In less than two years of studying dance with Nicola (and I had no previous dance experience) I gained a place in one of the top Dance schools in London, and also into a leading male youth dance company in the south west.
I chose to study dance at college as I liked being active and in addition it looked like a fun alternative to sport which my background was in.
I had my first dance class ever in 2011 with Nicola, and I’m sure the way I tried to dance in that lesson was painful to watch! However, Nicola was very supportive and encouraging and very quickly my dance became a career possibility. Myself and one other trained for just over one year with Nicola before auditioning and gaining a place at Trinity Laban, London. The story of two male dancers from the South west with just over a years training at college and gaining a place at such a prestigious school caught the media’s attention and BBC South today ran a story on it.
Also during my training Nicola encouraged me to audition for Hampshire youth dance company (HYDC) and Fuzzylogic. FuzzyLogic is now a leading all male youth dance company in the UK. I would like to add I didn’t even know Laban, HYDC or FuzzyLogic even existed until Nicola told me about them and urged me to audition. I was just doing dance for fun!
Nicola was the one who saw the potential for me to become a professional dancer and ensured I knew about every dance audition going.
I started my training at Laban and despite my huge disadvantage to the other dancers who had trained their entire lives to be there, I was prepared. Nicola taught me all the skills dancers and choreographers of that level were expected to have.
The important thing to know about Nicola and FuZe8 is you will be pushed, you will be developed, and you will work hard whatever your ability level. My legs are still sore from my first class with her in 2011!
Since graduating university Nicola has continued to nurture and support my profession in dance by giving me the opportunity to lead performance and choreographic workshops with FuZe8.
I owe a lot to Nicola and can’t think of a better dance company for anyone with an interest in dance to get involved!
I started dancing as a teenager in an extra-curricular capacity. I wasn’t sure if it was something I wanted to pursue further, until I had a conversation with Nicola at a college open evening, then I was certain! A level dance it was.
Nicola teaches with such passion and enthusiasm that you cant help but get swept away with it all. I have very fond memories of performing great pieces at many theatres across the region. I enjoyed it so much I decided I wanted to do BTEC dance as well as A-Level, I just couldn’t get enough. Unfortunately the BTEC course was changed to a 2 year course whilst I was in my second year, but with a lot of support and encouragement from Nicola (and at times a shoulder to cry on!) I managed to complete the BTEC within one year as well as completing my other A-Levels.
I went on to Study Dance and Drama at University and choreographed my first musical for the Music department in 2009. A decade on I choreograph two musicals every year, organise a local arts festival and work with the Southampton Cultural Development Trust to ensure the city is open, accessible and fuelled by arts and culture. I can honestly say I would not be where I am today without the dedication, inspiration and reassurances of Nicola.
(So thank you!)
There is no doubt that my first experience of dance in education turned my World upside down. I strongly believe that if it wasn’t for Nicola being such a passionate and inspirational role model, I would not have had the lifeline that studying dance offered me.
When I first met Nicola, I was an anxious sixteen-year-old with little to no dance technique. Nicola encouraged me to find my strengths and then motivated me to seize on a whole host of opportunities inside and outside of College – some of which compromised her own chance to take class in a student-free zone! With her support throughout, I got an A in A-Level Dance and went on to study Dance at University of Chichester.
Fuze8 Dance Company was formed in my second year of College and I am not at all surprised that it has continued to gain momentum over the last 8 years. Since University I have worked across the dance and arts sector teaching, project managing and leading strategically on national programmes of work – all of which have aimed to better the lives of children and young people through dance and the arts. I now produce youth engagement opportunities for a regional dance venue in Bournemouth.
It isn’t just Nicola’s high-quality dance technique classes, professionalism, endless creativity and industry-standard production skills that make her a fantastic person to work and learn with, it is the care and determination she has for her young people that underpins it all.
I wish Nicola and Fuze8 Dance Company the very best for the future, and hope that Nicola’s current students know how lucky they are.
Yorke Dance Project has been fortunate to work on several projects with FuZe8 Dance Company over the past few years and each time we have found the dancers to be enthusiastic, creative and wonderful to work with.
Artistic Director Nicola Lloyd's vision, energy and passion for dance is clear when working with the Company. It is always an absolute pleasure to collaborate and we will continue to develop our artistic relationship and work on future projects together.
Nicola is the reason that I dance, the reason that I found my passion and have a career in the industry!
In 2001, when I arrived at secondary school I had no prior dance training nor was I an able dancer. Nicola's approach to teaching was the reason I developed such a passion for the art. Nicola taught me the basic fundamentals and technique right through until GCSE Dance where I achieved an A* - Nicola has a proven track record when teaching GCSE, A-Level and BTEC qualifications. When Nicola left for pastures new our friendship formed and with this a professional relationship - since then we have continued to work and take class together.
Nicola's passion for Dance is so very difficult to describe, she will take a project and give it her all and at the heart of Nicola's teaching is her students, new and old. FuZe8 combines everything that Nicola is about; passionate teaching, dance technique, development of students and professional approaches to the world of dance. Within my role of Head of Dance in a thriving local school I often reflect back on where I have come from and I am eternally grateful for Nicola's inspirations and support from 2001 to the present day.
I owe a lot to FuZe8 Dance Company and in particular to Nicola. Remembering my time with the company fills me with warmth and many amazing memories. Nicola taught me a great deal about Dance Performance and technique, she pushed me beyond my limits to strive for a better and brighter future.
I distinctively remember my audition for FuZe8, I was not only accepted, but I was also promptly enrolled on A Level and BTEC Dance!
Following college, I went on to study Dance at Performers College, London to further my technique in many different art forms, including Ballet, Jazz, Contemporary, Tap, Singing, Theatre and Voice studies. I now put everything I learnt from FuZe8 and Nicola to constant use everyday, performing on shows and parades in Disneyland Paris. The biggest stage in Europe!
I began training with Nicola a year after I first started dancing and thanks to her endless guidance, time, encouragement and inspiration my training and passion developed in more ways than I could have imagined. My little knowledge and experience of dance was pushed and tested through Nicola’s training; she nurtured my development within A Level and BTEC Dance and presented experiences such as Rock Challenge that introduced me to the industry as a performer and choreographer. I quickly learnt that dance was the career path I wanted to follow, and with the support of Nicola I accepted a place at Middlesex University.
Alongside Nicola, I have been extremely fortunate to gain valuable performance experiences at various venues and theatres across Hampshire and Dorset prior to and after my degree. I performed and supported the creation of works at Pavilion Dance South West, as well as continuing to further my training by attending Nicola’s classes.
In the last few years, I have moved to Frankfurt as an intern for Tanzlabor21 and performed at The Place as a part of Resolutions! 2017.
My current role is Graduate Academic Assistant for the dance department at Middlesex University, alongside studying for a PGCE in Higher Education. I also continue my passion for creating work and have opportunities to work with undergraduate students. I first chose to enter the industry with very little confidence, and I cannot express enough how much my career has been impacted by Nicola’s passion, nurture, and love for dance and her students. Nicola is a wonderful teacher and friend and I am very thankful for her continued support.