A photo I took of my old dance studio back in September.

Hello!

Last month I went back up home to the East Midlands, almost two hundred miles away from Southampton, to see my old dance school, The Welland School of Dancing’s show. I’d been invited by my old ballet teacher following some photography work I did for the new website.

On the night, I knew I wanted to write about the show and how it felt to me and I even planned it the very night I got back but I couldn’t bring myself to write it – whilst I loved that school and the show was brilliant, not being a part of it and writing out my notes just seemed like a lot so here I am a month later actually writing this.

It was very strange to be seeing a show I was so familiar with being a part of – going in through the front entrance and up to the theatre seats rather than to the stage door to go to the dressing room and see all the people I used to dance with. It was actually really sad – I can’t think of another word to describe it, any other word seems to dressed up when at heart, it was just very sad.

I’m not ashamed to admit I spent most of the first half with tears in my eyes, seeing all the little ones who had come so far and some friends who were performing in their last show and seeing the dances I would have been in if I were still there.

The show was called ‘The Four Seasons’ and followed the time of a year, with a clever motif of a red cardigan showing a character growing up throughout the year. But around ‘September’ time, all the girls, my friends, that were in their last show did a Leavers Dance to show them going off to university or dance college and I cried like a baby. There were photos projected on the back of the stage and whilst I wasn’t in any of them, one of the photos I had taken on the many occasions I’ve taken photos for Welland was used and I genuinely couldn’t stop crying at this point in the show. It was beautiful and poignant and I wish my lot of leavers had the same opportunity when we did our last show.

From there I didn’t really stop crying. It was an emotional show for me and I wasn’t even in it.

But due to the seasons theme, it had such a solid conclusion and it felt like a real ending to me – it felt like I was really leaving too and I feel like it was my last real connection with that school. I only stopped dancing at Welland last June and I haven’t stopped dancing since, but I don’t know if I can go back now.

The show that felt like an ending to me and the girls who were leaving though, was just the beginning for so many of those young dancers. So many talented girls who are just beginning to realise their dreams and their passion for performing because there was so much passion on that stage.

This is the beginning of the rest of their careers.

My old dance school is such a family like environment that I struggle to call it my ‘old’ dance school because I still feel such a part of it, even though I’m really not any more.

However this won’t stop me from going to watch every show in the future – whether I know half the cast or it’s a brand new bunch of kids, I love that school with all my heart and part of me will always want to go back to that beautiful studio.

I’ve always performed – I’ve danced since I was three and done school shows since I was 11 – and I won’t be stopping any time soon.

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx



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