Kaisha's Final Placement Blog
Kaisha, our University of Surrey placement student, writes about her time here at Stopgap, explaining some of her favourite moments…
I can't believe I’m into my last month at Stopgap and so far I've loved it! I'm feeling ever so privileged to be an intern for the company from the University of Surrey, Dance and Culture programme. Prior to Stopgap I had never been in a dance company setting therefore I was amazed by how friendly the team were with their welcoming nature. Everyone's work ethic I find so admirable.
During my time here at Stopgap I have had the opportunity to be involved in many different types of roles such as: office admin, youth company support, supporting The Point Integrate Elevate summer school, supporting Nicky Norton at Linkable during term time and for my project and Potters Gate School. One of my favourite roles to be involved with is working with the youth companies…
On July 16th the company hosted Electric Sunshine, a Summer Community Dance Platform. My role in this was to design a flyer, create a programme for the audience, sort out a schedule for all participants (which at times resulted in me running around the office like a headless chicken), and last but not least performing with the wonderful Farnham and Guildford Youth Companies.
Both Youth Companies hold exceptional and highly motivated young performers who love to dance, and bring so much energy and joy to the classes. I especially enjoy observing how creative they are in Stopgap’s well known "pass the touch" exercise. This involves everyone standing in a circle, expressively moving our bodies, whilst passing on our touch throughout the circle with either the index finger or other body parts. As a result it's amazing to see the way the exercise inspires their movement allowing it to become free and imaginative.
I have been attending the Guildford Youth Company sessions, I would say for almost a year, as this has been a part of the University of Surrey Dance Programme. We were advised to attend the Guildford Youth Company sessions as part of our professional practise module. This privilege has given me the chance to see them grow in class, and on stage due to their willingness to learn from their captivating teachers Siobhan, Tomos and Nadenh.
Another privilege being at Stopgap was that during my lunch breaks, I would sit in on the rehearsals of The Awakening, which is Sg2's current touring work, choreographed by Chris Pavia. The matrix and futuristic pops into mind whenever watching them rehearse, because of the way they articulate their bodies with a fierce energy.
Attending company classes has given me an insight on how Stopgap integrates their company members. I am still learning the process of how a collaboration of a variety of bodies in a technique class works, but this is important to me, as I am very interested in becoming a dance teacher in the future.
Something I was really looking forward to being involved in was Stopgap’s Elevate Integrate, a one-week summer school, which takes place at The Point, in Eastleigh.
My roll at the summer school was to support Sg2 Company members, Tomos and Nadenh, in delivering the tasks and activities.
Unfortunately I had missed the first day, so Tuesday 12th August was my first day and everyone else’s second day. I felt slightly out of touch with not knowing everyone's names, however all the students welcomed me with smiles, handshakes and hugs, which filled me with excitement. Before the start of the session everyone appeared highly energised and rearing to go, a great atmosphere to be apart of.
Each day we went through technique exercises, which progressed into creative tasks and games. One game everyone enjoyed was the animal card game. This involved several cards which had names of animals on which would then inspire us to move. For example my card said ‘wide spider’ therefore I had to travel to the end of the studio interpreting my chosen card - it was crazy but good fun.
During the week each student choreographed beautiful solos, trios and duets that were to be added to the overall end dance. Celine a student who helped out during the week came up with a brilliant title for the piece "My Favourite Game". Overall everyone was happy and was ready to share the dance with friends, family and The Point's staff.
The performance received high praise from all that watched and each student was awarded with a certificate to mark a wonderful week at The Point.