In December 2017, I uploaded my first video to YouTube. It was exciting and terrifying to me, to make the video public to everyone on such a huge platform, but I am super proud of the project and the people involved, and I just hope the views number continues to grow.
Anyway, my general concept for Moving Memoirs Dance Project was to use dance as a creative interpretation of two difficult subjects: bullying, which is a huge problem for so many people, and illness, particularly illnesses that take away your sense of control. Of course, that part stems from my own disorder, but I’ve also had experience with bullying. I was bullied as a kid, and when I worked with children during some voluntary work as an adult, I was witness to kids being teased and isolated by others, despite the “zero tolerance policy” at the school. As you’ll see in the video, my dance academy became my salvation as a child. As I grew up, I also moved on, but dance has always stayed with me and probably always will. So, when my therapist encouraged me to talk and write about all the problems I had faced – past and present – this idea came to me.
It would be something original and different; a new way to express myself (although technically, it was a rekindled way to express myself!) So, I contacted my dance teacher, and soon enough, I found myself back at my childhood academy, watching the current students rehearse their performances for this project. It was definitely a nostalgic experience for me, and it was fun to be back, even just for a little while!
I’d contacted a few videography companies, as I was unsure of their individual specialties and whether or not this project would be their kind of thing. Even over email, I knew that Forshaw Media were really interested. They answered all of my (sometimes lengthy) questions with patience and understanding. They also made me feel completely at ease working with them, and for someone like me, who is not only nervous by nature but also doing something like this for the first time, those qualities were essential.
It’s crazy how much happens between an initial idea and the finished product. It wasn’t just a case of asking my dance teacher to choreograph a few routines and finding a videographer who was interested – there was lots more to it!
Dance-wise, we had to decide what the main focus should be for each routine, how long each performance should be, and how many dancers should perform. We had to consider music, and if we wanted to use elaborate costumes or achieve a certain kind of look. My teacher then had to get permission from parents in order for their children to be on camera. They then had to create the pieces, and although they had my original concept in writing, the choreography was all down to them, and as you’ll see, it is amazing! As dancers, these girls are so incredibly talented, and as people, they are kind and polite, and so hard-working. I can’t even remember how many times each group performed, in order for the videographers to shoot from different angles etc. Filming day ran so smoothly; there was such a positive atmosphere and I found it so enjoyable. For all my nerves about IF something goes wrong, or IF I ended up making a huge fool of myself, or IF it got cancelled for some unknown reason, I needn’t have worried at all.
By working on this project, I learnt so much, both professionally and personally.
Though I’ve been told about the advantages of an online presence, I don’t really have a huge interest in social media. I haven’t had a Facebook profile for years now, and until recently, I only used my Twitter account when Strictly Come Dancing was on TV (I like to keep up with behind-the-scenes pics and videos!) I do enjoy using Instagram, but I sometimes delete my posts and start over, just because it doesn’t “flow.” But now, I have learnt that in this day and age, social media can be very helpful in spreading the word, and very powerful in reaching out to others. But, you do have to put yourself out there. You have to try contacting relevant organisations, and people who are already well-known, often in the public eye, even if every part of your mind is telling you they’ll never see it. Maybe they won’t, but at least you’ve tried, and if they do, then that’s great! But it is really difficult, especially without any kind of guarantee.
I have learnt to trust in myself and my instincts a little more. I’ve learnt that it isn’t rude or insulting to ask for something to be changed; it’s YOUR vision, and the people involved want to achieve that for you. Moving Memoirs also reiterated something I’ve known for a really long time: you have to be passionate. If you’re not passionate about it, it’s not going to work!
I’m really proud of the final product, and very grateful to everybody who made it so beautiful. Thank you all, for everything.
Check out a few photos from filming day by clicking here, and to see our video, type ‘Moving Memoirs Dance Project’ into YouTube, or simply click the following link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zvT29OIGNxI
Love, Georgie xox