Guid Nychburris Day Parade!

This year we took with us 60 In Step dancers aged 3 to 18 to take part in the parade on Guid Nychburris Day. We spent a week in classes learning our moving dance routine to ‘Rhythm of the Night’ and we had a lot of fun doing it!

We won 2nd place for our category in the parade so we had lots of happy dancers.
We were super proud of everyone on the day who kept up their dance on repeat the entire way round the town for the thousands who came out to watch. Even our three-year-olds were still performing right to the end. Absolutely fantastic!

 

Auditions for the 2017/2018 Selects

This year, we had over 40 applicants auditioning for a place as a Select for 2017/18.

Nicola and I had some very tough decisions to make and we were absolutely blown away with the talent, hard work, and performances that shown through from each dancer. We now have 18 Select Jrs and 7 Select Seniors. We were very clear on the fact that previous Selects would be treated the exact same as everyone else in the audition and every applicant was given a fair chance. This happens time and time again in the dance industry and it is a great lesson to learn, early. There are no free passes!

We are very confident in the decision we have come to and are so excited to work with our new Selects for the next year and develop them further. 

Right away, I hired dancer Emma to come down and teach a Select master class in the Easter holidays to learn a performance piece in just 5 hours! Our dancers took cthe experience with both hands and worked their socks off! This confirmed to me that we really do have a fantastic, professional, hard working group of Selects and I have every confidence that we will do great things this year.

In Step Big Birthday Event 2018

In Step turns 2!

We had the most amazing celebrations at Locharbriggs Social Club at the weekend with a turn out of over 120 of our lovely dancers and family members. It really was a fabulous night!

We had our brand new Selects perform an entire new piece that they only had 1 week to learn and they absolutely smashed it!

We had a brilliant raffle filled with great prizes and lots of winners! Our buffet was fab and the drinks were flowing! Our dancers were never off the dance floor unless they were posing at our photobooth for our photographer, or sat colouring in for their Steppy competition.

What an amazing effort from our dancers who went in for the Big Birthday Bake Off! All of the cakes were amazing but nothing beats our HUGE famous In Step birthday Cake made by one of our dance mums! Looked and tasted absolutely AMAZING!

Another year of all things In Step and we have achieved so much and created so many wonderful memories and opened our family to so many new dancers. We couldn't have done it without all the support from our dancers and their families. It's the people who make it so special and such a wonderful place to work. We look forward to yet another successful year at In Step!
 

London Stadium Performance

We took 60 dancers down to London this March to perform at the Olympic Stadium!

 

We were delighted to be invited by Pro-Excel to perform with Britains Got Talent winner, Tokyo Myres, in front of 60,000 fans and at one of the most iconic stadiums in the world, The Olympic Stadium in London.

In 2012, London hosted what was one of the most successful Olympic Games in Olympic history creating what many deem to be one of the most spectacular Opening Ceremony shows of all time. Our dancers were able to perform in that very place which will always be a very special memory for everyone involved.

In Step dancers were selected to work for Pro-Excel who put on the most spectacular mass-dance movement at this iconic stadium. In February, Pro-Excel sent 2 dance teachers up from England to teach our dancers the choreography over 4 intensive days of dance training. 

We took with us not only 30 of our own In Step dancers, but we also invited another local Dumfries dance school called Danceworks Studios to give even more local young people the opportunity to perform at such a massive event making our Dumfries team 60 strong. 

Front and centre, our dancers did us very proud as they gave a fantastic performance at the stadium. 

Special Thanks!

We could not have done any of this if it wasn't for the generosity of these sponsors! 
Thank you for making this happen for us!

Erina Auditions for Dance Studio Scotland

Our first In Step dancer to audition for a place on a professional dance course!

Erina Foley, our current Select number 1 has been thinking about going to train professionally for a while now. In need of a bit of reassurance, Erina asked my advice in February when we were in rehearsals for our London performance with Pro-Exel. These 4 days of intensive rehearsals gave Erina an idea of what it is like to train all day and gave Erina the inspiration and realisation that this is something she doesn't want to put off any longer and it might not be something in the distant future, but something she could go for now! I couldn't have encouraged her more as I knew she was ready. 

When Erina came in to tell me she had contacted Dance Studio Scotland and got herself an audition, I couldn't have been more excited. I had a really great feeling about this and I wanted to be there with her to experience her first time at the campus - my old stomping ground.

So audition day arrived and off we went to Glasgow. Arriving early enough to grab some lunch and have a look around, I was absolutely loving Erina's reaction to being at the college that I trained at myself. She noted what a lovely feel there is at Anniesland campus and how gorgeous it is.

Seeing my old lecturers was overwhelming and a very proud moment as I was now there with a dancer that I trained to come through their doors. As my jazz teacher told me - full circle!

Now that I had done everything I could do, filled Erina with every possible word of advice, she was ready and it was down to her to do an amazing audition. 3 and a half painful hours of clockwatching later, my former head lecturer spotted me, asked me which one was mine and was able to tell me that Erina had gotten a place on year 2 of the Dance Artist course!! What an absolute credit she was to me. I could not have been more proud and couldn't wait to see her come out of the studio to give her a massive cuddle!

