Our Stories - Rosie Noctor

"I wish to continue with the same determination of a dancer, just on the other side of the stage!"

Rosie Noctor is a freelance independent dancer who has worked in both the UK and Tel Aviv since 2004.

In 2014, DCD supported Rosie to undertake two short courses to help her to retrain into a career in costume design.

"I have been dancing professionally since 2004 after graduating from The Place. From 2004-2009 I worked freelancing for various small scale companies in the UK and teaching. From 2009-2014 I have been living in Tel Aviv, firstly free lancing and then performing full time with Inbal Pinto and Avshalom Pollak Dance Company.

I am now again freelancing but as a Costume Designer/Maker, Artistic Consultant and Dancer. All the while I have had a lucky career as a dancer, I have also been interested in and designing/making costumes for dance. In some cases I have had the opportunity to create for performances I have also been dancing in.

In August 2013 I had a miscarriage at 5 months pregnant. It was an extremely hard time because not only were my partner and I dealing with a loss but I was also dealing with a new body which I felt I didn't know and could not control. Being a dancer, I always felt strong and in control of my body and after this experience I saw myself and my body as a much finer and fragile instrument. I knew I would always continue to dance and move but something told me to give my physical body a rest from the touring and the training every-day! I realised that this experience was actually a gift to propel me forwards into my other career path of costume design/making/consultation.

Whilst doing a bit of soul searching and 'future career' questioning, I realised it was about time I got a bit more serious with my sewing skills and knowledge! I was very lucky that I had a strong relationship with the dance company I had been working with at the time of my miscarriage. I really connected to their aesthetic tastes and with the design and costumes they worked with. Luckily they also really believed in me and before I knew it they asked if I would be interested in working on a new production with them as assistant costume designer.

After this fantastic experience I realised I loved this job more than I thought but, I had many gaps to fill in my knowledge of garment construction/ making/ designing/ producing. I researched around for short courses which I believed would start to give me this knowledge and also the confidence to proceed with more complex projects/ jobs in the future.

DCD were able to fund two short courses which I undertook at Central Saint Martins and London College of Fashion in Costume Making (18th & 19th century) and Pattern Cutting, respectively. They also were able to fund my travel in London for the duration of my courses and money towards important equipment. Without this support I wouldn't have been able to consider these invaluable training weeks.

I am now even more excited about my new career pathway. Already I am planning my next moves into other important training programmes which I believe, will hopefully open many more doors creatively for me and potentially/ultimately to higher profile work. Until then, I continue designing and creating for independent dance companies and still doing a little freelance dance work on the side!

I came away from my studies this Summer with fountains of new information (technical & creative) which, I will slowly be able to transpose into my future work. Above all though it has driven me to continue being creative outside of my 'dance world'. It has refreshed my will to absorb new information and it has given me more confidence in my abilities and decision to forge ahead in my new career. I wish to continue with the same determination of a dancer, just on the other side of the stage!"

To find out how we can help you, please contact Ellen Chambers, Grants and Careers Officer, on ellen@thedcd.org.uk.

You can support a dancer like Rosie to navigate career transition through the boundless appeal