Stacey was "born to dance"!
Stacey is one of our in-house dance teachers. She's here to offer our dancers her vast knowledge of the dance industry to assist with their online shopping trips, but that's not what you're here for! You're here because you want to learn about the life of a dance teacher! Stacey is one of those inspirational people who were truly born to dance. Keep reading to learn more about Stacey's dance career...
Here's Stacey teaching one of her children's dance classes
When did you start dancing?
My grandparents used to look after me a lot when I was younger, and that's where my love of music blossomed. I used to put on cute performances for my grandparents to my favourite songs. It was actually my Granddad who took me to my first dance class. I started out doing the classics of ballet, tap and modern but my dance teacher recognised that I was "born to dance". So my dance teacher started to push me in class to perfect my moves and positions. Following that boost from my teacher, I went on to excel in my dance exams and because of this was entered into competitions by my teacher at age 6. I went on to become the North West ballet, tap and modern champion at age 10 and held the first position consistently for years.
Which dance college did you go to?
I auditioned at age 16 for a fulltime place at a dance college called Phil Winston's Theatre Works. I trained 8am-8pm everyday so obviously I didn't have much time for a personal or social life. That level of commitment and dedication taught me independence and responsibility from a young age. I was driven by a love of dance and dance for me was life of death. I physically had to dance. But that's how you make it in the dance industry - you need that unwaivering passion. Anyway, I spent 3 years at college.
How did your dance career develop?
I went straight into a West End show after college through an agent. I then went on to have many more lead roles in tonnes of prestigious West End shows. They were all musicals so I sang and played the guitar and piano. Following that I moved to LA because I got myself a commercial dancing job.
What did you do as a commercial dancer?
I did commercial and street styles in LA, mainly featuring in music videos. Afterwards I travelled the world doing show girl work.
Why did you stop dancing?
Obviously I loved my dancing life, the travel and glamour of it all but I really wanted to settle down and start a family. I joined the Move Dance team in 2010 and have been here ever since! I had my gorgeous baby Lyri a few years ago and I couldn't imagine life without her!
Where do you teach dance?
I wanted to focus on teaching elite children and those who were really driven to having a career in dance or theatre. I worked initially as a freelance dance teacher at colleges and doing workouts with people. I've been at Danceworks for a while now and love it! It's a new passion for me to push kids to excel as I was. We hold the title for the best classically trained children! It's our aim to produce professional dancers. We enter them into comps to push them. Some of our dancers were selected for the Dance World Cup and represent Team England! Our kids were picked for the Team in 12 different categories.
Featuring Stacey teaching a Danceworks class
What do you think about dance competitions?
Our kids at Danceworks are really driven towards winning. I think dance is now too competitive and can be cruel. You lose what it's actually about now. It's not just about winning because winning comps doesn't automatically mean you'll make it as a dancer. It's about always being in the studio and kids having that drive themselves, not just being pushed by their parents. Dance takes dedication. Hobby children are on the opposite end of the spectrum who come to just keep fit and be social.
Tell us more about your yoga training.
I'm now training to be a yoga teacher in Jivamukti. It's an American style of yoga and is a little more fashionable but is very physical and spiritual. Music and flow is really important in this type of yoga. I'm going to Costa Rica soon to learn the gold standard of yoga over there from the best. It's a rigorous type of yoga to teach and I have a mentor to help me through it. Yoga isn't just a physical practice. You don't "go to yoga" - yoga is a state of mind and something which you achieve. Asanas are just the physical process to help you achieve spiritual enlightenment.
What do you wear to teach dance in?
I usually wear yoga pants so they're tight-fitted and the kids can see my legs and posture with a baggy top. It's about comfort for me when I'm teaching. I'll always have my proper teaching shoes on that match the dance style which I'm teaching.
What's the life of a dance teacher really like?
Well I literally teach everyday. I train everyday, then practice yoga and then go to dance. It's a cycle but I love it. My little girl started dancing at age 1 so dancing is in our blood.