Our latest “Student Spotlight” features Sophie Holt…
1. Can you tell readers how you became involved with dance?
I first became involved with dance when I was 8 years old and went to a friend’s house for dinner! She had a ballet class that night and I went with her. After that I started classes, dancing maybe once or twice a week until I was roughly 13. I auditioned for Hampshire Youth Dance Company (in the UK) because it seemed like a good opportunity to try something new, and I had never really auditioned for anything before. I got into the company, where I found my love for contemporary dance and choreography.
2. What do you find you like best about dance class?
I really enjoy learning new phrases and exploring new ways of moving. I find it is helpful to apply what I learn in technical exercises to a phrase of movement. I think this also shows you what you really need to work at, it challenges you as a dancer to think about several things at once, and introduces more performance to the movement.
3. What is the hardest part about dance for you?
I find lots of things hard about dance, but enjoy the challenge. I am continually working on improving my core strength to improve my control of movement. With me, I seem to be in control in technical exercises, but begin to lose it when I do choreography. I am currently trying to find the right balance, which is taking me some time, but with studying dance full time at Chichester University, I am able to keep focus.
What I found particularly hard in previous years has been the auditioning process. I really enjoy the actual audition, I like the competitiveness and the structure, however, receiving rejections is something that I had to get used to. I have now built up a tougher skin and know that I am in the best place for me, but when applying for vocational schools, there were definitely some hard times!
4. What advice would you give to other dancers?
To always receive feedback with a positive attitude! If someone is telling you something constructive really listen and take it in because it means they see something in what you are doing.
5. How has dance changed your life?
Dance has introduced me to plenty of new people and opened my eyes to new ways of thinking. I think studying dance at university really makes you look at things in new ways and appreciate what it is that you are seeing. I honestly don’t know what I would be doing if I wasn’t dancing!
BIO: Sophie Holt is a second year dance student at Chichester University. She began dancing aged eight and went on to perform with Hampshire Youth Dance Company in the UK after discovering her love for contemporary dance.