Josie Sovegjarto (she/her)
Tell us a bit about yourself
Hello, I am Josie and I am an original Brightonian, which is often rare to find! My introduction to Contemporary Dance was in Brighton and Hove Youth Dance Company many moons ago so it feels wonderful to be leading on this project for South East Dance, back in my home town.
I am a dance educator, having spent many, many years facilitating for some brilliant community organisations, professional companies, schools, colleges and in so many varied settings and spaces. Before returning to the south coast, I taught for many years at The BRIT School for Performing Arts and as a Animateur for Rambert Dance Company. I am passionate about the delivery of high quality dance education for all and believe in the importance of allowing space for individuality and creativity. When I am not teaching dance, I can be found leading yoga classes in and around the community, walking my rescue dog up on the beach or running around after my wildly imaginative toddler… who has just started attending his first creative dance sessions at The Dance Space!
What do you enjoy about leading participation work and working with young people?
I often reflect back with huge gratitude for the opportunities I had as a young person that led me to where I am now and feel so strongly about the arts and dance being accessible and inclusive. Young people are the future and safe spaces to explore, express and push boundaries through their chosen art form is crucial to their development. I find this age group and their growth and potential really exciting as a dance teacher and educator.
I love the unexpected in community dance spaces and participation work. I have a plan A and B but usually a project, workshop or class can take a completely different route which is wonderful. I facilitate. Therefore, I always work with those in the room to hopefully allow them the best experience possible and meet them wherever they are at.
Why do you think Propel will be great for young dancers to take part in?
It is going to be fun. Explorative, welcoming, inclusive and educational. As it is a fairly long term project my hope is that the group really get to know each other and that all the participants will be eager and engaged in enhancing their dance training, as well as choreographic and performance skills.
What are you looking forward to most about Propel?
Meeting and getting to know the young people. Learning about them, their current dance training and interests and then planning alongside the team some really brilliant performance work for them to get stuck into. Lucy Clark and I both truly align with the ethos at South East Dance and I hope the young people feel excited to train in such a beautiful, professional studio space and have some great opportunities to get involved with.
Who is your favourite dance artist or company?
I love the work of Ohad Naharin and the encouraging and inclusive nature of his movement language and movement classes. Pure joy for the body and encouraging everyone and anyone to move! I also am a long term fan of Hofesh Shechter and seeing the company perform Political Mother at Brixton Academy back in 2015 was one of the most memorable performances I have ever been to as the whole audience were on their feet throughout, dancing and grooving like at a gig space.
Which song always gets you on the dancefloor?
Far too many to choose from! If in a studio space, currently I am dancing to a lot of Ezra Collective and the newest Jungle album but if I am kitchen dancing, it will be to some original late 80’s New York House or Funk!