Recent graduates from The Point Eastleigh’s Hampshire Youth Dance Company are celebrating their successes as they move on to the next stages of their dance journey.
Hampshire Youth Dance Company (HYDC) is the venue’s audition-based dance company, providing pre-professional training and performance experience of the highest quality for aspiring young dancers aged between 13 and 21 years old.
Successful alumni include Felicity Bray, who has recently graduated from London Studio Centre and joins JV2/Jasmin Vardimon Company. Working side-by-side with the professional touring company, Felicity will complete a Professional Development Diploma and use this unique opportunity to train and develop as a versatile and multi-disciplinary performer.
Felicity said: “More and more I value the experience and opportunity to physically connect with others, and thankful to be able to both fail and thrive in a supportive and challenging environment. It is a physically, emotionally and mentally expansive programme and I am enjoying the process of discovering more of capacity.”
Since graduating from the Northern School of Contemporary Dance (NSCD) this summer, Samantha Mould has successfully launched Mind and Movement Dance Company which aims to explore how dance and movement can support mental health.
Sam is currently leading sessions for the young dancers on the Swindon CAT programme and led a fantastic online workshop for our current HYDC cohort during lockdown. She plans to continue to her expand her company and her knowledge by studying for her MA in Dance and Somatic Wellbeing.
Three HYDC alumni have also secured positions with The Point’s GradLab project, a paid opportunity that assists dance graduates in the south, developing the next generation of talent. Katie Serridge will join the programme as a choreographer and Polly Constance and Laura Goodwin, both recent graduates from the NSCD, are working as dancers. Laura will also join VERVE, the postgraduate company of NSCD.
She said: “Having danced at The Point since I was 14, I feel very fortunate to have been able to return this autumn for GradLab to create a new professional work.
As a dancer in Betty Maguire’s piece ‘No One Bloody Cares’ myself and other artists spent a week in the creation space rehearsing, creating, discussing and sharing to virtual audiences.
“GradLab has helped bridge the gap between training and professional work. The workshops and talks we’ve received are allowing us to navigate the dance industry as graduate artists. I am really excited to continue working on the project and reach as many audiences as I can with this piece”.
More of the alumni are continuing their training at some of the top conservatoire and schools in country.
HYDC Director Tory East said: “It is wonderful to be celebrating the success of so many of our HYDC Alumni in what has been an extremely challenging year for graduates across the country. We are all incredibly proud of their achievements and are confident that as they now become professional artists the future of dance and the arts is in good hands!”
Image: Felicity Bray credit Nicole Guarino Photography for Intoto 2020, London Studio Centre