8 June 2020

Dance student Angel stars in BBC radio interview

One of our Year 9 students has appeared on BBC Radio Devon to talk about how she is keeping up her weekly dance classes with local organisation Exim Dance Company - virtually.

Angel, who is studying Dance in Miss Adams’ class, took part in a live interview on the Sarah Gosling Show on 5 June, together with Laura Nightingale from Exim Dance and another local student, Caitlin.

Exim’s online dance sessions during the COVID-19 pandemic are delivered on Instagram, Facebook Live and on Exim’s YouTube channel. Angel said:  “During lockdown, people like me haven’t been able to go to our usual dance classes, so Exim thought it would be a good idea to keep doing them virtually, to ensure we stay fit and healthy while we can't go out and do what we usually would do.

“That is why I went on the radio - to inspire people about staying fit and healthy during this pandemic and to also recommend the dance company. The virtual classes are very adaptable, so you can do them anywhere, whether you have a big space or a small space. The sessions can be done by anyone, so if you are interested, I would highly recommend them.”

Angel says she has benefited in other ways, too: “The company has really helped boost my confidence and helped me feel better about performing in front of other people, which is needed in my BTEC Dance course but is also good for many other subjects and things I will have to do in life.

“Going on the radio was an amazing experience, and also helped build my confidence in speaking,” added Angel. “I am grateful I got an opportunity that you wouldn’t get every day.”

Angel joined Exim Dance after they distributed leaflets at the College. Miss Adams said: “Stoke Damerel Community College has strong links with Exim Dance Company, with many of our students being a part of their ‘Communities Together'' project, which offered free sessions to students in a variety of areas across Plymouth to help students engage within the arts.

“It is so lovely to hear that even during these unprecedented times, our students are still completing practical dance sessions to further build their dance vocabulary and confidence.

“I am extremely impressed with how Angel conducted herself when appearing on BBC Radio Devon. She spoke with such confidence and passion about dance. She is a true ambassador for Stoke Damerel Community College and Exim Dance Company.” 

Exim have received funding from Arts Council England and Sport England to support their work during the pandemic. Laura said that as well as helping to keep people fit, the virtual sessions are also a way of providing emotional support during these challenging times: “We started the virtual programme as soon as lockdown happened. We knew how much it meant to people and we wanted to do it to support people, to stay connected, to let people know we are still there for them.”

There are 10 virtual sessions a week, eight for young people and two for adults.  Some are pre-recorded and some live.  Styles include contemporary and jazz. If any of our students are interested, they can find out more at www.eximdance.org.uk - and you can listen to the BBC Radio Devon interview by clicking here - it starts at 21:55 into the programme.