Welcome to Northernisms! A little history to begin with…
The Northern School of Contemporary Dance is a unique institution, providing conservatoire level vocational training in the heart of Chapeltown, Leeds. Housed in an old synagogue with a beautiful green domed roof, the history of our school is very much rooted in the local area. It’s unlikely story began in the 1970s, when Nadine Senior (a deputy head and PE teacher at Harehills Primary) decided to make dance a compulsory subject. Little did she know that in this tough, working class area, a disproportionate amount of her young students would over come their suspicion of the leotard and go on to become professional dancers. Much has changed since those humble beginnings in one school hall, and NSCD is now an institution that is reknowned worldwide for training outstanding dance artists.
Today the arts seem more under threat than ever. With funding cuts and doom and gloom, some might worry about our future – but let’s face it, we may be young (ish!) but we are well aware that nobody ever chose the arts for their stability. Being an artist is a way of life, and an arts education instils this approach, whatever happens afterwards. In keeping with this, a fresh philosophy has been adopted at NSCD of late, aiming to provide a dance education which extends beyond the studio and caters for the ‘whole’ person. This is apt in a training and industry which is extremely physically and mentally demanding. It also ensures that the nature of this contemporary dance school is as it should be – in a constant process of evolution.
This blog is one such evolution. It is a place where we can platform our writing, creativity, and DIY-ness! It’s about encouraging collaboration and creating our own opportunities; making the most of our unique position in the heart of Yorkshire’s friendliest city and the most diverse dance scene in the North. We want to encourage and support the creativity (in dance and otherwise) of both past and present students. We want the people outside our school to look in, and the people inside our school to look out! Artists must engage with the outside world to create and a blank studio or piece of paper can be extremely intimidating, so this blog also aims to be a place you can come to be inspired by a multitude of topics, both arts related and otherwise. Alongside this we will offer practical and specific advice to our fellow students, and hope to spark worthwhile discussions about life, dance and the arts.
With Love from,
Izzy Brittain (Editor & Creator)
and all The Northernism Bloggers!