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Meet the Teacher: Clare Nicholas

Clare is our Latin Fit and Body Conditioning teacher, running classes on a Monday nights & Friday nights respectively at 6pm. Here, Clare tells us about herself and her classes at PDSW.

Tell us about your dance journey: Where did you train? Who were/are your mentors or influencers? What are the significant moments in your career so far?

I achieved my full time 3 year dance theatre diploma and Trinity College Diploma at Performers College in Essex, Under the direction of Brian Rogers, graduating in 2010. I also passed my FDI teaching qualifications here in Imperial Ballet, Tap Dance and Modern Theatre Dance. I attended Margaret Howard Theatre and Teaching College in Watford for a year 2006-2007 to gain more experience before moving onto Performers College. A year before this whilst studying for my A-Levels I was an Urdang Academy Associate and attended professional classes every month with the Academy in London. During my childhood I attended a local dance school in Poole most days after school and on weekends ‘Dianne Gulliford School Of Dance from age 3-18. I completed my Fitness and Personal Training qualifications after I graduated from Performers and I am continuing with my dance teaching qualifications of present.

I have been fortunate enough to work with many inspirational teachers, performers and choreographers through my college years and performing/teaching career. I wouldn’t say just one person in particular has inspired me…more a combination of everyone’s expertise and talent. From a celebrity point of view I have such a passion for Classical Ballet so Carlos Acosta and Darcey Bussell have always been idols of mine, I could watch them dance all day long!

A significant moment in my career so far was being selected in my second year at Perfomers College to perform for Prince Charles’s 60th Birthday ‘We Are Most Amused’ as a showgirl dancer in 2009 at Wimbledon Theatre. The show was broad casted on ITV and was truly an unforgettable experience where I was extremely fortunate to share the stage with a fine selection of very talented comedians, the royal family and dancers from the English National Ballet ballet.

Another great moment was auditioning for the corps de ballet in Phantom Of The Opera back in 2010 and being given the chance to audition/perform on the stage at ‘Her Majesty’s Theatre.’ Phantom is my all time favourite musical so I was in my element dancing on the same stage with fantastic dancers and the phenomenal set design.

What inspires you when you put a class programme together? Is it the music, the participants, the ethos of your class or something else?

Music is such a big factor for me and the levels and interests of my class participants. I want them to get the most out of my classes and enjoy it as much as possible so I will often ask what they would like to work on/learn and give them choices at times of previous routines we have worked on. Salsa fit currently works very well with Strictly Come Dancing being on our screens…so if there’s a particular dance in either Latin or Ballroom they would like to work on I can give them that opportunity.

What would it surprise your class to learn about you?

I perform with Bournemouth based Burlesque Dance Troupe ‘Once Upon A Tease’ at different events and functions locally and nationally…ohh and I have a hideous sweet tooth! If I could eat dessert all day long, I would!

Do you have a class/teaching catchphrase or motto?

‘Let’s Do This!’

As Long as my participants are having fun, exercising safely and doing the best that they can…I’m Happy!

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