meet the artist: julie harper
Find out more about the artists delivering your darts activities
Julie Harper is a dancer who delivers dance sessions for participants aged 50+ in settings across Doncaster as part of our Dance On project. We interviewed Julie to find out more about her own progression as a dancer and what she enjoys most about teaching people to dance.
How long have you been dancing and what inspired you to become a dancer?
I have been dancing since the age of 3. My mum is a dancing teacher so I was born into that environment. I have been on stage since I can remember and turned professional when I was 18.
What do you love most about dancing with people?
I love the freedom of self expression dance brings to the participants. The positive energy in the class after a dance session is such an uplifting reward for the artist. Whether they are participating, spectating or simply soaking up the music and the atmosphere, everyone leaves feeling elated.
How has the pandemic impacted your work? What have the challenges been and how have you adapted your practice to returning to in-person sessions?
The biggest impact of the pandemic I feel was losing the face to face contact. Zoom sessions were difficult with internet connections being varied around the areas and distractions at home that wouldn’t normally be in a studio class. It was good to get back into the studio even though the classes had restrictions in place for example no touching, partner work or props. Gradually the energy levels have picked back up as everyone relaxes more whilst dancing again.
What’s your favourite kind of music to dance to?
My favourite kind of music is Salsa and musical theatre to teach to. We have a huge variety of music styles in our Dance On sessions and always take the participants’ ideas on board – however unusual!
Where do you get your ideas and inspiration from?
I get most of my ideas from my 20-years travelling abroad – styles I have learnt and different cultures I’ve experienced during that time. I am always open to new styles (usually studied and self taught) and my biggest inspiration comes from the people I teach – someone has an idea and we build on it as a group. YouTube can be handy too!
Julie was photographed by James Mulkeen for darts. Find out more about the artists creating your darts activities here.
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