Here’s our latest student spotlight–André Fabien Francis…
1. Can you tell readers how you became involved with dance?
I first became seriously involved in dance while I was auditioning for the Aspire Dance Mentoring Programme – which is run by the Council for Dance Education and Training. On the Panel was Vanessa LeFrançois who is the Director of Prevocational & Recreational Dance at The Place: London Contemporary Dance School and while auditioning for Aspire she scouted me to join the Centre for Advanced Training at The Place – which I joined in January 2009 – before graduating to accept a fully Funded Place at London Studio Centre in September 2011 where I’m currently in my 2nd Year.
2. What do you find you like best about dance classes?
I’d have to say one of the best things about dance classes is being somewhere you want to be. Then to add to that; being taught by a teacher who loves what they do and therefore encourages you to go beyond your limits each every time is something I love. Being surrounded by other individuals who want to be there and want to work hard to achieve their goals too is always a bonus!
3. What is the hardest part about dance for you?
Honestly one of the hardest parts of dance for me would have to be: having to push myself constantly to achieve things… it’s hard work! Some people can turn well, others can jump like a kangaroo, some are more flexible than a rubber band and others have to work on all three.
The hardest part is having to work on the things that don’t come naturally and the things you’re working on that often really annoyingly do not come straight away, while knowing if you want to achieve them you have to keep working and pushing for that bit extra as if you keep doing what you always do you can’t really expect to see change!
4. What advice would you give to other dancers?
While I was at CAT one of my teachers Raymond Chai –who is Chief Ballet Master for Ballet Black – said something that has ALWAYS stuck with me: “Dancers never reach their 10 out of 10, when they reach what they thought was their 10 that then becomes their 9”
5. How has dance changed your life?
The amount of people who I have had the pleasure of meeting through my dancing experiences is honestly second to none. Dancing has given me so many opportunities to travel nationally and internationally and experience some of the Best Experiences of My Life so far which I am so thankful for! E.g. Performing in The Lion King West End as Young Simba, being the face of Move It 2013, representing Youth Dance England in Leeds as a National Young Dance Ambassador, performing at the London 2012 Olympic Closing Ceremony and the next exciting opportunity is going to New York this Summer to take part in the Alvin Ailey Summer School – I CANNOT wait!