Last week we welcomed a new staff member to the Magpie Dance team, Florence. To get to know Florence, we asked her some questions about herself and her new role as Youth Coordinator.
Q: What is your background in dance?
A: I’ve been dancing for many years, starting in youth dance classes from a young age. My passion for dance, particularly contemporary, grew in secondary school when I studied GCSE Dance. I then went on to study A-Level Dance at college (along with English Language and Sociology). I pursued my interest in both the practical and theoretical side of dance at Roehampton University on their Dance Studies course, where I graduated with a First Class BA Hons in July 2020.
In my third year of University, I became Managing Director of Third Row Dance Company, a semi-professional dance company comprised of final year students. I am excited to continue developing skills I acquired from this role in my new role at Magpie Dance and working in such a successful and inspiring organisation.
Since graduating, I worked with the Octagon Theatre in Yeovil, as a part of their Move To Improve project. The project focused on allowing greater access to and increased engagement in the arts.
Q: What is a Youth Coordinator?
A: My role as Youth Coordinator at Magpie Dance is to support Laura (Executive Director) and Ayanna(Operations Coordinator) and the rest of the team in their roles, with a specific focus on the Mini, Junior and Youth Programmes. I will be in charge of organising these programmes and making sure everything is running smoothly. The role also gives me the opportunity to gain professional development from the Magpie Dance team.
Q: Tell us about the Jack Petchey Foundation Internship Programme
A: The Youth Coordinator role is funded through the Jack Petchey Foundation Internship Programme. This programme aims to support young people starting out in the charity sector and offers organisations funding for a resource to help them achieve their missions. Alongside the opportunities in Magpie Dance, the Jack Petchey programme gives me the opportunity for mentoring and external training.
Q: What drew you to Magpie Dance?
A: The fact Magpie Dance is all about inclusivity is so important to me. I have always been interested in allowing dance and the arts for all – I even wrote my dissertation about it! Being part of an organisation that allows individuals to achieve their artistic, social and personal goals through dance is incredible and I am thrilled to be able to help Magpie Dance on this mission.
Q: How have your first two weeks at Magpie Dance been?
A: My first two weeks at Magpie Dance have been amazing! It has been so nice getting to know the rest of the team, although it will be even better when I can meet everyone in person rather than on Zoom! It has been great finding out more about Magpie Dance and how things are done here. I can’t wait to meet more of the dancers and bring my ideas to life at Magpie Dance.
Q: What are you excited for in your role? / looking forward
A: I am excited for so many things, but especially getting to know the Youth dancers and providing some exciting opportunities for them. I also can’t wait to go into the office and meet everyone in real life! I want to bring some fresh ideas to Magpie Dance and really help make a difference to people’s lives.
Q: What is your favourite dance move?
A: My favourite dance move has to be the Charleston with twist, it took me a while to master it, but I always whip it out on the dance floor!
What is a funny story about you?
A: A funny story about me is that when I was about 7, I was cast as Alice in a dance performance of Alice in Wonderland, but just before I was about to go on stage my costume ripped, so I had to perform with my costume tucked into my underwear! It was very embarrassing, but the show must go on!
To find out more about Florence, visit her profile here. Contact Florence for further information regarding Magpie Dance youth programmes.