Rachel's Story - Swapping Pom Poms for Pearls

Dancing has been a part of my life since I was a child. Like many little girls they get taken along to ballet. I never really got on with it that well. My mum said she could hear the teacher from outside the studio telling me to stay still or stop talking. Despite the fact that I wasn’t going to be a prima ballerina I enjoyed it and wanted to attend. 

 Rachel in her disco days

Rachel in her disco days

After a short time, a Freestyle Disco dance class started in the community centre very close to where we lived.  I went to one class and I was hooked, ballet was soon forgotten. The music I think was part of the draw, it was a real change from the sounds of the piano in the ballet studio. 

I quickly started competing and continued until I was 18. During that time additional dance styles were added in to the mix. Latin American, Ballroom, Rock n Roll, Street Dance, I even went back to Ballet! 

 

I enjoyed dancing so much that I really wanted to make it part of my career. I took a contract to be part of the entertainments team on holiday resorts over the UK this also took me to Canada where I choreographed shows and performed in weekly cabarets. 

 Rachel's matching dress and pants set!

Rachel's matching dress and pants set!

 Dancing in nightclub podiums

Dancing in nightclub podiums

Since then it has taken me in many wonderful and strange directions some of the more “memorable” ones are Cheerleading for BHAFC, A giant purple pyramid in a music video, danced at Her Majesty’s Theatre in London’s West End (pretending to be 16 when I was 21!) and too many nights dancing in nightclub podiums then I care to remember.

 Rachel cheerleading for BHAFC

Rachel cheerleading for BHAFC

Dance jobs are often in unsociable hours, take a lot of rehearsal commitments and often being away from family. I made a decision after some disastrous contracts and missing many family events that it was time to get a “proper job”. 

I am actually quite good at my proper job, but after a while I wanted to reintroduce dancing to my life and one booze fuelled boxing day I started a google search and stumbled across a new Charleston class starting up in Hove. Elena tells me now that I was the first person to book on to the course and she did a little celebration dance when I did. 

The rest is history as they say. I've lucky enough to be involved in so many of the projects that Fiona and Elena have created, from the I Charleston Brighton film to the Speakeasy event at Brighton Fringe. I have lost count of the amount of performances I have been a part of.

Now I am teaching Charleston as part of the team in Worthing and you can often find me at the classes in Hove or flicking around with Savoy Kicks, Oh and I still have my proper job.  

Oh and in case you want to see it, here I am as the giant purple pyramid in a music video: