One of the joys of running a creative company that deals specifically in the arts is that you get to meet and work with fascinating people who have chosen unique career paths. At any one time, there are up to 30 artists working with us, who go on to, or have just come from, wonderfully interesting work.
In this blog post, I talk to Ann Ogden. Ann started our teambuilding activities based on dance and movement over six years ago.
Reflecting a great interest in dancing among the general public, there have been countless Saturday night TV shows that highlight dance and dancing. With this interest filtering down into corporate activities, we offer a range of popular team building events and corporate entertainment activities around movement and dance.
Because most of our activities are based around surprising the group and leading them through a learning experience, you can imagine that getting colleagues to let go of their inhibitions and actually move together is quite some feat and yet this is what Ann and our other choreographers achieve at every session.
In addition to her work with us, Ann manages to maintain a constant flow of high-profile work as both a dancer and choreographer. I was able to chat briefly with Ann recently, in between her filming with Kiera Knightly, performing at Buckingham Palace and making her many music videos appearances on MTV.
Mark: “What do get out of working with groups that have not danced before?”
Ann: “Dance is a form of expression. It’s a language all of its own with no words required. Most of all it’s fun! You don’t need to be Fred Astaire or Ginger Rogers to enjoy yourself.”
“There is nothing more satisfying than watching people who may never have danced before overcome their fears, have great fun and lose themselves in movement. When in a big group, it’s totally contagious!”
Mark: “What type of dance can make you lose yourself in the moment?”
Ann: “Any type of dance can make me lose myself if the music is inspiring. Think of your favourite song or piece of music. When you hear it, I would bet money that you feel the urge to move. However small that movement may be, you just can’t help tapping your toe in time or bobbing your head to the rhythm!”
“For me professionally, I lose myself with lyrical jazz, just because it gives the opportunity to really enjoy all of the movements and express yourself!”
Mark: “Since the human body has millions of movement options, how can you remember them all?”
Ann: “Dance has its own vocabulary and set technical names for various turns, jumps and steps, which you pick up along the way! However, your body has this wonderful function called ‘muscle memory’. After the initial learning period, your body just takes over and, before you know it, you have completed the steps or routine like you were on automatic pilot. Really handy when you’re learning various routines.”
“This makes teaching novice dancers in a teambuilding session easier. The human body is an amazing tool. There are so many ways to move it. Even now, I learn or discover new steps along the way!”
Thank you Ann.
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