Lauren's story

Previous Dorset Youth Dance Company dancer Lauren, shares how her DYD experience helped her step into University life.

As we head further into the first term of 2020, which has seen DYD (Dorset Youth Dance) welcome 6 new dancers into the Company, we'd love to share some words from previous Dorset Youth Dance Copany dancer, Lauren McIntyre. Lauren joined DYD in September 2016 and worked hard to develop her contemporary technique and performance skills, before leaving Dorset to study for a BA (Hons) Dance Performance Degree at the University of Chichester in 2019. Here's what Lauren had to say about her experience with DYD and its impact on her time at University so far.

"I started the BA (Hons) degree course Dance Performance at the University of Chichester this year, after working with Dorset Youth Dance Company for over 2 years. I will be here for three years and can’t wait to begin my career in dance. An issue many people have when starting dance at University is the huge contrast in styles and approaches to contemporary dance compared to what many are taught in dance lessons; either at school or a dance school.

I have never been more appreciative of my experience with DYD thanks to how prepared I was. It is the perfect balance of high-quality engaging dance practice from teacher Claire Benson, together with the sense of community and trust. Not only did I become a whole new dancer, but as a person, my engagement and drive for dance was pushed thanks to enthusiasm brought by the whole team.  I have already taken classes in Release technique and Cunningham technique at University and thanks to DYD I am experienced in both.

One of the key focuses of the company when I was a member of DYD was the technique of contact improvisation; here at university it is just the same. The creativity and freedom whilst working with another person is a challenging yet engaging practice, one that many students will never experienced before arriving at University.

Already I have spread the word of Dorset Youth Dance to my classmates and especially lecturers, who of course know of Claire thanks to her incredible background and reputation. As we already begin to work to dates for upcoming shows and assessments, my years here will be incredibly busy, but I can not wait to come back and see the company again. I would love to pass on my new experiences and knowledge to the current company members and hope to see the company continue to develop and grow."

DYD was delighted to see Lauren return for our open class on Sunday 12 January, where she shared some of her learning from her first term of University life. We can't wait to see Lauren continue to thrive.

On a similar note, we're extending a big 'Congratulations!' to current Company dancer, Willow, who has recenetly successfully auditioned for the undergraduate course BA (Hons) Contemporary Dance with Foundation year, at Trinity Laban. Well done, Willow!

Lauren and Willow both follow previous Dorset Youth Dance members, who have gone on to contunue their dance training at Higher Education level. We will enjoy following their future careers.

For any questions about DYD, how to join or class information, please contact Project Manager Sammy at

Written by SammyG
Published on 29th January 2020