Monique JonasGraduated from Rambert School in 2016
We are treated as individuals from the start.
What was your first dance memory?
Around the age of 4, I was in my living room and there was a ballet solo on the TV with a female dancer – my dad found me improvising doing some sort of diagonal across the floor.
When did you start dancing?
Not until age 9. I was given a place on the Royal Opera House ‘Chance to Dance’ programme to try out classical ballet. I then joined Arts Educational Schools London, training in musical theatre, jazz, tap, modern and a little contemporary and ballet.
Being offered a place at Rambert School was a pleasant suprise– I was considering an academic route and had been offered a university place to study English, but I decided to audition for Rambert and when I was given the chance to join I took it!
What advice would you give someone thinking about vocational dance training?
There will be good and bad times so just work through it. Sometimes the hardest things you do at the school are the most beneficial for you; for me pointe work was a foreign concept but I love the solos we’re given now.
What qualities do you need to be a student at Rambert School?
Perseverance and determination are key. Don’t forget why you started and where you get your enjoyment. Don’t get caught up comparing yourself with others at the barre next to you. There is such a variety of individuals at the school, although we take the same classes, we all take different paths when we leave.
What do you think makes Rambert School special?
We are treated as individuals from the start. We can go to any of the staff members and speak one-to-one if we’re facing anything. I like the fact that the school is small, the relaxed environment makes people feel comfortable.
Do you feel you benefit from being in London?
I like being a little on the outside of London. You can choose to visit to be part of what’s going on but can then step out of it to focus on your training.
What’s next? I’m joining Richard Alston Dance Company as an apprentice dancer.
How has your final year prepared you for the transition from student to professional dancer?
Especially from second year onwards, we are exposed to different techniques with guest artists. We get our foundation and basis in our technique classes, then faced with something completely new, we have to learn for ourselves how to put what we’ve learned into this new technique. If I hadn’t gone through the training at Rambert School, there’s no way I would have been given the opportunity to get the Richard Alston apprenticeship.