International Women’s Day: Interview with Miss Hart

We interviewed Miss E Hart, PE/Dance, for International Women’s Day to celebrate women in sport. She has spoken about her Dance World Cup journey with Team England 🙂

Q: Tell us about your Dance World Cup journey with Team England. 

After a successful competition season last year and seeing lots of photos and videos on social media of the 2023 Dance World Cup, myself and my dance partner approached the principal of our dance school, expressing an interest in trying out for Team England. In order to qualify for the team/competition, we had to submit videos of our routines to the Head of Team England for them to be marked and ranked in relation to the rest of the entries (only the top 5 in each category can qualify). We successfully qualified in the Top 5 with two duets; Lyrical and Show Dance, and will perform these routines representing Team England in the Dance World Cup Final, held in Prague. 

Q: How did you begin your dance career? 

Since a very young age, I have attended a local dance school, where I received training in a range of dance styles, completed dance examination, took part in shows and competitions (which I still do now!) When choosing my options in Secondary School, I opted to take BTEC Performing arts (Dance), before successfully auditioning for a place on a Dance course at a Performing Arts College. After this, I went on to study Dance Degree at University and continued to complete my PGCE in Secondary Education: Dance, before starting my job as Teacher of PE and Dance at Dame Elizabeth Cadbury School. Throughout my training, I continued to take on as many opportunities as possible, successfully auditioning for a Youth Ballet Company and performing/competing all over the country, including on London’s West End Stages and at Blackpool’s Winter Gardens.

Q: Growing up, what women in dance/sports did you look up to?

My biggest inspiration is my Dance Teacher/Principal and she still continues inspire me today. When I was younger, I used to watch her dance and I could see her passion for Dance in everything she did- I used to say ‘I want to be like her’. Even as a teacher, she continues to support me in everything that I do and this continues to inspire me as I begin to support the next generation of dancers. 

Q: What is your favourite memory associated with dance?

Although I treasure ever memory when it’s associated with Dance, my favourite memory has to be the time that I made my Dance Teacher cry when I performed my Contemporary Solo. Dance is such an expressive art form and I truly believe that it can convey what anyone is feeling and so, when I made my Dance Teacher cry, I feel like my performance had really made a difference to the person watching.

Q: Describe your major highlights and achievements in dance in the past.

There have been many moments that I have been proud of but one that always stands out was when I completed my first Teaching Examination. This was really the start of my journey as a teacher, being able to offer pupils at my local dance school the opportunity to take their Tap Examinations and really excel in tap- seeing their improvement is really rewarding, especially as some of my first ever groups are now taking high Tap Grades and working towards their student-teacher qualification. 

Another moment that will always be one of my biggest achievements in being nominated as Runner-up of the ‘Best Choreography Award’ at a competition (something which is unheard of for student choreography). This was for the first group dance I had ever choreographed so for it to get that level of recognition from the Competition Judge was an amazing feeling that I will always remember. Finally, some of my favourite highlights have been during Dance Competitions; Being awarded ‘Highest Scoring Soloist’, placing as the Top 3 routines (1st, 2nd and 3rd) in a competition and qualifying for Team England etc. as there is a lot of preparation that goes into getting Competition-Ready so these are the celebratory moments that I will always remember. 

Q: What do you see yourself accomplishing next? 

I would like to continue to develop Dance at DEC, providing as many opportunities for the pupils to learn, perform and experience Dance as I feel that, when I was at training, my dance own dance experiences really shaped the dancer/person I am today and there are lots of pupils at DEC that are really passionate about Dance. I also think it’s really important to push yourself in your own training, so I would like to continue to complete my own Teaching Examinations with the Associated Board of Dance. 

Q: What attributes make you the dancer you are? 

The biggest thing for me is my passion for Dance as I think it underpins everything I do. Dance has been a huge part of my life for as long as I can remember and I think it is because of this that I am always striving to take part in as many Dance opportunities as possible and always looking to improve/develop my own Dance knowledge and performance- I couldn’t imagine dance not being a part of my life. 

Also, because of the discipline required in Dance, particularly Ballet, I find that I am a bit of a perfectionist. This means I am always reflecting on my own performance, and although I am sometimes very self-critical, I find that I am always seeking out ways to improve specific aspects of my Dance performance. 

Q: What advice would you give to a young girl who is just starting off in dance/sport?

Keep going! If you are truly passionate about something, whether it be dance or another sport, never lose sight of why you started in the first place. Particularly in competitive sports, I think it is important to put your passion into everything that you do as it will be what motivates you to keep going, even if things seem hard or like they aren’t going as well as you would like them to.  

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