Students at Milton Keynes College were able to experience a taste of the West End at a workshop run by choreographers and dancers from hit West End show Dirty Dancing.
The Performing Arts Department, in partnership with Milton Keynes Theatre, hosted the workshop as part of the launch for the show’s new tour, which will be at Milton Keynes Theatre from October 8 - November 21.
Karl Sydow, Dirty Dancing producer, told students the story of how the production came into being, the success of both the film and stage productions, offering an incentive to the students. “We are doing the second tour, but haven’t finished casting for the second tour. So, no pressure”.
The workshop, led by associate choreographer Glenn Wilkinson, with dancers Lisa Welham and James Bennett, began with a demonstration of the choreography of Dirty Dancing before getting everyone up on their feet and learning a few steps.
First year students Anastasia Lightfoot and Sarah Lee Malcolm were among those who took the opportunity to get involved in the workshop, and both were keen to see even more workshops and shows come to Milton Keynes College.
“It was a great chance to learn something different, and learn from someone in the industry” said Sarah.
“There’s a lot of enthusiasm in our year” added Anastasia. “Seeing the two dancers, and how they hold that professional image, and have to live up to it, was impressive. It’s motivating for us, and makes it all seem more possible. When you watch them you think ‘I want to be that person, I’m going to focus and get myself to do that’”.
Milton Keynes College offers a number of courses that help students to develop the skills needed to pursue successful careers in theatre, dance, music or any other related field. Through both practical and theory-based learning, students can develop their skills and take part in college productions.
This academic year sees performances of A Christmas Carol, The Little Shop of Horrors Musical and Joseph and the Technicolour Dreamcoat. With qualifications available up to HND in Performing Arts level, students will be given a thorough understanding of the industry, and will be ideally placed to continue their studies at drama school or university.