Alumni leads workshop for dance students

November 13, 2018

Dance students were put through their paces when alumni Russell Fine visited the College to hold a dance workshop this month.

Russell led the UAL Level 3 Dance Diploma students through a class focusing on classical technique such as ballet, contemporary and jazz on Monday, 5 November.

Student Ross Robertson said: “We started off with a high energetic warm up which got us ready for the workshop before we did some very technical-based jazz.

“It was a really great day Russell was very friendly and went back over all the steps to help us. It was great having someone as experienced as him come in to teach us, it’s amazing to have that opportunity.”

Russell is a professional dancer based in London and is currently performing in Hansel & Gretel at The Royal Opera House in Covent Garden.

Speaking about his journey from HSDC, Russell said: “I began my dance training at HSDC in 2010 on the BTEC Dance course and left in 2012, then I began my professional training in 2013 in London.

“I hold professional and general level workshops to various schools, colleges and performing arts colleges as well as rehearsing and performing for various productions.

“Starting with a warm up, I then transition into exercises to build on technique for structure, co-ordination, flexibility and strength. Some workshops will purely focus on technique and some focus on repertoire from previous and current shows and productions that I have worked on.”

Russell added: “I have held two workshops for the dance department here and I have thoroughly enjoyed both times. The students are great listeners and learners and are keen to learn new and exciting things.

“I have so many fond and happy memories from my College days, having Sarah Parsons as my mentor, teacher and friend was truly the reason why I wanted to pursue my career as a professional dancer. I wouldn’t be where I am now if it wasn’t for her knowledge, guidance, spirit and love for dance that she has passed onto me.”

After the workshop, students expressed how beneficial course-based opportunities like workshops are to them.

Jennie Wade said: “Having workshops gives us the opportunity to be taught by someone other than your lecturer. Especially as he is a ballet dancer, it gives us the chance to improve in a specialised field.

“He was great at taking time with us going through all the choreography, I definitely learnt something new from it.”

Ross added: “Before I came to College, I didn’t know what I wanted to do. This course has given me so many chances to take part in workshops and visit dance colleges, and Sarah and Andie are always so helpful. HSDC has made me realise all the opportunities that are out there in the dance industry and has prepared me for my future.”

For more information on our dance courses, click here.