23 year old Jordan Massarella, from Barnsley, trained at the Northern School of Contemporary Dance and was spotted by Yorkshire Dance in his third year.
“Initially, I was able to test out new work at the Friday Firsts, a regular choreographic platform, and receive some mentoring that helped me get the most of my ideas. Yorkshire Dance also gave me space to rehearse which was a huge thing. There’s limited space for rehearsing in Leeds, and it’s expensive, especially at that stage in your career as you don’t have the funding or very much money.
“A year on from graduating, my relationship had developed with Yorkshire Dance. I’d attended networking events, been involved in Friday Firsts and I’d met members of the team, so it felt like a natural step to go on and work with Yorkshire Dance as a New Associate. It means a lot to me; not only am I supported in terms of space, but the team has given me invaluable support to find funding and help with business and marketing skills, as well as advice and practical support to manage touring the work I do. It’s important and valuable that someone as recognised as Yorkshire Dance is invested in my future.
“Being a New Associate has really helped with my professional development. I’ve been able to work with choreographers I admired when I was a student, people like Gary Clarke and Wendy Houstoun. It’s also enabled me to work in new ways. I’d never done any teaching before or worked with non-professionals, so the opportunity to work on a community commission was crucial.
“I feel I’ve learnt a lot, I feel like a young professional, and I feel supported.
“Yorkshire Dance has really helped me to create a name for myself and helped me to find opportunities to work with organisations they have relationships with across the North. I wouldn’t have been able to stay in this area if the support from Yorkshire Dance hadn’t been available.
“Through studying in Leeds, I’d started to make connections and relationships here which would have been lost if I’d had to move away to work professionally. Now that I’m making work and touring it, the backing of Yorkshire Dance has been crucial and they’ve even helped me to build up a following for my work, an audience who want to see what I do next.”
9 Mar 2014