Tell us about your dance journey before joining the Kickstart programme.
I grew up in Brighton and became a founding member of Ceyda Tanc Youth Dance in 2012. I trained with CTD Youth for four years in Ceyda Tanc’s unique style of contemporary dance with influence of traditional Turkish folk dance. In 2016, I started my training at Northern School of Contemporary dance where I successfully completed the Access To Higher Education course, followed by the BA (hons) and graduated with first class honours in 2020. During my training, I performed in works by The Hiccup Project, Amaury Lebrun, Joseph Mercier and Fernanda Prata as well as creating group and independent projects. After graduating, I was selected as a choreographer for GradLab 2020-2021 at The Point where I created my first professional dance work No One Bloody Cares! - a dance theatre piece exploring the social stigmas surrounding menstruation.
How would you describe your dance practice?
My dance practice tends to centre around socio-political issues - I enjoy creating and performing in works that use dance (sometimes combined with other mediums) to highlight taboo issues that need to be discussed. I am really interested in addressing feminist issues by taking autobiographical experiences and putting them on stage with the intention to educate and allow space for reflection and new conversations. In terms of the way I work, most of my practice is about empowering people. Whether that is my collaborators, students I am teaching, or audiences that I make work for. I think dance is the perfect medium for inspiring and moving people, whilst encouraging them to accept and celebrate their own unique qualities.
What about the Kickstart programme are you most looking forward to?
I am really looking forward to developing my own creative and teaching practices, delving deeper into my devising process, and understanding the best methodologies to use when creating works. We have a brilliant mentor Charlotte Spencer who I am very keen to learn from! I am also really excited to experience life working for an arts charity, especially at this pivotal time with the opening of South East Dance’s new building The Dance Space. I am really interested in the organisation’s ethos that dance is an essential part of life that should be enjoyable and accessible for all. With this shared belief, I am really looking forward to being a part of this incredible organisation for the next six months!
Why do you love to dance?
I love to dance because it is an incredible way to connect people. Whether that is dancers connecting with one another in the studio, to performers and audiences connecting through live and digital shows. I find dance extremely exciting with so many opportunities. It can be beautiful, it can be funny, it can be extremely emotive, and most importantly for me, it can be used as a powerful tool to bring about real social change.
You can find out more about the Government Kickstart Scheme and what our wonderful group of dance artists will be getting up to over the next six months here.