Hi Jesse, could you start by telling us a bit about yourself and how you came to be involved with National Youth Dance Company?
Hi, I’m 18 and I live in Ipswich. I started dancing when I was about 8 right here at DanceEast! I did weekly street dance classes and was part of an amazing all-boys dance company called Boys United. I then joined the CAT scheme when I was 12 and have been a part of it ever since. I auditioned on Zoom for NYDC during the first autumn of lockdown after seeing them perform at DanceEast over the years and am now in my second year with the company.
What is your favourite aspect of being part of National Youth Dance Company (NYDC)?
NYDC is amazing in so many ways, from the opportunity to work with world-class artists to the time and support we are given to develop as dancers. But my favourite aspect is the sense of community that NYDC provides – being surrounded every day by others my age that love dance as much as I do.
Can you tell us more about the piece, Quartier Paradis, that you will be performing at DanceEast very soon?
I don’t want to say too much about the piece and would encourage the audience to approach it with an open mind and heart.
Can you tell us what it was like working with Alesandra Seutin?
Alesandra Seutin is an incredible artist and inspiration. The approach her and her team take to creating material is one that I feel I can connect with – using music, improvisation, discussion and characterisation to make a piece that we as young people feel is relevant to us, and are proud to perform.
We know you’re currently doing your A Levels, what’s next for you? How has being part of NYDC helped shape your future plans?
In September I will start a 3-year degree at Northern School of Contemporary Dance. This decision was hugely shaped by my time in NYDC. It has taught me so much, not only as a dancer but as a person, and I will never forget it.