'NEVER underestimate your transferable skills. You are a creative, a team player that has a lifetime of high pressure problem solving skills under your belt and that’s just the tip of your very talented iceberg'
I discovered ballet by participating in an outreach project run by Inner London Educational Authorities (ILEA) and the Royal Ballet School.
Following my successful completion of the project, I was invited to join the Junior Associates of the Royal Ballet School. After my first year, I was offered a place at White Lodge where I continued my training for a further six years. I completed my education at the Upper School before joining The Royal Ballet. I danced with the company for sixteen years, rising to the rank of Soloist, performing and creating a variety of roles both in London and internationally.
During my career, I had continuously developed interests and hobbies outside of dance, from fashion, textiles and photography to aviation, always with ‘life after tights’ in mind. When the time finally came to leave the company, I found that all my hobbies and interests had failed to prepare me adequately for the transition; it had just left me with too many choices and an abundance of confusion.
After taking a few years out to look after my elderly parents, I decided to learn a new skill set. I have always been highly sociable, so I decided to investigate the hospitality industry. I started working for a two Michelin starred Chef, learning restaurant structure from gastro pubs to fine dining. I found myself drawn to the PR and Marketing aspects of the business.
During this time, I discovered that many of my skills from my life on stage were transferable.
After four years of working in hospitality, I felt it was time to move into a new arena. I still felt somewhat lost. So I took the life changing decision to seek professional help planning my next step. I contacted Dancers’ Career Development (DCD). The support that I have received from the entire team has been invaluable. We began with identifying my interests and hobbies, deciding how I’d like to implement them in my life, and prioritising my focus. With the help of DCD, I graduated from the Professional Dancers’ Teaching Diploma course at the Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) and since then I’ve been teaching for the RAD at their school in Battersea, holding workshops nationally and teaching internationally as part of their summer school faculty. I also work with the educational department of Birmingham Royal Ballet; the musical theatre course at Arts Educational; and also with City Academy. With this structure in place, I’m now able to focus on another of my passions, photography, whilst still expanding my freelance teaching. I am truly grateful for the continued support from the team at DCD and have found that the transition is continuously a work in progress.”