Although sad to be losing her this year, I know she is going to gain the best dance training in Scotland which will put her in great stead for any dance career she could wish for. 

Well done, Erina. Super proud!

MOVE IT! 2018

Seminar with heads of faculties from various prestegious dance universities: Audition Tips.

This was a great oppertunity to hear first hand what these big dance colleges and universities look for when they audition the next generation of hopeful professional dancers. This was invaluable, reaffirming information that supports everything I know about this process. This seminar was filled with a great wealth of knowledge and advice to equip our In Steppes with should they wish to further their dance training, professionally. 

 

 

This March, I took Nicola down to London with me for Move It 2018! We were able to speak with so many different dance related companies and suppliers, gaining lots of inspiration and new contacts for In Step. We are very excited to impliment so many new ideas to the studio and we have so many good things to come. Watch this space!!

Seminar with Lukas McFarline & Glen Hudson:
Choreographing for T.V and Competitions.

We were able to learn from 2 very knowledgable dancers in the industry and talk with them not only about the difference and similarities about choreographing for T.V and choreographing for stage but about their personal dance journeys, struggles and lessons. 

Both came with such interesting stories and it was increadible to be able to hear from them first hand about how it can be working within professional freelancing jobs such as X-Factor and getting their advice for working in such jobs within our industry.

Nicola Jardine joins our team

We are delighted to have had Nicola join our teaching team this year at In Step. Team teaching with studio owner, Christine, Nicola has made a great impact on the school already by developing technique in classes and demonstrating a wealth of dance knowledge to pass on to our dancers. Nicola has already made a great connection with our students and looks forward to meeting all of our dance families in person and welcoming lots of lovely dance students, too!

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Nicola Jardine

In Step Dance Teacher

"I have always loved to dance from a very young age whether it be in class, on stage, around the house or at a party. I started classes here in Dumfries at the age of three in styles of Jazz, Tap and Ballet. I continued to do so throughout the duration of my school years until I left to study dance in Edinburgh at Telford College gaining my HND in Dance Artistry.
Whilst training professionally, I was taught invaluable skills and technique by outstanding lecturers in styles of Ballet, Jazz, Contemporary, Commercial and Choreographic Skills as well as the theoretical elements of dance training.
I have performed at the likes of 'The Kings Theatre' and the 'Museum of Scotland' as well as various other locations for dance shows.
After graduating from Telford in '09, I taught dance on a freelance basis before taking time out to start a family. 
I am very eager to get back into dance now that my two children are that little bit older, allowing me to begin my new chapter here at In Step.
 I am looking forward to working with so many local young people and am greatful to have the oppertunity
to impact positively on young dancers lives."

-Nicola Jardine

Topping Up my Training In London this October

I believe that the most important thing for dance teachers to do is to continue to learn and be inspired by high flyers in the industry. This is why I take the time to make the trip down to London whenever I can to ensure that what we are teaching at In Step is current and up to an incredibly high standard. Taking on the knowledge of such incredible dancers is what filters through to the dancers at our studio and I am proud to say that we really do learn from the best.

Here is a bit about some of the dancers I was taught by this October:

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John Graham

 

John trained in Dublin, New York, Los Angeles and London and has worked with artists including Beyonce, Rihanna, Janet Jackson, Justin Bieber, Jessie J, Mariah Carey, Elton John, and many others.

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Fleur Murray

She trained in ballet, tap and jazz in her native country New Zealand where she worked with the NZ ballet and later became a dancer for the All Blacks.

After moving to the UK she toured with various dance companies in Asia and Europe developing show experience working in theatres and arenas.

Whilst based in London she furthered her career dancing in music videos, corporate events, cabaret shows and worked on television.

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Shaun Smith

An experienced stage performer, his theatre credits include ZooNations 'Groove On Down The Road, 'I Can't Sing - the 'X-Factor Musical', 'The Five And The Prophecy Of Prana', 'Blaze Streetdance Sensation', 'Some Like It Hip Hop', and many more.

His commercial dance credits include Justin Bieber, LMFAO, Cher Lloyd, JLS, Cheryl Cole, Katie Perry, Professor Green, and more.

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Linda Dadd

Linda studied ballroom and Latin American dancing at a young age and she competed regularly as a teenager, including the British Junior Championships

She then danced in various dance companies and Pop Videos before her 10 years of teaching fitness all over London. She is now a very well respected Jazz teacher at Pineapple.

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Hazel & Jason

Their style is a mixture of inspirations, inspired by hip hop/jazz funk movement and other style fusions.

Hazel and Jason teach workshops and classes in the UK and Europe, including Ireland, Manchester, Amsterdam, Spain, Italy, and Germany. They have also taught in Canada, Romania, and Minsk.

