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Back to my roots So for those of you who don’t know who I am, my names Jamie Body and I’m a freelance performer in London. I graduated from Performers college in 2007 and have been fortunate enough to work consistently in the industry ever since, and by fortunate I mean I’ve worked bloody hard. I am a big believer in further progression and always trying to growing both personally and professionally. Over the last few years alongside performing I have been studying and working hard to pursue what I would call a ‘Parallel care’ , which is basically a side career as entertainment journalist and reporter. Through a fair few courses and hands on experience I am really starting to carve my ‘parallel career’ which works in tandem with my life as a performer. A form of affirmation that I was on the right path with this was to be asked back as an artistic eye and reviewer for my old colleges Third Year Dance course show- Entitled Destiny. So here goes… So first off a little history about the college. Performers college has been established since 1987 and is still going strong. It is n independent further education college for the performing arts.Established by Brian and Jan Rogers and Sue and Mike Stephens this institute for the performing arts is one of the top ranked colleges in the country. Flash back to me at college” And now fast forward to the present day, So here I am at the current third year’s dance show call ‘Destiny’. It was great to be greeted by the faculty and to also see some friends and fellow alumni at the show supporting the new talent. The show had roughly 30 performers who took to stage in this 2 hour production at the Kenneth Moore theatre in Ilford. There was the first big change since my time at college. My year ended with around 50 people, a lot who are still my best friends, but to see 30 people on one course was great. Theatre and the arts are becoming more and more mainstream and it was great to see so many people wanting to pursue their passion. The show was made up of several sections choreographed both by resident teachers/ and guest choreographers. Exploring themes of childhood, love, pop culture and classics such as Judy Garland and Frank Sinatra. I am sure most performers who went down the full time college or university route will agree with me when I say, although you fundemntal training comes from your full time and will help form the backbend of your early career, you learn so much and grow as a performer when you leave. And due to this I won’t review the show in the same capacity I would for A Younger Theatre or one of the other publications I write for. Catching up with the faculty in intermission it now seems that a bonus now for when you are at college is the freedom within the course structure to pick up jobs while in third year. Also as long as you forefill the criteria set out by Trinity you can leave early in your graduating year for a professional job and still gain your qualification. We are in such a saturated industry that every little helps and now being able to gain work experience while at college is such a bonus. Now to the dancing. There was a lot of promising talent in the show both from the performing and choreographers involved. The amount of choreography that these studios had to managed around their usual timetable and contextual work is pretty impressive, and although they probably don’t realise it this is a massive tool for when you graduating. In the ‘real world’ of performing you have to understudy several roles, go on in the last minute, learning multiple shows at the same time and the more training the better. Although it would be hard to sit here and list every thing in the show some numbers that really stood out to me was Georgia Brown by Jo darnel which was beautiful danced by Claire Lavender, Shauna Olley and Megan Spiers. Tap is so underated in mainstream theatre world only being showcased in the MGM style shows of 42nd Street, Top Hat and Singing in the Rain that don’t come around as often. There was a great tap number brought to you by one of the faculty members Eildh Ross. It as had the added dynamic of vocals …. Emphasis on Hip Hop number and girls with swag. it always s good to see a strong ensemble of male performers as well. Strong and athletic. Of course there were mistakes, but as a performer boy do you know when you make a mistake. We are our own worse critics and when we go wrong we beat ourselves up about it so I’m not going to write here about the errors when they put in a lot of work for a few days of performance. The advice I would give the graduating year would be – Perseverance is key. Be polite, hard working and always continue to learn. If your passions slightly change over time don’t get frightended by it just go with it and enjoy the journey. What is written Nikki Ohara Peaky Blinders by Keeley East Somewhere over the rainbow Emma Rogers So there yo have it, my return trip to my college days. I actually went to the junior dance school at performers so the better part of 11 years of my life was spent with this brand. I look forward to seeing this graduating year out in the real world whether it be auditioning along side them, assisting an audition then attend or reviewing them in future shows.




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