What Stage Plus Means To Me #Elena
This weeks Blog Post is by graduate student Elena Buxton who went off to study Political Science and International Relations at Uni while continuing to dance throughout.
She is now working in East London, but still attends classes when she can.
“I was a student at Stage Plus from the age of six. It would be difficult to even hazard a guess at the total number of hours I spent in classes and rehearsals but I can safely say it was time well spent. I grew up alongside some of the most talented and caring people I know, having remained in contact with many since I moved to London almost four years ago. Encouraged by countless brilliant teachers the classes, exams, and performance opportunities nurtured me as both a performer and a person.
I cannot overstate the importance of the arts to young people and the opportunity they provide to dedicate yourself to achieving results and to truly feel part of something. Stage Plus is a great example of this. For the last ten years, Gemma has stood as a role model and a friend to all her students and I will always admire her drive to make the school such a welcoming place. She has allowed countless young people to reach their potential and I cannot thank her enough for the opportunities and support she gave me.
In 2010 I successfully auditioned for the Centre of Advanced Training at the Laban Conservatoire of Dance and spent three years on the scheme. It was a difficult decision to turn down an offer for a BA Hons course at Laban in 2013 but I was gradually shifting my focus towards academic study.
I went on to study Political Science and International Relations at the London School of Economics. Here, I was soon welcomed into the LSE dance society. I joined a group with 170 members from over 20 countries. Whilst our previous training, dance styles, and backgrounds differed enormously we were all connected by a passion for the arts. Many were relatively new to dance but those, like myself, who grew up as a student of a local stage school, looked back fondly on the dance families we had been a part of from across the globe. I would often find myself recounting stories of my time at Stage Plus. I was elected as Contemporary Representative and had the pleasure of teaching workshops and choreographing for competitions and shows. Every time I step into a studio or onto a stage I am reminded of the years I spent at Stage Plus.
I am now on the Charityworks graduate scheme working in social housing in East London. I still attend dance classes as often as I can and was recently invited back to the LSE to teach a choreographic workshop. Dance will always be an integral part of my life and Stage Plus is where I first discovered how much it meant to me. My time at Stage Plus greatly shaped me as a person, gifting me a mind set and friendships that will last a life time.”
Photo credits to Emilie Pria and Jonathon Lee
As 11th June 2017 marks the 10th Anniversary of myself as Owner and Principal of Stage Plus, I wanted to publish a blog post per week talking about what Stage Plus means to people, written by a variety of people including faculty, parents and students, past and present!
If you would like to write a little bit about your time at Stage Plus please email it to me with a photo.