The Cardiff dance scene is still battling to stay alive despite recent budget cuts, thanks to a handful of dance groups in the city.
After the announcement of the brutal curb on funding in all governmental departments, the end seemed nigh for the dance scene in Cardiff – which, in comparison to other major UK cities, is seemingly underdeveloped. However, all is not lost.
Jon-Scott Clark, 22, is a professional dancer who is currently a member of the ensemble in the cast of the International Tour of Mamma Mia! Here he talks about his training and his time on the road with Mamma Mia!
Jon-Scott started dancing from the age of 12, where he was told by his football coach to take up dancing to help improve his footwork. He started attending classes with his twin sister Samantha, and started to show real promise for a profession which totally contradicted the laddish mentality of the footballing world. Despite reaching a county level standard of football, Jon-Scott’s talent for performing led him to follow a career in the performing arts.
At 16, Jon-Scott auditioned for a number of full-time performing arts schools up and down the country, finally securing a place at the prestigious Laine Theatre Arts in Epsom, where he was appointed head boy. After three years of training Jon-Scott has gone on to perform in many productions, including Robinson Crusoe and the Caribbean Pirates in Newcastle, An Evening of Laughter with Ken Dodd & Friends at the London Palladium and performing in Dubai for the production of The West End and Beyond.
Jon-Scott Clark, Laine Theatre Arts Graduate and ensemble member for Mamma Mia! International Tour
Nancy Osbaldeston is a professional working ballerina at the English National Ballet Company. Here she talks about her role in ENB’s latest production of Romeo and Juliet, the future of ballet in the world of dance and the pros and cons of her chosen career.
Nancy dancing a solo from Don Quixote at the 2008 Prix de Lausanne
Nancy, 21, started dancing at a very young age, attending ballet classes offered at her local nursery. After keeping up the hobby throughout her childhood years, she auditioned for the part of a little girl in the Birmingham Royal Ballet’s production of the Nutcracker. It was this first real experience of the ballet world that inspired her to pursue a career in dance, after being “truly wowed” in playing just a tiny part of the production.
It was from this point that Nancy started to “get more serious” about her dance. She became an associate for both Northern Ballet Company and the Royal Ballet, taking extra lessons every week. At the age of 16, Nancy auditioned for seven different ballet schools up and down the country, finally settling in London with the English National Ballet school for three years.
After completing her training, Nancy was offered a contract with the English National Ballet, and has been dancing as an artist of the company for the past three years.