Ayesha's Blog

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On Independence Day, I danced like a girl

05 July

Last night, 4th July 2014, we celebrated Independence Day at Morley College.

It was combined with the annual Morley College summer performance show  – “Dance Fusion”. The tradition of summer dance shows at Morley College goes way way back. The earliest record is of dance performances on the stage at Morley in 1935. We had everything last night, flamingo dancing, afro Caribbean, salsa, street dance, Zumba – you name it. My personal contribution has been ballet and tap dancing. I’ve been going to Morley College for dance classes on and off for a while now but this last year I have managed to be consistently solid with making it to class and it has paid off. In both my classes I’ve moved up to intermediate level, which meant I qualified to take part in the dance show. With my awesome class mates who have progressed with me, we’ve had such a triumphant year.

The history of Morley College begins with Emma Cons, “a visionary and social reformer, who fought to improve standards within London’s Waterloo district”. A strong woman fighting for gender equality, promoting art and culture and projecting positive, ethical and moral values into the community. It all began at what is now the Old Vic Theatre before moving to the site we now know as Morley College on Westminster Bridge Road. The history of staff at Morley includes Gustav Holst who was Director of Music from 1907 to 1924 and followed by Sir Michael Tippett in 1940. Ralph Vaughan Williams, Virginia Woolf and David Hockney are also associated with Morley.

My dance teachers, Karen Slade-Pluck for ballet and Sharon Thompson for tap, are some of the oldest (in length of time, not age!) teachers at the school. They are full of stories, rich experiences and creative energy. We go from dancing to traditional music to singing show tunes while doing barre exercises and tapping along to Pharrell Williams and Michael Jackson. I couldn’t be happier. 

Last night was a great way to end a year of hard work and sweat  – among brilliant company and friendly support. A short rest over summer before beginning term again in September and seeing what new heights I can leap, what new tunes I can tap…

On the theme of women being independent and strong, I love this Always campaign that is blowing-up at the moment “like a girl”. I happily specialise in doing things like a girl! :

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