“Dancing in all its forms cannot be excluded from the curriculum of all noble education; dancing with the feet, with ideas, with words, and need I add that one must also be able to dance with the pen?”
– Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche
On Wednesday 12th July 2017, I became a First Class Honours graduate of the Royal Academy of Dance.
The Royal Academy of Dance is one of the world’s most influential institutions for dance education and dance teacher training. Founded by an international group of dancers and dance teachers in 1920 to set standards for dance teaching in the United Kingdom, the organisation now operates in 85 countries. Its classical ballet syllabus is taught globally, with over 240,000 candidates taking Royal Academy of Dance ballet examinations each year. Beyond this, an ever-increasing programme of outreach work takes dance into diverse communities, while the Faculty of Education’s research develops knowledge which informs and inspires dance enthusiasts all over the world.
I have graduated from the Royal Academy of Dance’s BA (Hons) Dance Education programme. This varied programme not only equips graduates with the anatomical, musical and pedagogical knowledge and understanding to teach dance but also engages with philosophical, professional and practical issues in the fields of dance and dance education.
There are some sparkling performances in the production of Breakfast at Tiffany’s currently captivating audiences at Milton Keynes Theatre.
The classic tale of deliciously enigmatic New York good-time girl Holly Golightly, penned by Truman Capote in his 1958 novella and memorably portrayed by Audrey Hepburn in the iconic 1961 film, has been reinvented as a stylish stage play with music. American playwright Richard Greenberg returns to Capote’s original prose for this version, rather than basing his interpretation on the film’s script. Nonetheless, Moon River, the Oscar-winning theme from the movie, remains and provides the show’s most enchanting musical interlude.
Audrey’s name will forever be inextricably linked to Breakfast at Tiffany’s so it surely takes a brave performer to fully embrace the character of the troubled call-girl without inadequately imitating the film star. Georgia May Foote is making her theatrical debut in this touring production and in last night’s show – only the second performance so far of the nationwide tour – she proved herself to be suitably fearless. There is no doubt that Georgia is a plucky and polished leading lady.
Audiences can expect to be dazzled by Keep Dancing at Milton Keynes Theatre this week.
Last night’s opening show was packed with enthusiastic dance fans revelling in the excitement of this uplifting production, which offers a sparkling combination of breath-taking dance routines, lively musical interludes and stunning vocals.
Featuring a “fab-u-lous” cast of world champion Ballroom and Latin dancers, Keep Dancing is a thoroughly entertaining dance marathon. There is no story to keep track of as it is simply an effervescent celebration of dance itself. This means that the slickly-performed choreography just keeps coming. The dancers boogie their way through over 30 diverse numbers, switching from one style to another with ease. They are joined by the charismatic pairing of Robin Windsor and Anya Garnis (both from Strictly Come Dancing) and crowd-pleasing celebrity guest stars Jay McGuiness and Aliona Vilani (the reigning Strictly champions).
Keep Dancing takes to the stage at Milton Keynes Theatre tomorrow and this extravaganza of a production promises to deliver an unmissable array of dazzling routines.
Strictly fever is already gripping the nation. The popular BBC reality television programme’s producers drip-fed us with news about the celebrity line-up for Strictly Come Dancing 2016 on social media throughout the summer and Saturday night’s launch show saw each of the contestants get paired with their professional dancer. The couples are now hard at work in rehearsals fine-tuning their debut dances – which means we have a few weeks to wait before the competition begins.
Fortunately, fans in the new city need not wait any longer to enjoy some glitz, glamour and good old fancy footwork as some of our favourite former SCD professionals and celebrities will be showcasing their best moves in Keep Dancing.
Professional Ballroom and Latin dancer Robin Windsor is a world champion who has toured the globe in critically acclaimed shows, performing in both the West End and on Broadway. He charmed television audiences in Dancing with The Stars Australia and on So You Think You Can Dance in Holland. Closer to home, Robin enjoyed being a fan favourite on the BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing for five years.
Currently on the road with brand new dance production Keep Dancing, Robin took a break from rehearsals to talk about the show and his zeal for dancing with Georgina Butler…
Robin Windsor’s passion for dancing started young. Known for his easy manner and dazzling dance moves on Strictly Come Dancing, Robin has had an amazing career to date and it all started when his parents enrolled him in a local dance school in Ipswich when he was just three years old. Here, he studied both Ballroom and Latin dance, eventually representing England at numerous World Championships.
Cast in the immensely popular dance company Burn the Floor when he was 21, Robin enjoyed two world tours during his nine years with the troupe. Stints on Dancing with the Stars Australia and So You Think You Can Dance in Holland followed, as well as the opportunity to co-choreograph for the Australian version of So You Think You Can Dance. He was then asked back to Burn the Floor in the role of ‘Swing’, which demanded that he learned and performed all of the male roles.
Robin joined BBC show Strictly Come Dancing in 2010, thrilling viewers every Saturday night in dynamic group dances and choreographing routines to challenge and showcase his celebrity partners. Teamed with actress Patsy Kensit for his first year, Robin also danced with EastEnders legend Anita Dobson, actress Lisa Riley (with whom he famously reached the semi-finals) and Dragon’s Den star Deborah Meaden.
Sadly, Robin had to withdraw from Strictly in 2014 due to a persistent and serious back injury. Incredibly, he was back on our screens dancing in a group number just two months after surgery. Since then, Robin has competed in two Strictly Christmas Specials and The People’s Strictly for Comic Relief. During the summer of 2015 he starred in the national tour of Puttin’ On The Ritz with Strictly professional Kristina Rihanoff. For the Autumn stretch of the tour he danced with Anya Gurnis – she has also competed as a pro on Strictly and is starring alongside Robin in Keep Dancing from this month.
Devoted to dancing himself and brimming with enthusiasm for teaching others to dance, Robin was suitably “fab-u-lous” to chat to. I can’t wait to see him in Keep Dancing!