It’s official! I have been in London for ONE MONTH (Saturday, 9 September to Monday, 9 October)! Can you believe that? (I definitely can’t!) It has been an interesting adventure, to say the least. Finding housing was NO JOKE! But don’t worry I have a place to live. I am currently a resident of the London Borough of Lambeth, which is a fancy way of saying I live near the Kia Oval (where they play cricket games). I haven’t really had to deal with any of that traffic, but it’s funny that I end up living near a sporting venue. If you didn’t know, when I lived in Atlanta I was within walking distance to Suntrust Park (the brand new Braves Stadium).
As far as school goes I am currently in the second week with the first choreographer, Phillipe Blanchard. (I feel like I can say this because it’s all over our website.) During this first term (from now until Christmas), we will have 3 choreographers come in and set works. Some of the works might not be completed because 2 of the 3 choreographers will come back in the next term to solidify them. Working with a new set of people in a new environment in a contemporary style I am not used to actually hasn’t been that difficult. To be quite honest, I feel as if I have grown so much in these last two weeks of being here. (I am not counting Induction Week because we literally sat and took notes for 80% of each day.) As of right now, the schedule is not too demanding, I have class and rehearsal from 10:30AM to 6:00PM Monday to Friday with a couple lecture classes thrown in. I really wish it had been this easy to get my BFA (Bachelor of Fine Arts), because then I totally would have gone for this MA right away. (I say that but it’s a lie. I needed the break from academia.)
I will say that it has been a big contrast to life at a Liberal Arts College. So many of my European cohorts have been in Conservatory type education systems that this set up is all they know. I, however, have not had this in my life before. At the London Contemporary Dance School/The Place, I have access to a Body Conditioning room, Psychologists/Counselors, Physical Therapist/Osteopaths, Massage Thereapist, Academic Advisors, and so much more. When I was in school at UGA, I had to travel across campus just to have someone tell me I needed advisement from a different department because people didn’t know how to deal with “dancer issues.” (Background information: My freshman year of college I broke my big toe running through the hallway. And when I went to the doctor, the general one the school assigned me, I was told that I actually needed to make an appointment with Sport Medicine because they were used to my type of injuries and physique.) To have such access to all these amazing people is exciting in itself, but to have all of them in one building is indescribable.
I guess I should get to the whole “getting settled” portion of this blog. Well my weekly schedule is consistent. I try to go work out every Monday and Wednesday morning to get these arms and back toned up and to the keep the sugar from eating my abs. (I mean right now, it’s cold so I’m protecting my abs with a SMALL layer of warmth aka fat, but that will be going away soon.) I have Yoga or a technique class (we just finished two weeks of floor technique now we are moving to Ballet) in the morning, then rehearsal from about noon to 6PM (with a lunch break, of course). My weekends are free to do as I please, which has mostly been exploring the area I live in and going to watch dance performances. In one week I think I went to 3 different dance experiences. (Talk about my commitment to my craft!) So I think that I am settling into this London life quite well. I’m still excited for what my future holds and growing into the professional dancer I’ve dreamt of being.
That’s all I have for now.
Feel free to follow me on social media to check out some of my day to day activities.
Stay tuned for more of the adventure!