Cultural Connections Case Study: Adeline Pitu
22 Years Old
- Sharon Watson, artistic director of Phoenix Dance Theatre
- Studio 12
- Business IP Centre at Leeds City Library
Stage 1: Identification
Adeline is an ambassador at the Geraldine Connor Foundation and has been involved with the foundation for quite a few years. Her main art form is dance (mainly hip-hop/street dance) but she is also a performer and singer.
Stage 2: Interview
Adeline has recently completed a BA in performing arts and is currently looking into further studies or work experiences in the arts industry. Although she feels that she has embraced many great opportunities, Adeline feels that she is still lacking in professional dance training and experience.
The end goal for Adeline is to set up a professional dance company. For this Adeline would like to meet with someone who has experience in dance as well as running a company. Adeline would like to get some work experience at an existing dance company to get a feel of how these things run.
Stage 3: Making the connection
A connection was made with Sharon Watson – the artistic director of Phoenix Dance Theatre. Sharon was trained at the London School of Contemporary Dance and has had many incredible experiences as a dancer, choreographer and now as a director. A meeting was arranged via email and Sharon was very keen on working with us on the cultural connections programme. Sharon asked for Adeline’s profile and interests prior to the meeting and therefore a typed-up copy of Adeline’s interview was emailed to Sharon.
Stage 4: Meeting with Sharon Watson
A meeting was held at Phoenix Dance Theatre between Adeline, Sharon and a member of The Geraldine Connor Foundation, which lasted around an hour. During this meeting, Sharon asked Adeline many questions about her current experiences, future goals and plans for this coming year. Although Adeline had prepared some questions for the meeting she was quite visibly overwhelmed and nervous. Therefore, a conversation/session needs to be held with the young person to prepare them to speak with arts professionals.
Sharon advised Adeline on what her main focus should be and to look into the gaps in the dance industry. For example, in Leeds there is a space for a hip-hop/street dance company. As Adeline does not have many contacts within the industry, Sharon also advised her to contact organisations and network with Yorkshire Dance, Leeds College of Music, and Carriageworks to find out what platforms are available to perform on and events to get involved with.
In terms of dance training, Adeline needs to find out what the industry is offering and keep up to date with One Dance UK, ADAD and UDance. Sharon also advised Adeline to look into evening dance classes in Leeds such as Northern School and Yorkshire Dance as well as intensive dance courses.
At the end of the meeting, Sharon offered Adeline the following opportunities:
- Quarterly mentoring sessions
- Time shadowing staff in the office with the opportunity to ask questions.
- An afternoon with a rehearsal director to observe a rehearsal take place.
- Volunteering opportunity with academic activities
- Helping make connections with Sharon’s contacts
Stage 5: Follow up
Take up the opportunities that Sharon has offered and set up another meeting but got in with a plan.
Business IP Centre
Set up a meeting with a business advisor to find out more about how to start up a dance company.
Use resources to film performances and learn how to edit videos.