Gateshead students dance their way to a successful future

Eighteen-year-olds Jordan Robson, from Tynemouth and Johnathan Blake, of Walkergate, have leaped ahead of their peers to secure places at the prestigious National Company for Contemporary Dance, Rambert in London.

Jordan and Johnathan had to compete against thousands of dancers from across the world to win one of the 50 places at the prestigious dance school.

Both honed their skills while studying a BTEC Extended Diploma in Dance atGatesheadCollegeand participating in classes atDanceCity’s Centre for Advanced Training (CAT) programme.  

The BTEC Extended Diploma in Dance, run in partnership withDanceCity, provides opportunities for young students to gain experience in a range of dance specialisms, including classical ballet, contemporary dance, choreography and urban dance. The course also prepares students for a career in the performing arts industry.

The pair will both be taking steps to success on Rambert’s highly regarded and competitive dance course, where they will join two other former Gateshead College students, who also trained at the Dance City CAT – Joe George and John Brice – who will be undertaking their final year.

Jordan said: “My favourite part of the course has been the physical practice time. I’ve found it really challenging and it’s really given me the self-discipline I need to go on to study at Rambert.

“Gateshead College’s connection withDanceCityis great. It gives us access to top class facilities and real professionals in the field.”

Johnathan added: “I was really happy and surprised when I got into Rambert. This doesn’t really happen to people where I come from.

“Gateshead College has really opened up opportunities for me; the tutors have been so supportive in helping me achieve this.”

Rambert is recognised internationally as one of the small group of first-level professional dance schools of the world and teaches its students to the highest levels, with many going on to successful careers as professional dancers in shows and events around the globe.

Jayne Watt, Curriculum Leader for Music and Performing Arts at Gateshead College, said: “It’s fantastic to see local youngsters who have the talent and flair to secure places with dance schools like Rambert.

“We are extremely proud of the boys securing places. They have had to work hard for this and put the training in but they both have the talent, commitment and passion to succeed.”

Julie Campbell, Centre for Advanced Training Manager, Dance City, said: “We are incredibly proud of Johnny and Jordan’s success. It demonstrates what can be achieved when organisations such as Dance City and Gateshead College work together for the benefit of the young people in the North East.

“The partnership has now extended to offering a BA (Hons) in Dance Professional Practice, starting this September. This new degree will give students the opportunity to gain world-class dance training and hopefully encourage them to stay in the North East and contribute to the development of dance in the region.”

Jordan’s ambition is to go on to join the Rambert Touring Company – taking part in shows around the UK. Johnathan’s dream lies with the Tavaziva Touring Company, specialising in fusing African and contemporary dance.