Young people embarking on a career in the performing arts are benefitting from a new partnership at Banbury and Bicester College.
The college has joined forces with Implexa Dance Company to give students experience of training in a professional dance company environment.
Louise Hague, co-founder of Implexa, has been appointed principal dance teacher, offering students expert dance tuition and insights into the demands of the industry.
Louise said: “The students have been very receptive to my style of teaching, including those who want to specialise as actors. “Dance can be one of the most terrifying and intimidating things if you haven’t done it before, but they have been so open and the feedback has been very positive.
“The performing arts industry has changed hugely in the last decade and it’s crucial these days to be a versatile performer. I hope to bring my skills and experience of working in a professional environment to give students the best possible start to their future careers.”
Implexa Dance Company is known for fusing performance styles including combining contemporary, Bollywood and African dance with drama or sign language.
Louise is currently combining teaching with preparing for the company’s next production ‘Unhallowed Master’, which will tour across Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Hampshire next summer.
Performing arts student Amber Guntrip, aged 17, said: “Being taught by people with a performing arts industry background is more challenging. It’s not just about what happens in class but about preparing us for the real world.
“You get a real feel what it’s like in the industry. I know that when I go for a professional audition it will be strict and it’s good we’re being prepared for that.”
Fellow student Olivia Edwards, also 17, said: “Training can be really tough and physically challenging. We start off each day with an hour and a half of boot camp.
“But that’s nice, we look forward to the lessons and we like being challenged. It makes you feel like you’ve achieved something. A lot of universities and drama schools hold acting and dance workshops as part of their recruitment so they are looking for both.”
Lee Jamieson, learning manager for performing arts at Banbury and Bicester College, said: “We are incredibly pleased that Louise has joined the teaching team. Our aim is to prepare students for the realities of the performing arts industry, whatever avenue they choose to follow, and Louise brings a work ethic and experience which will help to give our students
“We look forward to seeing the results of the partnership, not only in developing students’ dance skills but also their approaches to stage management, choreography and other aspects of performance.”