25/06/18 - Step LIVE 2018


Two years ago, eager-eyed and youthful I bundled myself down to the Step Into Dance Contemporary Company auditions, where I was overwhelmed by the talent I was surrounded by and I remained this way throughout my two years at Step Into Dance. I felt constantly challenged, stimulated and encouraged and I really do credit almost all of my dance knowledge and ability to the teachers there. After two years I bid Step farewell, and so when I returned today to observe the Step LIVE company rehearsals, it is fair to say that I was a little nervous as well as very excited and interested. Step Live is Step Into Dance's annual end of year show and this year it is directed by choreographer Tim Casson who conceived the theme for this performance, Copy and Paste. I am delighted to have taken the opportunity to come back to see what the companies have been working on and I definitely wasn't disappointed.

Walking into the studio I had previously called my second home, I saw an abundance of smiling faces and people undeniably in their element. I saw teachers encouraging and pushing their students and then I knew that regardless of the concept of the show, Step Into Dance will never really lose what it has - and that is a group of passionate, dedicated dancers who truly love what they do. Despite the incredible heat and the sun-rays blinding us all through the window, the dancers pushed on for themselves and for the group as a whole, and that is what Step Into Dance is really about. It isn't just about dance steps, learning choreography, working with amazing choreographers, performing at Sadlers Wells or getting company t-shirts. While these are all great things that SID provides, (which is quite possibly my favourite thing about it - it allows people who would never dare to dream about performing on a massive stage because of a lack of confidence or because they don't have  the money to afford immensely expensive training - to have the opportunity to do so) SID is really about the company dynamic, pushing yourself to reach your full potential and being the best, most honest and most creative version of yourself.

I saw old and new company members come together in the rehearsal I observed, and seeing my old friends with their new ones was really lovely to see. The community spirit in the room is really something that is difficult to create and SID will always have it, no matter who comes and goes. The dancers are invested in making their performance the best that it can be, and they really do care about what they are doing and you can see it in their eyes and in their commitment. And, at the end of the day, in my opinion that is all you can really ask of someone or some group. I will never not be impressed with the message of inclusion that SID dance sends to the public, and coming back today definitely reinforced this. I have to say the highlight of my day was seeing the inclusive company dance alongside the other companies, because I'd never seen this done before at Step Into Dance, and I think it boosted that community spirit even further. It was a pleasure to see everyone in their element and just enjoying dance - particularly as I think that is something that most dance schools and organisations lack. In a lot of cases, dancers don't really love what they do, and they forget that before there was training, there was dance, and I think the balance between enjoying yourself and pushing yourself to improve is something that Step Into Dance have found the perfect middle ground of. As an organisation it celebrates the love of dance just as much as the talent.
I recommend everyone gets down to Sadlers Wells on the 16th July to see Step Live: Copy and Paste. It will be a celebration of all the hard work that has clearly been invested by all performing. For all information about the show go to http://www.stepintodance.org/events/4