Lorraine Brown lands three teaching jobs

In spring/summer 2022, Mind the Gap Artist Lorraine Brown undertook her first three supported dance teaching jobs. We caught up with Lorraine to find out what she learnt from the experience.

I’ve always really enjoyed dancing and performing so when I got the opportunity to do three paid dance teaching jobs this summer, I jumped at the chance.

My first placement was working with Mind the Gap and MeshDance on their youth dance project back in February 2022. It was great to have my first job at Mind the Gap working with Karen, who I know very well. It really helped me feel comfortable and focus on what I needed to do.

It was an early start each week to get to Mind the Gap in time for the session but it’s all part of being a dance teacher, you’ve got to be prepared and be early! Each week I built up my teaching skills with support from the MeshDance team. The group did really well, they learnt all the movements quickly and worked hard.  

My next job was teaching at National Youth Dance Company’s summer school in July. Following some online planning sessions with the company, I spent two days working with them and teaching a group of 11 young people with learning disabilities and autism. Together, we learnt some dance pieces and technique from NYDC, which I then supported the group to learn and perfect. I took a lot away from these two days, which I hope to use when I teach in the future. We made a sharing at the end of the two days, and it made me feel so happy and cheerful!

My final job this summer was working at York Dance Space on their Making Moves summer school. I taught different sections in these sessions such as warm ups and cool downs. I also taught the young people some different dance textures to get them thinking about moving their bodies in different ways such as moving like sticky toffee and as if the floor was covered in hot sand, it was fun to do!

At first, I was very nervous working in a new place and with a new company but Hannah and Drew from York Dance Space were really supportive and caring, which really put me at ease. In four days, we made a dance piece that the group will perform at Making Moves, York Theatre Royal.

I’ve also been asked to perform a duet in the show with fellow Mind the Gap Artist, JoAnne Haines which we worked with Drew and Hannah from York Dance Space to create. It’s so fantastic to work with JoAnne! The duet has a lot of contact work in it so creating this duet has built my confidence because we’re doing lifts together and we haven’t done this kind of stuff for a while because of Covid.

”We absolutely loved working with Lorraine in York during our summer project. The group really responded to Lorraine’s creative tasks and exercises, and it really made us think about the language and imagery we use to unlock the young peoples’ creativity. The work placement also made us re-think how we set up our space and the timings and intensity of the working day for future project. We look forward to working with Lorraine again in the future!”Hannah Wintie-Hawkins, York Dance Space

The Making Moves showcase is taking place at York Theatre Royal on Saturday 15 October, 7.30pm.

Book your tickets here…

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