Our dancers have gone on to gain places at some of the best dance institutions in the world, perform across the globe and make their professional debuts on the West End stage. Here are just a few of their stories...
From: North London
Where you are now: I'm in my dream job in the Lion King on the West End, and recently graduated from Bird College. I never thought that I could dance professionally but One Youth Dance inspired me to go on to further training at college. The company taught me how to fight for what I wanted with technical, flexibility and stamina training and also my individual creativity within various styles. All the disciplines that I learned from class, and my experience from performing at a number of events, set me up for my next stages at college which made my three years much more worthwhile.
Favourite memory with the company: It has to be when we performed at the Queen's Coronation Festival at Buckingham Palace. It certainly was one of the most exciting and life changing experiences so far. It just opened my eyes to understand what I was born to do!
Where you are now: I’ve just been on a world tour with Circus Vegas where I performed as a showgirl and aerlaist. It has been amazing! Having been on the road for 10 months I can look back and see how One Youth gave me the confidence to believe in myself and the determination to become a performer.
Favourite memory with the company: Competing at the London Youth Dance Championships at the Olympic Park. It was so much fun, and so exciting to perform in such a big venue. I also loved every single show, especially Uncovered as I got to perform a trio with two of my best friends in the company!
From: West London
Where you are now: I have recently graduated with a first class honours degree in dance from Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts and I am currently in my first West End contract with Thriller Live. Training at One Youth gave me the technical foundations and confidence that I needed to embark on a professional career in the dance industry. Working with Joanna and other inspiring artists made me aspire to be the best creative I could possibly be.
Favourite memory with the company: It would have to be performing at the Queens 60th Coronation Festival at Buckingham Palace. It was such an exhilarating feeling sharing the stage with my One Youth Dance family in front of such a vast audience. It is definitely a memory I will never forget.
Where you are now: I was offered a place at eight accredited schools while I was with One Youth, and I decided to train at Tiffany Theatre College. Since graduating I spent a year in a dance program in New York City and am now back dancing in London. Without One Youth I wouldn't be where I am today. I wouldn't even be dancing professionally. I didn't think I had it in me to even get into dance school. I attended One Youth for my love of dance and because I loved working hard. Eventually, after talks with Jo and a few different teachers and their experiences, I decided to put my fears aside and jump straight into dancing and decided to commit to dance and that I was going to pursue it.
Favourite memory with the company: My favourite memory is something Jo would say to us during warm up, or holding plank for minutes, or doing burpees, or during circuit training. It would be "don't give up it's bad for your soul!". I loved it when she said this because it kept me motivated and made me laugh during the pain. Whenever I feel like stopping I know it's only a case of mind over matter and always imagine Jo shouting this to the room to keep me going.
From: East London
Where you are now: After joining One Youth Dance I was accepted to The BRIT School and went on to train professionally at Bird College. I've just graduated to my first job in Aladdin in London's West End. One Youth Dance was the first ever company I applied to and joined when I was about 15, at that age I was still exploring the world of dance and One Youth Dance really stuck out to me. Before joining this company I didn't know much about jazz or dance technique in general. I learnt so much in my first year alone. I've never felt so much support or met someone who believed in me so much, more than I did myself at the time. Thank you Joanna Shaw.
Favourite memory with the company: I remember the first show we performed at the Royal Albert Hall years ago, I just remembered the feeling I got on and before going on the stage, surrounded by pure talent and love. The laughs and memories created with every performance was unforgettable and endless.
From: South East London
Where you are now: I am now at the Urdang Academy studying for a Degree in Professional Dance and Musical Theatre. One Youth has helped me act like a professional and be a professional! The classes that were taught prepared me for my training and made it easier to transition into the industry.
Favourite memory with the company: It has to be the St. Paul's flashmob. I love a good flashmob and I got the chance to help choreograph some of it as well. One Youth is a family and I enjoyed every minute of it!
Where you are now: I’m studying for a degree at the National Centre for Circus Arts, and I love it! One Youth Dance gave me a taster of full-time training by providing classes at a much desired higher level than was available where I lived. It was a safe, encouraging yet challenging environment and the weekly classes allowed me to fall in love with London! One Youth Dance gave me confidence in my abilities and advised and encouraged me in the arts in a way that my sixth form could not. I can confidently say that I would not be where I am today without One Youth Dance and in particular, the founder Joanna, whom without her knowledge and mentoring I would not have found or been able to pursue my passion for dancing in the sky!
Favourite memory with the company: Fogging up the windows in the studios just with the warm up!