Chenube – Ruth Bailey
Artist Development Coordinator
How long have you been working with Greenwich Dance?
I have been with Greenwich Dance a little over a year now.
You are Head of Everything – what does your job entail?
Ha! Yes, I first joined Greenwich Dance as Community and Engagement Coordinator, however being a team of only 3, quickly adopted the roles and responsibilities connected to our Artist Development and Creative Learning and Skills strands as well. Hence the nickname, head of everything. I was doing anything from organising and overseeing our activity in schools and community centres, to programming our professional classes and workshops. In addition to this, I was (and still am) leading on all things social media and making sure our website is up to date. Fast forward to now, since introducing fabulous new members to our team, I now mainly lead on Artist Development as well as a small part of our Community Engagement and more recently, project managing some of our amazing events such as our recent wine tasting fundraiser, A Rosé Future.
You came to Greenwich Dance directly from an internship at Laban. Tell us about your training and career and how you came to be here with us?
I have a musical theatre background, I trained for three years with DandB Performing Arts. After this, I spent around a year and a half auditioning, freelancing and being involved in some very exciting projects. However, I have always had a passion for youth, arts in the community and coordinating events, so when I came across the Learning and Participation (Dance) Internship at Trinity Laban, I thought it the perfect opportunity to get stuck in and explore a new and exciting avenue. I spent just under a year at Laban with a lovely team of supportive people and during my search for a new role, applied as a Community and Engagement Coordinator for GD. At the time, I didn’t know the extent of the organisation’s challenges (loss of National Portfolio funding, having to vacate their home of 20+ years), however, I knew they were an organisation about to go through a big transformation and being a part of that is what excited me the most about going for it. No regrets!
On your first day with us we were at our temporary home at the Woolwich Arsenal and on your second day we were here at Charlton House. You jumped straight into the deep end…..what has it been like and how have you developed over this slightly frenetic year as we get the organisation back on its feet?
It has definitely been a whirlwind – whilst you’re in it though, at least for me, things are very fast paced, so you don’t really have time to process just how strenuous times can be. It’s only when (WHEN) we get a breather, that it really hits home. But it’s because of this that I have gained skills I never thought I would or could and I have progressed quicker within my role than I initially expected. I won’t deny that I have my panic/anxiety filled moments, but I’d like to think I also bring a lot of positivity and encouraging vibes to the table.
I have seen photos of you looking very glamourous in Samba outfits – you are part of a performing troupe, I think. Tell us about that?
Haha! Yes, I am a member of a professional Samba dance company who rehearse weekly and perform regularly around the UK as well as internationally. At the time, I was looking for something different but consistent, something to keep me moving and to provide regular performance opportunities. Prior to joining the company, I had no experience with Samba, but now feel I have developed a genuine love for the style as well as the music. Fab costumes aside, it is a wonderful feeling being part of a dedicated company filled with beautiful, passionate individuals – inside and out!
Best and worst bits of the job?
The worst part is the uncertainty, not always knowing what’s next and having to make sudden changes to accommodate unplanned circumstances. But it keeps us on our toes!
The best part of the job has to be being part of such a hard-working, supportive team. We have come up against various challenges both as individuals working within the organisation and collectively. Having positive team members behind you, encouraging you and stepping in to provide as much help and support as possible is what keeps us all going. At least from my viewpoint.
Dreams and schemes for the future?
Managing projects and coordinating/producing events ignites the most passion for me. So, developing my skills within that and seeing where it takes me is my current focus.
We saw you at the Greenwich Dance fundraising wine tasting. What was your wine of choice?
I don’t discriminate, darling. Give me all the wines ?