! Ha! See below.
On a separate note……I’m loving Mini Marshlings on a Tuesday morning. Our little group of 8 children and 8 mums are having great time growing like flowers, running with raindrops, jumping with spider puppets, wafting a giant sized rainbow and of course, BUBBLE POPPING!!!!!!
I’m very confident when I say that for me, nothing beats Edinburgh in August. The Fringe Festival is a goldmine of precious theatrical gems all jostling for position across a multitude of venues throughout the city. I appeared in new plays there aged 19 and then again when I was 22 and having just returned as a visitor 12 years later, it’s magic and uniqueness is as fresh as ever. I saw several dance pieces (including an extraordinary acrobatic quintet in the iconic 1930’s “Spiegeltent”), but the standout performance was “POP UP DUETS” which took place within the National Museum of Scotland. At 3:30pm an expectant crowd gathered around a strange looking portable music system, fashioned out of an old suitcase, not knowing where and how the dancers might appear. What followed was a skillful, fluid and thoroughly enjoyable series of duets weaving through the various spaces of the museum with the audience in tow. I particularly noticed how hooked the children in the audience were – boys and girls below the age of 10 all silent. At one point between dances, I saw a little boy spiral and float his way down to the floor in an attempt to emulate what he had just seen. If children are engaged by choreography, you know it’s good! Enjoy the following clip…….
So it was almost two months ago, but it’s still incredibly fresh in my mind. Our production of “A Year in the Life” was a momentous occasion, not least because it was the culmination of quite literally a year in our lives! It was mostly choreographed in my modestly sized front room between the ours of 7pm – 11pm with the music turned down low to avoid waking small children who already knew each song like the back of their hands. Then came the hours of weekly rehearsals where my brilliant students took on mountains of information in a relatively short space of time, before we set up camp at the Amey Theatre. As I said on the first Dress Rehearsal: “How lucky are we?!” A theatre that seats over 400, a brand new lighting rig, fabulous costumes and a pumping sound system…..all to ourselves!!! A truly brilliant and unforgettable week and the money raised for the charity made for an extra special and meaningful experience….
ROSY Secretary, George Hedges:-
“ROSY is a local Oxfordshire Charity that supports families who nurse terminally ill or chronically sick children in the home . You can imagine how delighted we were then to be invited to become the charity to benefit from the proceeds of “A Year in the Life” by Marsh Tompsett School of Dance. The show played to packed audiences. It was a tremendous occasion. We have been presented with cheques for over £2,100. Fantastic. We will put some of the money raised to the purchase of another much needed SATS monitor (a device which monitors a child overnight and sets off an alarm if there is a problem) as a lasting reminder of the what the dance school did for us. It is comforting to know that young people and their parents can think of those less fortunate than themselves. Not only is the money vital to our work, but the fact that you care is a great inspiration to our parents. Thank you.”
There are so many great moments to relive on the show DVD, but for this blog, I have chosen the number that saw 50 teenagers sharing a stage, looking really slick, really vibrant and really happy.
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