I just love it when there is an oppertunity to make special moments for our dancers!
I found out that one of our Select Jr's was in London, too so I had to make sure we came up with something to make her day!
This little dancer of mine was SPEECHLESS when I surprised her at the Pineapple shop this week. 
I am so glad we could make it happen!
 

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New Teacher Arrives at In Step

We are very excited to introduce Irene, the newest addition to our team! Our dancers really are in great hands and we can not wait to watch our dancers flulish and grow under her instruction and influence. We predict to see big things for our studio in the next coming months. How exciting!?

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Irene Kaali

In Step Dance Teacher

"I have always been extremely passionate about the Arts. I began dancing at 10 years old and sustained my passion for Street dance throughout my education. I then chose to take this further by completing a first class BA(Hons) in 'Dance and Musical Theatre Performance' course at University of Cumbria. Whilst there, I studied Jazz and Contemporary dance by working with some of the leading practitioners in the dance industry. This included Ray Roa (Ballet Lorént), Vinicius Salles (Jasmin Vardimon and PunchDrunk) and Ian Good (Hairspray UK Tour). After completing my course I then went on to do a teacher training postgraduate degree in the hopes that I could find a home like In Step. Thankfully, everything has fallen into place and now I am excited to commit myself fully to the In Step family. 

It is an honour and a privilege to join the In Step team, and bring all that I have learned to this group of passionate young dancers."

Irene Kaali

Another term is over.. We say goodbye to two of our Selects

As time goes on, the inevitable happens. Our dancers get older and fly the nest. 
This Summer we say goodbye to Phillippa and Zoe who have served our dance school well, both as Selects and great role models for our school. 

Philippa Wright

Select Number 9

Philippa has supported and danced with In Step since the day it opened. Her favorite style of dance is Contemporary and she definitely shows it! She has been a dream to teach as she interprets choreography beautifully in all styles of dance, not just contemporary. Philippa has really grown in confidence over her time at In Step which has, I believe, came with age as well as performance opportunities with us. Dancing has been a huge part of Philippa's childhood and we are so happy to have touched on that and been a part of creating many good memories for her. Philippa has been pushed to her limits at In Step which has allowed her to improve in both her skills and knowledge of dance. She has enjoyed the challenge of learning something new each week which keeps her motivated and she has been a great help to the younger members in the class. Phillippa has been such a positive influence on the rest of her class members and she brings her outgoing character to every class and strives to help the younger members and nurture their confidence. Philippa is now 18 and has a busy, full, adult life now with a great job and a great network of people around her. We wish her all the best for the future and hope that she still comes to visit when ever she can.

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Zoe Pearson

Select Number 1

Zoe is everyone's ‘go to’ person for all things In Step from choreography to rehearsal dates. Even for me, the teacher!  Zoe has a love for dance although Street is by far her favorite, especially funk, house and commercial styles. Zoe has taken on everything she has been taught and as a result, an amazing In Step Dancer has been produced! Zoe has become the glue to the friendships at In Step and everybody knows Zoe! 
As well as being a Select at In Step, Zoe has also been an assistant dance teacher at the studio. I am big on creating close bonds between teachers and dancers and Zoe has taken on her role and then some! She really has become a 'mini me' and it has been lovely (and quite funny) to watch her teach exactly how I do!

Zoe was awarded 'In Step Student of the Year' at our dance show in December of last year for being an allrounder delight! She really has been my right-hand woman and I am so thankful for her dedication and commitment to our school. She has been a real asset to our school and to herself and will be missed by everyone at In Step. We wish her all the luck in the world for her next step of her journey as she goes on to study primary education at university in Edinburgh and I know she will make an increadible, inspiring teacher that any parent would be lucky to have for their child.

Becoming so close to the rest of the Selects has definitely been the best part of this experience and makes it so much more enjoyable as we all get along so well and have fun whilst working hard
— Zoe Pearson
 Zoe's Last day

Zoe's Last day

Guest Workshops

Over the weekend we were lucky enough to have guest dancer Jamie Potter at our studio to give our dancers some great workshops. 
We had Junior and Senior workshops running on Saturday and our dancers had a lot of fun learning some great routines. 
Jamie will soon be moving to London to continue his dance training at Urdang Academy and we wish him all the best from In Step. 

Our Big Birthday Event

We recently celebrated one year of In Step by throwing an amazing birthday party! We had a DJ, a buffet, a fabulous raffle, performances from our Selects and of course.. An In Step birthday cake made by one of our mums, Lesley! What a great celebration. We would like to thank everyone who has been apart of our first year and we hope everyone who came to our Big Birthday Event had a fantastic celebration! 

On the lead up to our Big Birthday Event, we designed Limited Edition 'In Step Originals' t-shirts and jumpers which are so special! Our dancers who have been with us in the last year are indeed the original members of In Step so it was lovely for us to give them something to recognise that. 

We have also been busy designing our Yearbook which has been selling like hot cakes! This book takes you through the journey from day one until now and is filled with special memories and photographs. We really have come far in just 12 short months and we look forward to producing a yearbook for each and every year to come.