So on Monday I attended The Critic's Circle National Dance Awards. 'Why were YOU there?' I hear you ask (or mainly its the Evil Imp is just laughing at me). Well I was there because Janet Smith was awarded The Dance UK industry Award. It is given to an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to the art form. I was lucky enough to have spent some time with the company so I felt so honoured to be there to see her accept her award.

Her acceptance speech was so heart felt as she talked about how her dancers inspire her and its why she can do what she does. She speaks with such integrity and sincerity. Their is no ego about her. She has a very gentle but yet strong soul. When I am around her I try to turn into a sponge and absorb as much as I can.

I don't think it could have gone to a better person. Well over due too. She is one of the most passionate, sincere, creative and strong women I have ever met. She is nurturing and inspiring, thoughtful and selfless and really appreciates all around her.

Personally, Janet has been so good to me and her support has been invaluable. I feel so lucky to have been fortunate enough to have spent some time with her and SDT.

The other winners were:
Spotlight Female Artist (modern) Kate Coyne.
Spotlight Male artist (modern) Anh Ngoc Nguyen
Artsworlds Presentations Award for Best Foreign Dance Company New York City Ballet
Patron's Award (Dame Beryl Grey) Northern Ballet Theatre
Spotlight Award Female Artist (Classical) Yuhui Choe
Spotlight Award Male Artist (Classical) Martin Harvey (his speech was great)
Best Choreography (modern) HOFESH SCHECTER for 'In Your Rooms'
Best Choreography (classical) Christopher Wheeldon for Electric Counterpoint (RB)
Dance Europe Award for Outstanding Company English National Ballet
Richard Sherringdon Award for Best female dancer Agnes Oaks
Dancing Times Award for Best Male Dancer Edward Watson
and the big one the De Valois for Outstanding Achievement in Dance went to Richard Alston

I was so happy for him. I like him a lot. I know its because I have been at The Place a lot over the year and a half but he is such a lovely person and like Janet when he speaks, it comes from somewhere. I think its called a 'wealth of knowledge' or something! Everything is so well articulated. He has been choreographing for 40 years for God's sake. Thats nearly twice my lifetime!!!!