16 June 2014
Author: EDge

Meet the dancer: Q&A with Julian Lewis

Julian trained at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance graduating with a BA (Hons) degree. During his training Julian has worked with Kerry Nicholls, Gary Lambert, Rika Okamoto and Susan Sentler, performing in a variety of venues. Julian enjoys creating his own work and has also taken part in projects with Ffin Dance and East London Dance/Royal Opera House alongside his training.

When or how did you catch the dance bug?

  • I started dancing when I was about six years old and never stopped since! A family friend took me to a class with their children and I must've really enjoyed it! I stayed in the same dance academy until I left home, performing in shows and festivals etc. I started contemporary dance in school and studied it for GCSE/A-Level as well as joining Swindon Youth Dance Company.

What was the first piece of live dance you watched?

  • To be honest I can't remember the very first piece of live dance I watched!, but I remember when I was in school we went on a couple of trips to see a few companies on tour. I remember seeing Phoenix Dance Theatre and also Rambert to name a couple.

Are you ever worried about forgetting your steps?

  • Sometimes I get very nervous about things like that unnecessarily, but it's not usually until I am about to go on stage. I've found that these skills have got a lot better with training, however it is sometimes a challenge to not worry if a choreographer makes changes last minute!

How do you deal with your nerves before going on stage?

  • I usually try to make time to mentally plot through the piece, this usually gives me some last minute confidence as it reminds me that I do know what I am doing! I also find warming up and stretching a good way of relaxing and focusing on what I am about to do on stage.

Is there a particular performance experiences?

  • One of my most memorable performing experiences was being a part of the opening section of the London Olympic Closing Ceremony. I played a characterised dance role on the back of a truck alongside hundreds of other performers including Stomp, Pet Shop Boys and One Direction! The enormous scale of the performance made it such a surreal experience.

What do you enjoy/what do you find interesting about teaching dance to others?

  • I really enjoy teaching dance to others, I find it most rewarding when teaching material that is quite challenging. I think it is important to feel satisfaction both as a teacher and as a learner. I also like to observe how others individualise the movement that you teach and make it their own, there is always more to explore and you can learn a lot about how you dance yourself through watching others.

What do you keep in your dance bag?

In my dance bag I tend to always have plenty of snacks and usually some spare clothes. I'm also known in the company for having a good first aid kit.

What kind of snacks do you eat to keep you going through the day?

I always start the day with a banana. After and during class and rehearsals I usually try to have a mix of snacks, more fruit, usually a cereal bar type thing and a cheeky chocolate bar.

How do you unwind after a day of dancing?

Plenty of rest, a tasty meal and a good film.

If you were not a dancer what do you think you might be doing?

  • If I wasn't dancing, I would probably still be in the dance profession as I enjoy creating my own work and also teaching. Outside of dance, I would most likely be a Graphic Designer. I have always had a keen interest in this and at one point was going to train in this and not dance. I definitely don't regret my decision though!

What is on your favourite play list/track?

  • I have a really varied taste in music but one of my favourite albums at the moment is 'English Rain' by Gabrielle Aplin.

I'm surprisingly bad at... Ice skating! - everyone thinks that because I'm a dancer I would be good at ice skating and I don't get why, there is no ice involved in dancing. To be fair, I haven't been that many times but have hated every second when I have tried.

I'm surprisingly good at... I like to think I am quite good at photography, I studied it a A-Level and have a real passion for it. I wish I had more time to do more!


EDge will be touring to; Berwick-upon-Tweed (12 Jun), Canterbury (17 Jun), Swansea (19 Jun), London (26-28 Jun), Isreal (30 Jun-3 Jul), Portugal (11-13 Jul). Full tour details here

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