Sammi Stewart, aged 17, is from Seacroft in Leeds where she currently attends the David Young Academy. She discovered Yorkshire Dance four years ago and has been part of Yorkshire Dance Youth for 2 years. Sammi is in her final year of sixth form and is hoping to go to University to study dance and choreography. Since joining the Youth Dance group, Sammi has performed on stage at the West Yorkshire Playhouse for Fresh 2013, at Armley Mills Museum for Breeze Festival, and will be opening the show at U:Dance 2013, a national youth dance festival bringing young performers from across the UK to Leeds this July.
“Yorkshire Dance was advertised in my school and I needed something to do because Seacroft isn’t very exciting. When I first came here I was made to feel welcome straight away. I’ve always loved street-dance, and I’ve always been into dancing but we’ve learnt different genres like contemporary dance and traditional sword dancing – but mixing it with hip hop rather than clog dancing, and we’re performing together in public.”
“The group is like my second family. It’s changed how I am. Dani my dance teacher is strict but a brilliant role model; she’s helped me become more confident and working with her has made me realise I want to be a choreographer. I’d never thought about a career in dancing before doing this.”
“Since being involved with Yorkshire Dance I’ve also done some work experience assisting with a disabled group, and supporting Culture Shock, learning about administration and how the production side of things works. It was the best thing I’ve ever done.
“My little sister and my cousin are now part of Yorkshire Dance juniors – the whole family are right behind us and really proud of what we’ve achieved, and my sister says she wants to be like me when she grows up. My Aunt loves the fact that my cousin is dancing, and that it’s keeping him out of the wrong crowd.
“The best moment so far for me has been when the Youth Dance group came together; we danced our hearts out and I felt like my heart exploded. I still get butterflies when I perform, but it’s what you have to do. I’d tell other people my age to give it a try, because you don’t know what you might get out of it.
“I don’t think I’m good at anything else, but when it comes to dance, it’s the best thing for bringing my confidence out. At primary school, dancing was just for fun, but coming to Yorkshire Dance brought me out of myself.”
9 Mar 2014