Tell us your dancing story… Ariella

Woman reaching up to the sky

I started dancing 25 years ago. I was interested in early/historic dance at the time and enjoyed performing in period costume with different companies.

Then we travelled to Latin America to visit some friends and I discovered salsa and other traditional latin styles. It felt like a new world was opening up for me and it was more fun than historic dance.

Back in London I did courses in traditional dances from the world, including classes in West African dance. We also travelled to India three times and I did classes in Bhangra, Bollyhood and a bit of classical there.

Over 10 years ago I discovered Contemporary dance and fell in love with it. My first school was the fabulous Greenwich Dance where I was also invited to take part to a site-specific dance performance!

I tried different teachers and I realised that ‘contemporary’ is an umbrella word encompassing different approaches with something suitable for everyone.

Dance is what makes me feel alive, strong and happy.

In 2013, my mum passed away and dance became a lifeline for me, helping me to not fall into a state of depression especially as my dad also passed away a year later.

In February last year I lost my work as a part-time lecturer in Italy when educational establishments closed due to covid-related lockdown and international flying also came to a halt. Like many other people I felt stuck.

Dance once again came to the rescue. Thanks to schools like Greenwich Dance and their inclusive approach, I could continue learning online via zoom and meet my beloved dance teachers on the screen.

Being able to do dance classes while in lockdown has helped me keep my spirits up. It has been important for me to have something artistic and creative to look forward to every day.

If I am tired or a bit down at first, I soon feel my energy level rise after a few minutes of dancing and certainly more positive and optimistic after the session.

I have also been lucky to find teachers whom I really liked as it’s not just the dancing but it’s the approach to teaching and the personality of the teacher that also matters to me.

There are a few dance styles that I would love to explore more in depth in the future as dance is a universal language connecting people and places and promoting wellbeing and a sense of belonging. I am very grateful for this gift and I will never stop learning and practising. Thank you Greenwich Dance!

Ariella

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