Natalie DoddRambert School Alumnus- Professional Dancer and Teacher
I discovered a vast spectrum of performance qualities in myself and an ability to feel my most powerful on stage.
What memories do you have of your time at Rambert School?
My three years at Rambert School was a period of time where I grew beyond compare as a person and as a dancer. I danced alongside people who have become lifelong friends and became at home in the School. I was challenged daily and pushed myself mentally and physically beyond what I perceived was possible.
I worked alongside choreographers and learnt choreographies that sparked new realisations as a performer. I discovered a vast spectrum of performance qualities in myself and an ability to feel my most powerful on stage.
Countless classes were accompanied by inspiring, energising and passionate musicians. Before beginning my training, I had never realised the value of high quality, live accompaniment. On my most tired days, it was the musicians who provided the fire to push through that.
Spending so much time in such an intimate environment meant myself and my peers bonded in a unique way and there was so much pride in what we achieved together. I have many memories of learning from the people around me, being encouraged by them and that indescribable sense of wholeness when moving in the space with others; creating a room full of tangible energy.
What do you think makes Rambert School special?
When I stepped into Rambert School on my audition day, I immediately gained a sense of homeliness. It is a building full of support and the awareness of all of the talented individuals that have danced in its studios. The environment allows for focused training with little distraction and the beauty of being within easy access of central London. We are lucky to have still maintained this bubble of calm, yet, to be close to innumerable individuals in the dance industry who can bring their expertise and experience to the Rambert School students. Since my graduation, I have witnessed the school continue to evolve and remain current, giving its newer graduates the best start to their professional life.
Most significantly, Rambert School’s ethos encourages its trainees to embrace their individual selves, inside and out of the studio. It aims to create unique artists who are in touch with what makes each person different to the next and to build upon that. The training instils an awareness of the value of solid technique, coupled with the essential curiosity to explore one’s own artistic identity and to share that with their audience; in whatever sense of the word.
How did the training at Rambert School prepare you for a successful career in Dance?
My time at Rambert School gave me access to my sense of resilience which is invaluable in any line of work. I had highs of performances, artistic collaborations and positive reports as well as lows of injury. The mix of experiences allows one to realise their potential, their worth and their strength to overcome challenges. This has been so useful to me and has assisted me when I have needed patience or heightened self belief. Being at Rambert School solidifies your sense of commitment, passion and dedication to your art.
The countless workshops and teachers that moulded our training contributed significantly to the versatility I feel I possess today. The varying sectors of the dance industry are often merging and collaborating and therefore, require individuals who are equally as malleable. Rambert School’s training pushes dancers outside of their comfort zones in a positive and healthy way and creates dancers who can communicate verbally as well as physically. Its graduates leave with a great sense of self that can be carried through to whatever work they choose to undertake.
I would also mention that there are many different versions of success and so each person’s will be different. I have had a very varied five years post-graduation including commercial work, an apprenticeship and nearly three years of teaching experience. My approach to gaining and maintaining a successful career in dance is to continue to aim to feel fulfilled and challenged and to work towards my own goals. It is important to take time to give oneself credit, we dancers can be rather self-critical.