I'm going through one of those blank spots in life, when something just ended, but nothing has quite begun yet.
We graduated three weeks ago today, which, even as I write it seems incomprehensible. NSCD has filled my life for the last five years (I did the foundation, then went to Berlin for nine months which was still dominated by auditions and waiting list for NSCD, then the degree). And now its over as suddenly as it began.
I didn't plan very well and arranged to help a friend out in her shop the day after the graduation performance, so I danced in the show, stuck around to say goodbye for a little bit, the drove back to Manchester. The ending was pretty underwhelming. Often the ends of terms were like that, people would just go home pretty sharpish. But it kept occurring to me as I said my goodbyes this time I wasn't coming back.
The past three years at NSCD have been epic, and I have learnt so many things, not only about dance but also myself, other people and life. I don't agree with every element of the school, but I will be eternally grateful to the teachers and what they have shared. As I sit here in my empty room, writing this before I pack up the last of my things and head back to my parents house, I feel sad to be leaving my home and life here - when ever holidays were come to a close I couldn't wait to get back to my routine of NSCD. In the whole four years I can honestly say there wasn't a time when I didn't want to be at school. It was hard at times, yes, but it was were I wanted to be. And this was a very fortunate position to be in.
After graduation I went virtually straight to Hungary for ten days, holidaying with a friend. It was a true holiday. I didn't dance (although I was introduced to Juronics Tamás, who is a pretty famous choreographer in Hungary) I didn't do anything cultural apart from watch a performance of traditional Hungarian folk dancing (it made me sad we don't value Morris dancing more..) and there was no internet. I didn't really think about the fact an important part of my life had just ended. I went to the pool and ate ice cream. Which was lovely of course, but it did mean coming back to 'real' life was a little overwhelming.
My plan is to move to London in August, and 'make stuff happen' (how much of a cliche do I feel!) which might sound like not much of a plan, but its enough for me. One thing I learnt while on my dance degree was there are a million and one ways to be a dancer, and therefore came to the conclusion I am not an audition kind of dancer. Some people strive of the audition atmosphere. I don't. I am much more interested in making collaborative work, and at this point in my life I feel I need to do this in order to move forward successfully.
Right now, as I said, I am in the blank spot, the change over from one stage of my life to the next. Its not a nice place to be in and is making my shoulders tense, but its a necessary part if the process, and I imagine there are many many freshly graduated dance students feeling this way and wondering what there future careers will hold. I just want to move to London to get the ball rolling, instead of sitting here wondering if I will be able to dance at all as I become slave to the rent. I keep thinking of all the dance and art thats going to be happening in order to change the anxiousness to excitement.
I have a project lined up with ex NSCD student, Lindy Nsingo, who is currently studying for her Masters in choreography at The Place, which I am very excited about and I am looking forward to getting creative in a completely non academic environment. And before that I am performing with another NSCD year mate, Dwayne Simms, to perform our duet 'wordup' at Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
A blank spot now, dancing shapes on the horizon...